In August, we were pleased to host Alex Fisher, co-founder of Sherpa, for a valuable webinar for our partners, “Connecting Over Email: How to Write an Effective Email.” This webinar highlighted ways that senior living professionals can connect and build trust with inquiring families. We urge you to watch this webinar, as Fisher explains in great detail the practices she uses to build relationships and trust with families.
“As providers, we are catalysts for change where it is human nature to be resistant towards change.”
Alex Fisher, co-founder of Sherpa
Fisher calls out in the webinar, we must be conscious of the methods that we use when interacting with prospective residents and families. Understanding the challenges that come with selling change is important. The biggest component that should be taken into consideration is that families will engage with communities and sales professionals that they can trust.
In the webinar, it is explained that in order for families to trust you, you must understand who you are, along with what your goals are. Fisher continues that as senior living professionals, we need to connect with who the client is and what they are consumed with during this process.
This is important because, in addition to the stress and worry of finding answers for their aging loved one(s)], many of these family members also have their own busy schedules with work, kids, and more. They require the support and guidance to absorb critical information for their loved one, along with a professional they can trust.
Trust is the theme of Fisher’s talk, and an important point she brings up is that the burden of trust falls onto senior living professionals. It is critical to the relationship with the inquiring individuals to build that basis of trust. It is important to examine the way you are presenting information to people interested in your community – do you want to lead with the product (your senior living community and services), or your commitment and expertise to help guide them in this process?
- Through empathizing with what families are going through in this process, we are able to show them that we understand and respect their vulnerability. This is a life-changing decision, and while it is our every day, it is foreign for many inquiring families.
- By being transparent and showing the why behind the what, you are able to demonstrate to prospects that you aren’t trying to sell them, but that you are a resource to support them in understanding all the changes that come with this new stage of life.
- Too often, we give up on an inquiring family when we don’t hear back from them. But these are often busy families in need – juggling work, family, their aging loved ones and more. Just as they aren’t the only families you are working with, you are one of several senior living providers they may be considering. This is where you can have impact your email communications to them to show quality care and attention to detail.
Fisher gives an email template for responding to inquiries, explaining the factors that can make your email superior to competitors, all while being individualized and useful for the client. She emphasizes that you are selling change. By following Fisher’s guide, you can successfully do this with a personal touch and also make prospective families feel at ease with their decisions and actions.
In introductory emails, it is important to have strong content. The anatomy of this email should possess the following:
- Brevity. As you develop a relationship with the prospect, there will be opportunities to share in more detail what is meaningful and impactful to them about your community. But right now the key is to connect and start the relationship.
- Authenticity allows an inquiring family to feel as though they aren’t receiving a copy and paste message. Some things may stay the same, but remember that it should be tailored to each person.
- Be helpful by providing a link or attachment with information regarding events or specifics.
- Readability will make it easily consumable. Paragraph spacing, bullet points, bolded text, and other formatting options can be used to your benefit.
- Accessibility is the final touch in how you invite prospective families to connect with you further – voice-to-voice by phone, by text, in-person, or any other way you may think of.
We value our partnership with you and seek to be a resource to you – not only in referring great families to you and not only in providing impactful resources like Partner Central and SeniorAdvisor.com, but also in providing great content and industry insight. This webinar is a tool to help you strengthen connection and trust with inquiring families and their loved ones.