Back to the Basics – How to Market to People in Retirement

I have spent most of my career helping, assisting, and selling to people who are between the ages of 65-100. If you are marketing or trying to market to this audience, you may have already realized that it is quite different than what you may have expected. Many people would rather market towards a younger generation, but I have marketed to all ages and have found much success in the retirement communities. Here are some helpful tips that I have learned while working.

1. Keep your message simple. This is not because people who are older are less intelligent, the truth couldn’t be further from that actually. There are two parts as to why you must keep your message simple. First we communicate differently now than most older people are used to. Just like we may not understand our younger generations music, they may not be familiar with the same words, concepts, or ideas as we are. The other reason is attention span. As we get older our attention is so divided that to give someone our full and complete attention is an honor. Use the time you have wisely and do your best to communicate clearly.

2. Find out how your target audience communicates. Not every community you market to will have the same popular means of communications. Some places may rely on the internet maybe even a local website, while others may choose not to market online. Types of popular communication could include, local newspapers or guides, homeowners associations, golf or other recreational sports/county club newsletters, recreational center billboards, or even simply direct maillings. Study your target audience in your area and find the best way to reach them so that they will listen to you.

3. Seek as many referrals as possible. I cannot stress this point enough.You can a huge advantage by allowing word of mouth to be a main source of marketing. I once was able to reach over 5,000 customers because I did a quality service for a single member of a gated senior community. Older generations grew up sticking together and relying on one another and if they find a product or service that they agree with they will share it with all of their friends. If possible give discounts, coupons, or freebies to clients who bring you referrals.

4. Money isn’t always an objection. Sometimes price is not what you need to worry about. Some of your clients have worked their entire lives and are doing quite well financially. Most of the millionaires I have met are in wheelchairs. Don’t make money seem like a deal breaker if they haven’t shown you any sign of that being an issue. Find out what your clients real objections are. It could be comfort, ease of operation, trust, physical appearance, or maybe even nothing at all. Don’t create a problem if there isn’t one and make sure to deal with any objections that come to the surface.