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Yes. Well, No. Oh, Maybe. OK, Yes, But Not Right Now.

Ken-Curnes1I’m buying a new car. Better stated, I’m in the market for a new car. Actually, I don’t need a car, but I have a teenage driver and the family needs a third car, sort of. So, I have a need and means. What I’ve been waffling on for almost a year is the desire. This is a big purchase. A major financial decision that I’ll need to live with for years. But I don’t really need to make that decision today. If I did, it would solve a number of problems by way of family transportation, but we’ve been getting by so far. Sound familiar?

This experience has me thinking about the parallels between big discretionary purchases and the decision to move to a senior living community. Most of us don’t have any personal experience with this decision. And even if a parent or family member made the move, it still wasn’t us. I think we can all agree it’s a lot easier to make decisions for other people than it is for ourselves. But most of us have made big discretionary purchases. What can those experiences teach us about what our prospects might be going through and looking for?

Again, the best experiences to reflect on are those that aren’t driven by need, for instance my third car, or maybe you’ve purchased a leisure item – a boat or perhaps a vacation property. How long did you think about it? Did your interest rise and fall based on other things happening in your life? When did you get serious? How did you narrow down your choices? Whom did you consult?

Often in these situations the turning point, that moment when “maybe we should do this” turns into “let’s get serious,” occurs when you meet the right salesperson. It happens because they’re professional, it happens because they’re knowledgeable, it happens because they’re responsive. But also ─ and this is where I would really ask you to think about your own experiences and see if you believe this is true or not ─ it happens because they’re enthusiastic and passionate about what you’re passionate about. They embody and project all the things you want out of that purchase. They love the vacation area you’re looking in as much as you do. They’re boating enthusiasts and know just exactly what an extra 50 horsepower would mean. They have teenage drivers and can tell you firsthand your life will be a lot easier when they have their own transportation.

Give it some thought ─ maybe you can glean a few insights from your experiences outside senior living that can help you relate to your prospect’s personal situation.

And no, I still haven’t made that purchase. And for those parents of teenage children, the kid isn’t getting the new car, I am.

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