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Thank you and good morning! 3,000! 3,000 what, Tom? 3,000! According to the Newspaper Association of America, “Not too long ago, the average American was exposed to over three thousand advertising messages in the average day. Today, you get that many before breakfast! Everyone is trying to give us more information everywhere you turn. Recently, the networks have added one more minute of commercials per half-hour, and that is just the beginning. Have you seen the ads in bathroom stalls and above the urinals? I was waiting to see how many ladies nodded, “yes!” On grocery register receipts and even in the sand on the beach?” To reach the summit of good health, the average person must now scale a mountain of information before arriving at the facts. Because of the overwhelming amount of information available through television, newspapers, websites, magazines, newsletters and more, I believe Boomers and the mature market will increasingly look for something I have coined “Wellness Sherpas” to guide them on the path to good health.

TR Mann Consulting * www.TRMann.com


Fitness/wellness professionals and active-aging organizations that recognize this opportunity will capitalize and grow their business. So what’s a wellness Sherpa? Well, first I want to ask you a couple of questions before we get started, so that I know my audience. How many of you work for or own a fitness center of some sort? Retirement communities? Assisted Living? Am I missing anything? How many of you have seen me speak before? And you came back? Alright, let’s get started!

The term Sherpa is used to refer to local people, native to the Himalayas, who are employed by climbers as guides for adventures high in the mountains. These guides are elite mountaineers and experts in navigating their local terrain. Climbing Mount Everest without a Sherpa is a dangerous venture. Without the Sherpa’s knowledge and experience, most travelers would be lost at these high altitudes. How is this possible? After all, climbing is as simple as putting one foot in front of the other and heading straight up, right? TR Mann Consulting * www.TRMann.com


Well today, I am going to teach you how to be a wellness Sherpa, so that you can help people break through the clutter of bad information and reach the summit of good health ‌ And in the process, your business will reach new heights!

Tools Needed For Reaching The Summit As a guide, you will need the certain skills and tools:

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Know The Terrain The first tool is the most obvious: knowledge. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most difficult tools to obtain. You must read, read, read—and then study. Your clients don’t have the time to read and study the latest developments in health and wellness. But if you do, you will become a trusted resource. According to an annual research study of Boomers conducted by The Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) in 2007, less than one in five people are very satisfied with their ability to maintain a proper weight, and only 10% feel they are in good shape. In addition, just 18% are very satisfied with their ability to eat a healthy and nutritious diet. Why are today’s Boomers having so much difficulty with wellness? One reason for their inability to make good choices is that they are simply overwhelmed with information. One-third of Boomers rate themselves as confused about what to eat for good health, and two-thirds feel a healthy lifestyle is more difficult to maintain as they get older. As Boomers become flooded with more and more information regarding health and well-being, it becomes difficult to sort the good information from the bad. TR Mann Consulting * www.TRMann.com


Is coffee good for you or bad? What about one glass of wine? Should an exercise session last 10, 30 or 60 minutes? And is that one set of exercises, or three, when strength training? No wonder Boomers are confused! Call it “paralysis induced by information overload.” Your job is to show people the path and keep them moving. One of the best ways to do that is to show them that you’ve done the research.

Wear A Light

“Concealed talent brings no reputation.” - Desiderius Erasmus

To be a good Sherpa, you need to be recognized as a leader. If you keep your knowledge to yourself, you’ll be leaving others in the dark, and they won’t know who to follow. Shine your light. Then others will recognize you as a leader. Writing blogs or electronic newsletters is a great way to establish yourself as an expert. (If you are an entrepreneur, this is a must.) Of course, getting published in traditional media also works. Although it is best if you can write something and get it published, it also helps if someone writes about you or quotes you in a story. Still, it is not as hard to get published as you might think. Most organizations with publications, newsletters and websites are starving for relevant content. Recently, our team created a direct mail piece called TR Mann Consulting * www.TRMann.com


