Monday, August 8, 2016

"Selling Aging-In-Place Services Is Relational And Personal"

Selling aging-in-place services to our clients - actual physical improvements to their home, assessments om how they can improve the overall quality of life in their home by making a few lifestyle adjustments, or providing specific products to help them with mobility or sensory issues - means meeting with our potential clients or their caregivers, case managers, or other health care professionals to discuss various alternatives and courses of action.

This is a hands-on, personal approach. Sure, people can shop for and purchase products online from various websites - if they know what they want and need. Still, so much of what we do requires that personal touch of meeting face-to-face.

Before most of us had websites, we had brochures. Many of us still do, but brochures don’t sell our services – anymore than websites, their modern replacement, do. They open the door, they generate interest, they describe what we’re offering, they remind people of what we’ve already told them, they differentiate us from our competition, and they give people another opportunity to familiarize themselves with us and our products or services.

In short, they can generate the contact when we haven't already done that, or provide a reference point for people we already have met or talked with about solutions we might offer them..

People are accustomed to obtaining and receiving a brochure from us because that's the way it's always been for them - especially the seniors group. People also expect us to have a website, but they don’t make a decision based solely on either one.

They may eliminate several other contractors or service providers from further consideration based on what they see as appealing or not to them in a brochure or on a website, and they may create a “short list” of people they want to talk or meet with, but the purpose of having a website or a brochure is not to make a sale – it’s to create the contact to or to stimulate the willingness to engage us to help them with their issues.

We must generate the personal contact in order to make a sale. People need to meet us. They need to learn about what we offer firsthand, and they need to determine how well they like us and would like working with us why we provide very personal solutions for them. Selling aging-in-place applications is very relational.

We need to put enough information in our brochure or website to show people who might use our services enough about what we offer to generate some initial interest in working with us. We need to stand out from our competition, but we shouldn't count on our brochure or website as being a surrogate or silent salesperson for us - more like an ambassador.

If brochures were such a great sales tool, we should just mail one to everyone in town and be done with it. Then people who were interested in what we offer could simply make a decision from the brochure and set an appointment to do the paperwork or mail in their check.

Obviously it doesn’t work that way, so why are we so concerned with giving out brochures or having them available for download on our website?

Let’s focus on meeting people and addressing their needs. Our website can generate the initial interest, and our brochures can remind them of what they experienced and help maintain their level of interest. Either way, it’s up to us to take it from there and make the sale.

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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.