Men and women communicate differently. According to some, women want you to understand they are from Venus; while men want to teach you to build rocket ships, preferably from duct tape.
Let’s face it, people don’t always tell us what they want and need directly.
A good private duty salesperson learns to listen between the words. Often the questions people ask don’t get to the root of why they are buying your services, or more importantly, why they aren’t going to buy your services.
Critical listening is one of the most important components of the sales process. Too often sales people rehearse their presentation, but miss the sale because they presented an offering that wasn’t appropriate.
When families ask, “What are your hourly rates?”, often they want to know, “Can I afford care?”. This makes the salesperson’s job more difficult because frequently the families don’t even know the questions to ask to get the information they need and want.
Good fact-finding questions and critical listening are keys to sales success.
- Find the family’s true motivation, and you will be able to answer their questions appropriately and close the sale.
- Family caregivers frequently need respite care, but sometimes they see it as one more service they need to manage. Reluctance to using respite often stems from being overwhelmed already. Focus on rest and relaxation that respite can provide.
- Privacy is a critical issue for many families. They need help, but are concerned about having an outside individual come into their home on a regular basis.
- Some families want caregivers who become part of their family. Other families want caregivers to blend into the surroundings and become a resource.
- Questions about personal care can stem from guilt. The son or daughter knows they can’t provide appropriate care with dignity, and may know they don’t have the training needed. Focus on the improved quality of life, independence, and dignity that quality care provides.
- Questions about background checks and drug screenings often mask the real concern. They want to know if you are going to provide security or added risk. Refocus these conversations to discuss integrity and honesty.
It’s impossible to present a valid solution until you know the problems a family wants to address, the real problems.
When meeting with a potential client or referral source, introduce yourself in an interesting way, indentify similarities to build rapport. Then, stop talking. Just listen. Listen not to the words, but to the message and motivation behind those words.
Only after identifying true need will you be able to offer the right solution, and close more sales.