success starts with listening

The reason I am sharing what I am sharing with you today is so you can learn some tips about marketing your services from my experiences.

If you are fortunate enough to have your parents still together (mine just celebrated their 65th anniversary,) then you may be familiar with the needs of adults as they age.This past week I interviewed individuals and franchise owners who provide companions and caregivers for seniors. My parents want to stay in their home and as they age, they need support with everyday living. I see the difficulty they have keeping up with the house, food, doctor appointments and daily life. My brothers and I want the best for them and to make sure they are comfortable and safe in their home.

If you have navigated the maze of senior services, you may have experienced what I did. After asking for referrals and making a number of calls, I scheduled interviews with two companies. Here’s what I experienced during screening calls and interviews and what you can learn from the successful strategies people used and the mistakes (in my opinion) that others made.

Most of the people started the conversation with me by asking about my parents and their needs (a success strategy.) They listened with care and answered according to my interests and my parents needs. During a phone interview, one gentleman began our conversation with a long litany of why his company is the best (a sure fire mistake.) He used terms like:

– bonded and insured

– the number of people he employed

– all sorts of facts and detail about his company

What I really wanted to know was what his company stood for. What he is passionate about and how he approaches working with seniors interested me. All those facts are important, but not the first things he said. He could have asked a couple of questions to start our conversation such as “Can you tell me a little about your parents’ needs?” or “What are you looking for in a caregiver?” Both great questions that would enable him to guide the conversation as to why I should consider his company.

His start to the conversation was quite robotic (and nervous.) I was actually speechless for a minute trying to decide whether to say thank you and hang up. Then I decided to give him a chance and ask him what was different about his company. His energy and focus completely changed and he shared why he wanted to help seniors stay in their home. I really got that he cared, however, by that time it was a little too late.

Other people I talked to connected personally with me right away and the needs for my parents. Ultimately my parents chose a woman who showed passion for her work with seniors, demonstrated that she understood their needs and was ready to start immediately. She built trust with them and they liked her, so she is starting this morning with my parents.

It’s a good reminder that success starts with listening to your potential customer and sharing passion and heart for what you do, not facts, grabs the attention of your market.

Kathy Garland specializes in translating business challenges into opportunities that result in business and personal growth. She speaks frequently on business growth and leadership topics. Join her conversations on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Join the Market You Mondays community on Facebook to learn more about marketing yourself as an expert.

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