By understanding how the older generation is different as it ages, your sales staffs can overcome barriers and connect more effectively with customers. Here is a list of 10 sales tips to use in training sessions and in communicating regularly with your retirement community’s staff.
Sales Tip #1 – Connect with the right side of the brain
Explain your community by telling stories, relevant ones that touch emotions. Modern brain research shows that the use of relevant stories increases the flow of adrenaline to the brain and helps us store and recall. Images are stored in a different place in the brain than the words that describe the visual. Eighty percent of the brain is involved in processing right-brained imagery.
Sales Tip #2 – Relate to their lives in retirement
An important question for people of age is, “What do you want to do in retirement?” For Boomers especially, the “what” is usually significant and very individualized. Show them how you retirement community can satisfy their needs.
Sales Tip #3 – Be authentic and trustworthy
Show you care about them as a person. They want to be treated as individuals not as prospects. They want to be able to trust you. Be authentic in your discussions with them. They are “professional consumerologists” with a lifetime of buying experiences.
Sales Tip #4 – Connect by relating to their families, and yours
The family is a deep, emotional feeling that drives all behavior. Show them pictures of your own children and grandchildren. Talk about them. More than 80% of people over age 60 are grandparents. Focusing on family connect with them is an emotional connection between older adults and their grandchildren.
Sales Tip #5 – Control the physical setting
Make them comfortable in your office. Offer them the most comfortable chairs. Keep a couch pillow in plain sight that they can make themselves more comfortable. Have several sets of reader glasses in case they forgot theirs. Use a large barrel pen so it’s easy for them to write.
Sales Tip #6 – Don’t call them “Senior Citizens” or “Boomers”
Research shows that about half of people of age don’t like these terms. Don’t use labels. If you must, refer to them as, “people like yourself, whom I deal with.” Treat them as individuals.
Sales Tip #7 – They take more time with decisions
Older individuals may not understand what you’re saying at that moment. Their central nervous system tends to slow with age. It doesn’t mean they don’t get it, it just means it may take more time to process it. Be patient. Typically, they are in no hurry to get things done. From experience, they know quick decisions are often regretted.
Sales Tip #8 – Feelings, not intellect
Decisions are made on the basis of feelings, not intellect. Intellect is used to understand; feelings are used to decide. When looking for a reaction to what you’ve presented, ask them, “How does that feel to you?”
Sales Tip #9 – Independence is what they want in retirement
Use words that depict people in their 60s, 70s and 80s as maintaining their independence in their retirement. It’s the key concept for selling to people of age. Give them several options and let them decide. A key attitude, especially for Boomers, is they want things simplified but they don’t want to lose control.
Sales Tip #10 – Analogies not analysis
Because older adults often have difficulty following your reasoning and recommendations, you need to make it easier for them. Use analogies, metaphors and similes that mirror their value system.