Saturday, August 13, 2016

"Getting Locked Out Of Our Office May Be Just The Beginning ..."

What if we showed up to our offices tomorrow, or the next time we went there, and we couldn't get in because someone had changed the locks? Well, first I'm sure we'd try the key a few more times. Then I think we'd look to make sure we were standing in front of the correct address and door.

We might even summon a passerby to try the key for us - or check our smart phones to make sure that no dire emergency that we were not aware of had struck and that we were on a massive lock-down that we were powerless to control.

Wait a minute, we say as we regain composure. No one could have changed the locks without us knowing about it because we have the only key and we are the one who makes the decisions about such matters. There is no way the lock could have changed, and yet it isn't working with the key that always has worked previously.

Maybe that's the case, maybe not. However, as far-fetched as it may sound to get locked out of our own building or office because we were the only ones who could have made the decision to have the locks changed, some of us are being locked out of the marketplace. We might just as well be locked out of our offices.

How are we being locked out? By not keeping up with the market - with pricing strategies, new assessment models, understanding what our competition is offering and doing to help people who want to remain in their homes and age-in-place, discounts that are being offered, new technology and products that are available to use in providing effective solutions for our clients, and creating strategic relationships with referring professionals to open the door for us to be able to provide solutions for people who need them.

By not keeping current on selling skills - communication, presentation, closing, working with objections, and understanding how to address particular needs - we are shutting ourselves out of being effective providers.

Other ways we are locking ourselves out of the marketplace is by not being prepared to compete with services, products, and solutions that people expect and that others are willing to provide - or by not understanding the buying behavior of our target audience and what people want or expect in a remodeling experience. Not keeping current with technology could hurt us also.

Tomorrow when we do put our key in the lock and it does open, let's take that as a reminder to keep busy doing what we need to do to remain in business and compete effectively in a world that is constantly changing. People have several options as they are considering how to improve their homes to remain living in them, They can choose us - if we are up to the task. They can choose someone else who will not do as good a job as we would. They can try to do something themselves. They can just cope with what they have and essentially do nothing to improve their situation.

We owe it to ourselves and our potential clients to make sure our keys to the marketplace continue to work.

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, MCSP, MIRM, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist instructor and best-selling author of universal design books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555.