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Ask Alex: How do I leave a good message?

December 14, 2017 by Sherpa

This month, Alex responds to a great question from Stephanie Hartwick, a Readiness Facilitator from Harbour Hill Retirement Suites (cool title, huh?).

Says Stephanie… “One of the challenges I have is leaving phone messages when doing a call out to prospects.  Rather than ramble; are there a few short message phrases that you could suggest that are more prospect centered?  I struggle with not saying the same thing ”Hi, it’s me, just calling to see how you and your mother/ father are doing?”

First, I think it’s important to say that the nice thing about a prospect-centered approach to sales is that the prospect responds to the totality of the sales experience, not a single interaction, voice message, phone call or tour. Still, there’s no question that any call we make out to a prospect is important, whether they answer the phone or not. I believe that “what to say” is easier when I follow these three steps:

  1. Remember why I’m calling: Before you pick at the phone, do a little Planning, even if it is just for five minutes. Review what you know about the prospect, something unique about them or related to their readiness stage. What is my purpose for this call? Am I just trying to see if they are ready… do I need more discovery so that I can understand their situation better? Do I have a specific action that I need to take so that I can become trust worthier to them? Do I have a specific action that I want them to take so that they can advance in their process? What do I think will generate an advance for this specific person? If you figure out your purpose and get clear as to how you will communicate it, you most likely won’t ramble!
  2. Get centered: Take 30 seconds to close your eyes, and get present and confident in your intention for this call.
  3. Get present: Practice a bit, and then pick up the phone. Try to close your eyes while you are on the phone. This will help shut out the “noise’ around you.

Here are some examples off the top of my head, but use your own words!

 “Hello Mrs. Jones!”

I was thinking about you, and realized I had not asked you about …….

I am curious about whether it might be helpful to you if I sent you those floor plans we looked at? …

Our conversation really struck me, and I was curious to learn more about where you live, and what you love about it…

 I was thinking about how much you are doing for your mom right now, and I wanted to let you know that I am here for you, even if it is just to talk …

 I know you told me that (Thelma) likes to knit, and I was wondering if you would enjoy bringing her to join the Knitting Club meeting next Thursday?

If you know nothing about the prospect just state your name, role and intention. This sounds like:

“Hello Mrs. Jones, I am Alex Fisher from _________. I wanted to tell you that I am here for you, to provide you some guidance if you need it, regardless of what you ultimately decide. If you just need to vent or talk, that is ok too. My intention is not to sell you. I realize that this process can be overwhelming. Please call me anytime at ________or my cell___________. I look forward to being able to help in some way!


Many times ‘checking in’ is code for “are you ready yet?” As you know, most of our prospects cannot answer that question, and they will certainly assume that you are waiting for the “decision” or the sale. Imagine what they hear: “I want to know if something happened since I last saw you that will make you more likely to need to move” This will not be very helpful to them or improve your ability to build trustworthiness and guide them through change.

Thanks for the question Stephanie!  Stay heroic!


Alex Fisher is cofounder and Chief Creative Officer at Sherpa, the only CRM built by senior living sales experts. Formally trained as a fine artist, Alex is also a principal at One on One, a co-owner of three senior living communities in the Midwest and a mother of three. Contact her with questions at AskAlex@sherpacrm.com.







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