When we sell something, anything, we may often have to depend upon someone else to deliver that product we just sold. Whether its senior living, real estate, office equipment or financial services you may not ultimately be in charge of delivering the product you sold to your customer. The distance between the sale and the delivery to the customer can be enormous.
We have all had the experience of buying something, and having it delivered and installed by someone who didn’t care as much as the person who sold it to us. Or a banker who writes us a loan and when there’s an error in the paperwork no one can correct it. Or how about the ads on TV for those jazzy fashions and when you get to the store the clothes are on the floor and there is no one there to help you find your size.
In the field of senior living in particular we deal with this difficult situation all the time. Our Sales and Marketing people spend hours telling our families what they should expect living at our buildings. But from the inquiry, to move in day, to the end, it’s our support team that delivers what we promised. Does your staff deliver?
If you promise a family their mom will get a bath three times a week will she get it? If you brag about your full activity program will the events actually take place when Mom moves in? In senior living we promise a lot. And we are here after the sale to witness the happiness or dissatisfaction of our residents for as long as they live with us. Imagine if you sold someone a car and then had to ride in it with them the whole time they owned it. Service after the sale takes on a whole new meaning. When the nurse is caring and efficient we are heroes. If the apartment is cleaned weekly to a sparkle we are safe. When the bills and paperwork are accurate our customers are content. But what if it doesn’t happen?
So how do you treat the people who “do” what you “sell?” How do you insure they deliver the promise? Do you respect them, keep them informed? Reward them with thanks? Do they have a clear understanding of what you sold? Do they love you enough to come through for you every time, every move in, every deal? I used to say to my support team “Don’t make me a liar.” I was selling up a storm in that marketing office and my biggest fear was that the product I sold would not be delivered. As sales people all we have is our integrity. It is only as good as the people who deliver our product.