I’m letting you all in on a little secret which will obviously be a secret no more… I use the sales tool “option of two” in my personal life to get what I want! When I want to try out a nice new French restaurant in town, and I know my meat and potatoes husband will protest, I use the option of two.
Instead of saying, “Do you want to try out that new French restaurant this weekend?” where I receive a “yes” or “no” answer, I try this:
“Let’s try out that new French restaurant this weekend. Would you prefer I make a reservation for Friday or Saturday night?”
Giving an option of two allows him to still be in control of the choice, but I get the desired result of going to dinner.
Here is another example I’m sure most of you can relate to. Do you ever plan a night out with friends and when you all meet no one takes charge of what to do? Try giving them options!
Instead of saying, “what do you want to do?” of which you inevitably get the dreaded “I don’t know” answer, try this:
“Would you like to grab pizza or try that new sushi place?” or “Would you like to go bowling or see a movie?”
So what does all of this have to do with sales and senior housing? It’s all about securing the agreed upon next step using the option of two. The hardest part of a tour is the close and next step. The goal is to secure a solid next step so you know how to best follow up. The option of two can help you solidify a follow up tour as the agreed upon next step.
How do you usually respond when someone says, “well….I have to check with mom first before I can commit to bringing her in for a tour?”
Is your response more appeasing to the lead such as, “I understand, just give me a call when you are ready to schedule the tour?”
Or do you control the next step by saying, “I understand, how about I follow up with you later this week to see how the conversation went with mom. Would you prefer I call you on Friday, or would Thursday be better?”
Next, drill down on a time from their response, “Ok Thursday would be best, would morning or afternoon work for you?” …… ”Morning, great! I will plan to call you around 10am on Thursday to see how discussions went with mom and hopefully we can schedule a tour for her soon.”
How does this sound to you? Remember, the family contacted you for help! The decision to move into senior housing is not easy, and many families will opt for passive follow up in order to avoid making tough decisions. As the sales person, it is your job to give them solid next steps to help move them through the process.
If all you can secure is an agreed upon follow up call, it’s ok! Just be sure to set a day and time so the lead prospect can expect your call. These small victories of agreed upon next steps will move the sale forward. Use the option of two to control the choice of reply and avoid “yes” or “no” responses to keep the conversation going and help you to secure the next step for follow up. And don’t be afraid to practice it on your friends and family too!
Written by Jocelyn Schrader, Census and Sales Strategist at Bild & Company.