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What does it take to be a Sherpa?

April 22, 2014 by Sherpa

Sometimes people ask us why our CRM software is named Sherpa. What does that mean?

The answer isn’t what but a whoSherpas are a group of extraordinary people who live and work as climbing guides in the Himalayan region. For generations, they have been known for their well-conditioned strength and experience in mountain climbing. They carry equipment and navigate to the summit of the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest. Western mountaineers rely on Sherpas not only for their knowledge of the terrain, but also in the confidence they inspire in those who follow them.

Although it’s not an Everest climb, aging clients do face tremendous obstacles, emotional ones. These stand in the way of big life decisions including a move to senior housing. The risks they face are often personal, such as negative preconceived notions of what community living means to them, or the loss of identity they fear in leaving their home.

The dangers that outsiders (those who haven’t done a home visit or learned their life story) identify are focused on the dangers of aging at home: a greater chances of falling or injury, improper medication use and a disconnection from the outside world. But to an older adult, these dangers of staying at home seem minor compared to the risks of a move and the fear of change.

Sales counselors who use the Sherpa CRM become, in a way, Sherpas themselves. They carry the  emotional weight of the move by addressing problems and validating concerns to help their clients navigate through the decision. Instead of ropes and ice axes, Creative Follow-Up and Discovery are the tools they can use to build trust, guide and motivate clients. It’s a different way of looking at sales, but if you consider a move to senior housing as a major mountain to climb, then we’ll need more Sherpas to guide the way.

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