Children who become caregivers for their aging parents often find themselves facing behavioral changes. Sometimes seemingly overnight, or perhaps occurring more gradually, their once calm, loving parent becomes blunt, even mean — or possibly quite fearful.Continue reading
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The Powerful Yet Unspoken Rule for Human Interaction
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Reciprocity. The unspoken rule that we should repay in kind what another person has done for us. It’s one of our most powerful tools in sales or influencing others. Does it work? Here’s one example. A university professor tested the principle sending Christmas cards to perfect strangers. He was amazed as he received numerous holiday cards from these perfect strangers who never asked how they knew him. They received his card and felt obligated to respond in kind…
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New Year’s resolutions can be boring when they’re all about you: perhaps that’s why people seldom stick with them after the initial momentum wears off. Making resolutions that involve your business, however, is another story.
Here are six ways to be a top “resolver” for your prospects, clients, staff and colleagues this year:
- Share the wealth. We’re talking about knowledge capital here. Instead of issuing an edict, suggest, “Here’s what I’m thinking,” which allows your people to respond. You can phrase this idea differently depending on your audience. For senior clients and prospects, you may want to say something more along the lines of, “Here are a few suggestions,” or “Have you considered…?”
- Creatively connect. How are you meeting new reverse mortgage prospects? Have you considered (see above if this phrase sounds familiar!) asking people you know to introduce you to likely prospects? If you aren’t asking your connections to make new connections for you, you’re missing out on a potential goldmine.
- Don’t sell, add. Nobody wants to be “sold” to right out of the gate — even seniors who may contact you to learn about a reverse mortgage. Instead, choose to make “value deposits” in your future relationships vault by sharing helpful, insightful information first.
- Lend a hand — or an ear. It may be literal; perhaps your employee is struggling to understand the new HECM changes. Or it may be emotional: maybe what the senior who made an appointment really needs from you is non-judgmental listening as she struggles to share what’s happening in their lives and how to manage a sudden turn in their finances.
- Speak their language. Communication styles differ across generations, genders, cultures, and businesses. While some seniors love to email and text, others may still cling to rotary-dial phones. There are twenty-somethings who eschew technology in favor of gardening. So toss out assumptions like worn out sock, and discover how your client/prospect/business associate prefers to communicate. Then adapt. You may be pleasantly surprised to step away from the electronic soup for a face-to-face café meeting. Or chuckle at how adept your 82-year-old reverse mortgage client is with texting. Communicating across diverse channels can be a refreshing exercise for all involved.
- Complete the transaction. We all know the importance of saying “Please”, “Thank you”, and “I’m sorry.” But do you always remember to say, “You’re welcome”? This completes an energy circuit. A senior who thanks you for your time and information will appreciate your humility in making eye contact and saying, “You’re welcome. I’m happy to be of service.” The same is true for an employee to whom you lent that needed assistance. It says you’re really paying attention — and that you care.
“Boomers are changing the retirement community paradigm,” says cohousing expert Kathryn McCamant.Continue reading
Looking to expand your reverse mortgage reach? Here are two creative ways to serve seniors, and build goodwill.Continue reading
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Gordon Lightfoot (whose signature lyrics from If You Could Read My Mind are reflected in the post title) turns 75 this November, and Bob Dylan has said that when he listens to a Lightfoot song, he “wishes it would never end.” That’s pretty high praise from a fellow septuagenarian maestro. Perhaps this is because seasoned songwriters instinctively weave life’s essence and lessons into a succinct truth that resonates to the marrow with those who listen, and thus appeals across the decades to both original fans as they age, and to a new audience.
The same might be said of elders. There’s so much wisdom to be gleaned from older team members. Consider this recent ad on CraigsList.com, headlined, “Looking for a 72-year-old writer”:
“I’m looking for a few good writers between the ages of 70 and 74. Seeking contributions from geographical locations all over the United States from persons who were in high school during 1959. For details about my project please go to http://www.classof59.net. It is okay if someone younger writes a contribution that was obtained orally from a member of the high school class of 1959.”
What a lovely tribute to what has been labeled, “The Silent Generation.”
“It is not how old you are, but how you are old,” said Academy Award-winning actress Marie Dressler. We’re moving from a model that focuses on disease, disability and death to one of “passion, purpose, and participation,” which happens to be the tagline of COPA (Collaborative on Positive Aging), a new volunteer division of the Council on Aging in one California community.
At the initial COPA gathering, much of the guiding wisdom for how future meetings might be organized was provided by people in their 70s and 80s, such as: “To remain vital, we need a mix of social/learning/leisure/contribution.” How perfect a reminder to anyone who serves seniors — reverse mortgage professionals obviously included — that as people age they become not a group apart, but more of who they’ve been, with a blend of needs and desires to enrich and fulfill these later years.
Consider the Sun City Poms, Arizona cheerleaders whose minimum age requirement is 55, along with the requisite “dance skills of rhythm, agility, poise, energy, and showmanship for performing. Acrobatics and baton twirling are a plus.” Wow! These women are weaving their social, leisure, learning and contributing into a bountiful blessing for everyone.
In his brilliant essay on conscious aging, Rabon Delmore Saip, a presenter at the COPA meeting, quotes developmental psychologist Paul Baltes: “One of the great challenges of the 21st century will be to complete the architecture of the human life course.”
The seniors reverse mortgage professionals serve today are playing a vital role in constructing the future of humanity, as they (and we) reinvent what it means, and what it “looks like”, to be “old”.
Do you know your prospect’s ‘buying style’? Here are some traps to avoid and ideas to shape more productive conversations.Continue reading
There are some excuses you should be making…especially if you’re tired of waiting for the phone to ring.Continue reading
Don’t let “thank you” get stale! Here are 5 ways to show your reverse mortgage clients that you’re grateful for the privilege of serving themContinue reading