Three Questions to Launch the Client Relationship

Moving a loved one

When you first hear that a prospective client is interested in moving to your senior living and care community, it’s very tempting to respond with urgency. After all, you know everything there is to know about your community, its amenities and advantages. It is important to resist this temptation and start slow, however, if you want satisfied customers. The most important role for you in the initial phase of the client relationship is as a listener. If you are successful in helping clients articulate to you what they want and need from their new housing arrangement, you are that much more likely to be able to provide it.

The decision to move out of one’s home and into a setting designed exclusively for seniors is never easy. It involves letting go of a well-established set of habits and routines and becoming open to new ways of living and meeting one’s needs. To make this decision wisely, you can use these questions to help clients determine what they are most looking for in this next chapter of their life.

  • What are They Looking to Leave Behind? 

Many people are tired of the financial cost and stress of maintaining their existing homes. Some are tired of having to drive long distances to entertainment, restaurants, health care or to visit family. Some are ready to stop feeling isolated or lonely. Others feel their homes are no longer safe places for them to live. If the pressures and burdens of the “old house” are no longer worth putting up with, senior living may offer alternatives that are easier, cheaper and more in line with their future plans.

  • What are They Looking Forward to? 

Some people are eager to simplify their lives and possessions in order to spend more energy doing the things they like best. Others want to invest in new social relationships and communities. Many seniors are deeply engaged in work and other pursuits and want to be closer to supportive resources for these endeavors. Others want to spend more time with family members. Senior living arrangements can facilitate all of these goals by supporting independent living without the burdens of home ownership.

  • Where are the Tender Places in This Decision? 

Deciding to leave home and start a new kind of life can feel upsetting. To avoid unnecessary anxiety about this decision, it is helpful to see your worries as useful signals about how to move forward. It is natural to grieve when we say goodbye to one part of our lives and enter another. Encourage clients to take time to process these emotions without rushing. This will help make their transition a time of optimism and excitement.

Once you understand what your prospective clients are looking for and what they are looking to avoid in their new arrangements, you have a much better chance of reaching a satisfactory agreement about their new housing options. Taking the extra time in the early stages of the client relationship to establish common ground will streamline the decision-making process and create the mutual trust that will spur them to commit to you and your community.