Happy Valentine’s Day, Sherpas!
Today is dedicated to romantic love, the kind that puts stars in your eyes and butterflies in your stomach. But we couldn’t help but notice how all of the qualities people want in a valentine—curiosity, empathy, trustworthiness, vulnerability and good listening skills—are the same characteristics we find in the best senior living sales counselors.
This is no accident. Trust and respect are the foundation of all relationships, not just romantic ones. In the unique world of senior living sales, we find the most effective leasing counselors constantly open themselves up to emotional connection. Sherpa-trained salespeople know that a trust breakthrough can be just as meaningful of an advance as a scheduled tour. That’s why we like to say Sherpa puts the “relationship” back in Customer Relationship Management.
Using Sherpa makes you a better senior living sales employee and a better valentine by developing these five emotional skills:
We all know how discouraging it is to go on a date with a bad listener. Whether they are constantly distracted by their phone, sitting like a bump on a log through your attempts at conversation or speaking over your every word, it’s easy to tell when your date just isn’t listening. The same goes for senior housing sales. Sometimes leasing counselors are so focused on what they’re going to say next that they don’t stop to listen to a prospect’s true concerns. We write more about listening without judgement or pressure in our blog post “How To Respond To ‘I’m Not Ready.’“
We’re not talking about sympathy here. It’s not enough to feel “sorry” for others when they’re in distress. Empathy is our ability to perceive, understand and validate another person’s feelings whether we can directly relate to them or not. It’s a quality we’re all searching for in a mate and one seniors hope to find in senior living sales counselors. Typical CRMs reduce a person’s whole life to a bulleted list; we designed Sherpa to paint a holistic picture of each prospect’s life, complete with photos and a detailed life story, to help leasing counselors nurture their own empathy. To quote Sherpa CCO Alex Fisher from her blog post about empathy in sales, “Sherpa is an empathy machine.”
Forget love at first sight. Studies show that people decide within seconds of meeting someone whether they’re trustworthy or not. Make the most out of every first impression with a prospect by stating your intention upfront, whether it’s to help a prospect make the right buying decision or to date someone whose values match your own. Want to know what this sounds like? Read our blog post “The Power of Trust: How To Sell Without Feature-Dumping,” for examples.
Curious people ask insightful questions that spark introspection and make the other person in the conversation feel heard and appreciated. Want to know if your curiosity is showing? Try this exercise, which we describe in our blog post “5 Reasons Why Curious People Are Good at Sales:” The next time you’re at a networking event or a party, see how long you can question a total stranger without mentioning anything about yourself. You’ll know you’re doing it right if the stranger walks away without realizing that they were doing most of the talking.
Without vulnerability, it’s impossible to develop the four emotional characteristics listed above. As we all know from working with prospects, change is scary, even when you’re changing for the better. Vulnerability is all about opening yourself up to another person, and that always comes with a risk of rejection, whether it’s from a romantic partner or a prospect. The best way to free yourself from fear of rejection—in love and at work—is to ditch the ego, find your inner hero and make a meaningful connection. Find five tips for ego-free selling in our blog post “What If They Don’t Like Me?”
Have more to say about how Sherpa helps you develop emotional intelligence? Are you a more curious or empathetic person since using Sherpa? We’d love to hear from you. Contact Lindsay Toler, our storyteller-in-chief, via email or on LinkedIn, or send us a message on Facebook.0
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