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How to Respond to “I’m Not Ready”

April 26, 2015 by Sherpa

Remember the whack-a-mole arcade game? Have you heard it play out in a sales call? The counselor will ask, “Independent or assisted? Fixed meal plan or pay-as-you-go?” Each question serves to match needs with services along with the infamous data dump of amenities. They might even ask questions to see if the prospect is currently eligible to move in.

Whoa, slow your roll there. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the person on the other side of the phone will say they’re not ready. Whack! On to the next lead. For sales teams with low occupancies and long lead lists, the pressure to keep moving forward will leave a line of good potential residents behind.

Instead of giving up and labeling them “cold leads,” as addressed in a post by Sherpa’s Jayne Sallerson, you’ll need to change your game plan. It may take more time, but it will result in more advances. Put down the mallet. Here’s how you should approach the call.

Be Transparent

Be clear about your plans and build trust by stating your intentions.

“I am here to help you process this difficult decision. I am not trying to ‘sell’ you. I want to know more about you so we can make the next step together if you choose.”

Be Collaborative

Strive to work in partnership and see things from the prospect’s perspective.

“I can be a resource and an advisor to you throughout your decision-making process, even if you decide not to move.”

Be Evocative

Explore the prospect’s concerns and draw out their own assessment of the situation. Show them you are non-judgmental, accepting and curious.

“I am here to ask you about your life story to understand what you value. Let’s talk about your past experiences and how they might relate to this decision.”

Be Reflective

Act as a mirror to show you are listening and understanding their unique situation. This can help draw out discrepancies in their decision versus their situation.

“I hear what you’re saying, and I understand why you aren’t ready to move. I also hear you when you say there are problems with staying in your home.”

If you see your prospect as a cold lead, why shouldn’t they feel the same way? Get to know how they are and make an impact face-to-face interactions and with personalized, creative follow-up materials. The extra effort will let your prospects know they have someone they can trust, someone who sees them as more than a name on a list.

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