Monday, January 8, 2018

"One Reason That AIP Solutions Work Is That We Humanize The Sales Process"

People buy from people — especially people they like and trust. They buy from companies and businesses also, but those tend to be less animate and human than the individuals that comprise those organizations. In the case of single-member LLC companies, sole practitioners, or sole proprietors, the individual and the company are the same things.

People who desire to employ and use us to create solutions for them may know of, like, or respect our company before they ever meet or engage us. That's great; however, they are still buying from us one-on-one, them and us, when it comes down to making the decision.

There is no way a company can come into someone's home, look around, and make a determination about what might be needed to improve or stabilize the health, safety, comfort, and accessibility of the living space and those inhabiting it. That takes an individual. Again, companies, agencies, and organizations are inanimate. People are engaging and real.

Before anyone can believe or trust anything that we tell them about what our company or organization can do, how we stand behind our work, our core values, and the companies or individuals we have chosen to partner with to create the unique solutions for them and their household, they must connect with us. That credibility must be there.


We aren't interested in making sales to achieve sales quotas, because someone else overproduced a product that we have in inventory and need to move, or because our bottom line depends on it. There may be very little product involved in what we do - in the sense that the consumer would buy it in that form. We take raw materials, manufactured materials, ideas, know-how, and ingenuity to craft specific, one-of-a-kind solutions for our aging in place clients based on their individual needs, the needs of others in the household, and the physical requirements and parameters of the structure.

In addition to envisioning and creating solutions based on what we observe going on in the space and what our clients, their family members, caregivers, case managers and others tell us, we are interested primarily in serving our clients - not in making sales. Any sales that happen will be due to the empathy we have and show for our clients and their homes, but we can't force it or make something happen just because we want it. The sale is not for us, it's for our clients and then because it represents a solution for them. We don't have to perform to make a living. We just need to determine what our clients need and can use. Then, it's a matter of designing the most appropriate solution for them within their budgeted amount. That's how to make a sale - involve the client, appeal to what truly will help them, explore options and various price points to achieve the desired solution, gain agreement, and then move forward.

This is both how we humanize the sales process and why we can. We are people working with people. There are no performance rules in terms of how much sales volume we must generate per transaction. We don't have anything that already exists in the warehouse, on paper, on the ground, or anyplace else that we need to sell them to recoup an investment amount. We can choose projects that look like they fit our basic business model in terms of scope and price point, but it still depends on determining the needs of the client and then meeting and fulfilling those needs.

The biggest sale we make to our client is us. Everything else follows from that. We must be ourselves! We can relate to them. This is what separates us from a classic retail transaction with a sales clerk or order processor and a product.

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, CEAC, SHSS, is a licensed Certified Aging In Place Specialist - Master Instructor and best-selling author of aging in place 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.