Three Sneaky Sales Tactics and Your Best Defense

Especially in today’s economy, communities are finding it difficult to keep their units filled. You should be prepared for pushy salesmanship when you go into to visit. Here’s what to watch for:

The limited-time offer: If the sales department is desperate to make sales, there is a chance that they might offer you an incentive to make a deposit. These are usually something to the effect of: If you give us a 10% deposit within two months, we’ll give you $10,000 off your apartment. Other incentives include free upgrades, discounted nursing days, and additional services.

If you have already decided to move into senior housing, keep this tactic in mind. Your best bet is to narrow your search to a handful of communities, visit them all within the span of a week, and make your favorite ones compete against one another for your business. Be warned, however, that the sales counselors are usually on good terms with one another. If you mention having another community in mind, the counselor might just call that community’s sales office to compare notes.

The pressure sale: The sales counselor might try to guilt you into moving in by insinuating that you could be a burden on your children or that you will be lonely if you don’t move into their community. The other common argument is that you could have a major health issue and need emergency care, leaving your loved ones to pick up the pieces.

The best defense against this technique is to be honest with yourself and your children about what would happen if you were to become ill. If both you and your children have a plan for how to handle extended illness, then you won’t have to worry about answering questions from a prying sales person. Even if you don’t move into senior housing, you might end up downsizing to a smaller home, getting rid of extra possessions, or buying long term care insurance.

Also, if you are worried about being lonely in your home, consider the benefits of living in a community, but don’t let the sales person make you feel like his or her community is the only way to become more active in social life.

Blasting competitors: It’s not uncommon to hear unprofessional sales people saying disparaging things about competitors in order to dissuade you from visiting the other campuses. It’s always possible that they are telling the truth. But, do your own due diligence. Call the other community and find out the truth. Better yet, visit the community and see for yourself. In most cases, the sales person spreading the rumor is the one that is to blame.