Saturday, April 1, 2017

"The Third Step In Seeking An AIP Sale Can Be The Most Involved"

So far, we have talked about, in the four main steps of making a sale to a client or customer with aging in place products, services, or solutions, the first two parts: (1) learn what the customer is seeking and what it will take to satisfy their wants, desires, or needs and (2) explain how what we offer does just that. Now, it's time to look at the third step which is to confirm that our solution matches their needs and prepare to ask for the order by eliminating any lingering questions or concerns. It's possible, if the desire is strong enough, if our explanation as been convincing enough, and if the client is already impressed by our ability to move from the second step directly to the fourth one which is to ask for the order.

Nevertheless, we need to be ready to conduct the third step for all of the times when their decision isn't easily reached, or they aren't convinced that they should proceed with what we have suggested for them. Without this step, we are going to be missing a lot of business.

While, it's true that we can dramatically decrease the incidence of buyer's remorse or virtually eliminate it, we also can be too careful in trying to make sure the client is ready to agree to our proposal that we neglect to get them involved and just keep the discussion going past the point when it should be concluded.

When we speak of buyer's remorse, we are talking about the client changing their mind and canceling their order before we can get started. It typically happens the next day - especially if they believe that they have been talked into doing something they weren't prepared or ready to do, or if they believe that someone else can offer them a better price for essentially the same work. This is why we need to provide assurance to them that the work we are suggesting will be beneficial to them - and not to us - and that we are the best suited to provide this for them.

It's one thing to learn what the client's needs are through our discussion with them and our observations of their living space. It's another to decide what an appropriate course of action is to solve those issues within a time frame that they have expressed as being reasonable and within a budget amount that they can fund. Then, we have to confirm that they agree with our suggestion and that are agreeable to having us proceed. If there are any questions, doubts, or concerns, we must clear them up or eliminate them before we can secure the agreement from them.

This could even require more than one visit to accomplish. They may need some time to reflect on what we have discussed and proposed. They may need to check with family advisors, influencers, and other decision makers who weren't present at this meeting. We want them to be comfortable with their decision, but we don't want them to go into a stall mode either. This is the critical part during the entire presentation process when the sale can fall apart.

While we think we have arrived at a reasonable solution for their needs, it's now our decision to make. It's theirs. If they can't be comfortable saying yes to our proposal, there will not be a sale. This is why this third step in the sales process can be the most involved to complete.

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, CEAC, SHSS, 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. Also check out the "Aging & Accessibility" groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.