Madly rushing into the building, the gentleman paused briefly, took a wild look around, and then came charging full speed directly at Cindy. Fortunately, he stopped immediately in front of her . . . blocked by her desk but leaning on its top with both arms. Clearly frazzled, eyes wide, hair tousled, he exclaimed in one big breath, “I can’t get my mother out of the car! She’s refusing to come inside! What am I going to do? Should I just forget about it for today?”
Smiling at this memory from her years as sales and marketing director at senior living communities, she admits the same situation happened more than once. The beloved senior had agreed with the family’s plan to visit and have lunch at this remarkable assisted living community where they just knew she’d love to live.
Their mother, despite having previously agreed to the visit, had now gotten a case of cold feet at the last possible moment she knew she could control: in the car, out in the parking lot, and she wasn’t about to budge.
Explaining why she never worried about the defiant senior and, in fact, understood, Cindy shared her beliefs about what was occurring in the parking lot.
“If you were ever the new kid in school, if you ever had to walk into a classroom or a business or a new job, someplace where you presumed everyone knew everybody else -- except nobody knew you, and you didn't know a single soul -- then you can relate a little to what’s happening in the car. Add to the mix that expectations are high, the senior’s feelings are mixed at best that this is even a good idea, and it’s no wonder that just going home forever seems like a pretty darned good idea right about now.”
The plan to diffuse the situation was simple and always the same. It’s clear Cindy doesn’t believe in reinventing the wheel. She uses what’s available to her, tweaks it in tiny bits to make it senior-centric and personal, fills it with empathy, and then marches forward.
“Basically, I just went outside to meet them. I made the same reassurances beside the car that I normally made in the lobby at our first meeting: a warm handshake, eye-to-eye contact, a genuine smile, and a sincere message that ‘I’m so glad to finally meet you!’ Then I‘d tell my guest how our time together would be spent, how we’d talk together first, get to know each other a little, discuss what’s for lunch, and then we’d take a look around . . . then I’d ask them if this sounds like a good plan. I’d give them back some power and control.”
At this point, if not before, seniors began to speak their mind (often volumes), which makes the plan only a broad outline.
Cindy continues, “I’ve even sometimes guaranteed an escape -- that if at any point someone got uncomfortable and wanted to leave, that’s okay, too. I’d even walk them outside!” She assures me no one ever left the building, and honesty beside the car always worked to encourage a look inside.
Cindy believes that seniors need to feel as though they’re still in control, that you’re hearing what they say, and you’re there for THEM. They need to know, like and trust you before they do business with you.
I asked Cindy how she came to understand seniors and their needs so clearly. She says the answer comes in two pieces: training during her early professional career as a sales and marketing representative for major consumer products companies, and then finding her true passion of working with seniors and their families.
“I had an opportunity to combine what I’d been doing successfully (sales and marketing) for years with what I cared deeply about, seniors. By that time in life, my own parents, with whom I was very close, were in their declining years, and I was their primary caregiver. Director of sales and marketing for senior living communities was a perfect fit.”
“As always seems to happen, though, time passes and situations change -- or in this case, continue to decline -- and one continues to learn about unanticipated parts of life (or business) that come as a surprise. Home health care, hospice, and many other disciplines came to my life that way. I used all of it and more to write my published book, Graceful Last Chapters: Helping Seniors Who Need More Care.” here/link.NEED TO DO
In answer to the question whether she has always enjoyed writing, Cindy answers, “Always. For as long as I can remember.” Memories prove her right.
Birthdays, Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day, holidays, no holidays, just to say, “I love you” . . . I always made my own cards as a child, drawing a picture and writing a special message on them. They were a huge hit. I was surprised how many of them my parents had kept over the years.
I was always the kid in school whose paper was read aloud by the teacher when she was ready to return a writing assignment. Good news/bad news: I was after the “A” I received, but I felt the heat from the other students.
In high school I started to learn that anytime I had a chance to express myself in writing, I had a chance of doing well -- at least with that part of the test. Multiple choice? Fill in the blank? Forget it. Is there any doubt why I became an English major?
In college, grad school, and law school, writing continued to be my strength. New style requirements, new formats and guidelines, endless topics . . . I loved it all and did really well.
Cindy recently developed her own business, Martindale Copywriting, that specializes in select projects for the Senior Care industry. She chose to concentrate on Case Studies, White Papers/Special Reports, and Key Message Copy Platforms because of their value in boosting business profits in a shortened sales cycle.
“It’s like I tell my prospective clients: I know your industry, your needs, what you’re trying to accomplish . . . and I also know your customers’ needs. With seniors, it’s all about HOW you relay the message. Copy has to sound like you’re talking with them in person. You have to see them, get inside their minds, and care about their needs, interests, feelings, fears, and concerns.”
That’s exactly what Martindale Copywriting does. It provides copy so seniors and caregivers can begin to know, like, and trust you and your business. And that’s the path to building long-lasting, deeply beneficial relationships that can create change.”
As this interviewer wrote before, it’s clear Cindy doesn’t believe in reinventing the wheel. She uses what’s available to her, tweaks it in tiny bits to make it senior-centric and personal, fills it with empathy, and then marches forward.
As she would claim about her copywriting business and the Senior Care niche, it’s a “perfect fit.”
If you have questions or want to know more about Cindy, you can email her (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call her (708-910-8179) any time that’s convenient.