Have you ever been sick and hospitalized? If you have been lucky enough to be healthy and can answer “no”, then I want you to think about a family member or friend who was in the hospital. How did it feel to be treated like a patient? When you checked in at the desk I am guessing the clerk was focused on the computer screen and wanted your date of birth, address and insurance information. She probably never made eye contact. After putting on the hospital gown, brought to a room and assigned to a nurse, the questions continue: When did you get sick? What medications do you take? Do you have allergies? What are your current symptoms? I know you already told the doctor, but I need to ask again… Each time there is a shift change, the questions start again and it begins to feel like an interrogation.
Don’t get me wrong, not every nurse or hospital makes you feel like “just another patient”. And as a former nurse I know they need to be specific and have the correct details to care for their patient. But in senior housing we have the opportunity to be different and make the experience better! We can and should be treating each person better when they call or walk into our communities.
Here are some tips to make every person feel they are special and not just another prospect:
- Greet each person and make eye contact (use their name if possible).
- “Good afternoon George, welcome back to Bild & Company.”
- Smile! When you are on the phone and in person.
- Focus on learning the person’s story, not just about their physical needs.
- For example: Gladys might have macular degeneration and need transportation, but what else do you know about her?
- If you focus only on the need you will miss learning about the person;
- Gladys raised six children and taught each of them to play the piano because she is an accomplished pianist. Her husband died five years ago, but they were married for sixty years and they loved to travel the US and dance. She has been to 46 states and her favorite is North Carolina because that is where she met her husband John.
- Treat everyone like a real person. How would you want your parent or grandparent treated if they were looking for a community?
- We would roll out the red carpet for our parents, are you doing that for every person who visits?
- Genuine interest and specific care about the person during follow up is important.
- How was your granddaughter Ava’s dance recital this weekend?
- Make note of the small details – there is a lot of value in building the relationship.
Remember, the way you make someone feel dictates whether they choose your community. So make them feel important, validated, listened to and you’ll see your census skyrocket.
For more information on how we can help create a strong core value within your sales team, please contact us →