The Quill, for one of our clients, The Cardinal at North Hills, a retirement community in Raleigh – who incidentally we met at the very first ICAA conference I ever spoke at … Martha, are you out there? Anyway, The Quill is a direct mail piece, disguised as an 8-page newspaper. Why? Because we recognized that to be invited into a person’s house each and every month, we needed to create something of real value for the reader. Here are the simple instructions I gave to my talented staff: Involve, Inform and Inspire. Think about those three words carefully. I promise you, if you use them to guide your marketing efforts, you will be seen as an expert—a true Wellness Sherpa — and people will respect you and trust your decisions. Do it well and you will become a Wellness Sirdar (Sherpa leader). Even better, forget about marketing; use these words to guide all of your actions and you’ll start to experience major success. Let’s tackle these words one by one:

Inform

My favorite article in this issue is how to keep your mind sharp, written by The Cardinal’s Martha Grove Hipskind. Why? Because this audience is truly terrified at the thought of losing their memories (as am I). Anyway, loaded TR Mann Consulting * www.TRMann.com


with research, we are doing them a real service by providing them with real information. Look at some the topics we cover: Restaurant review; social networking on the computer; The Doctor is in, what you need to know about glaucoma; what’s your community WalkScore (www.walkscore.com)?; grand parenting tips … The Quill is written in a newsy, editorial manner with very little traditional advertising. I should mention, though, The Quill includes a pre-postage paid business reply card that makes getting more information on The Cardinal VERY easy. I can tell you, many moons ago we I created this format for Erickson Retirement Communities, they benefited immensely from the goodwill created from providing dozens of valuable fact-filled articles, offering real information each and every month (in fact, roughly 50% of Erickson’s leads came in through The Erickson Tribune). I expect the same result for The Cardinal. We do a similar newsletter for Johns Hopkins ….

Inform

Do you have this opportunity? Absolutely! My team at TR Mann Consulting produces a monthly electronic newsletter … that many of your receive, for not a whole lot of money, brimming with valuable health tips that can TR Mann Consulting * www.TRMann.com


easily be passed on to friends and family for another one of our clients who is also here, Conductorcise. I can tell you this; these actions will go a long way towards establishing you or one of your staff members as an expert, and engaging the power of reciprocity. Make sure you always include photos of your experts and your salespeople. You want your prospective customers to feel like they know you when they come in for their appointments. Remember, you don’t really need to convince people to be healthy; they already know that. Instead, focus on making it easy for them. Give them information and services that make staying healthy easier. Also, think about how you position your message. Half of Boomers are driven to a healthier lifestyle to look better. Playing on this vanity issue may be one way to increase compliance to a healthier mindset, as evidenced by the astronomical growth of the cosmeceuticals and plastic surgery industries. I should point out one final tidbit while we’re talking about winning followers through a newsletter. Several years ago, AARP did a study that included terminology. For the record, the mature market reacted very negatively towards the term exercise while the term active tested very positively.

TR Mann Consulting * www.TRMann.com


Here’s another example of “Involve.” My team and I started a group on LinkedIn called “Mature Market Experts” for anyone serving the senior market in any capacity. Incidentally, this group now has over 800 members. We also created an accompanying blog, which you can find at MatureMarket-Experts.com. The blog, where we publish news, stats, and stories … usually about three times a week, establishes us as experts. And we’ve solidified that by inviting other outside experts to join us. This blog here was written by Laurie Orlov, one of the nation’s premier experts on technology and how it applies to aging. There’s a host of other writers, which is beautiful because that means we don’t have to write every day. In short, other people are doing some of my work. By the way, in addition to establishing us as experts, the blog helps our website, TRMann.com with Search Engine Optimization.

TR Mann Consulting * www.TRMann.com


Finally, I take the URL from that blog and I write a short blurb to accompany it for postings in relevant LinkedIn discussion groups that I belong to. You can belong to a maximum of 50 groups. Some of these groups have hundreds and thousands of members. So by posting links in the discussion groups, I’m reaching over 1 million people for FREE. What this does is drive additional traffic to the blog and our website. But remember, this only works if you are creating real value for your reader. Which is a lot harder than it sounds. This can’t be a non-stop commercial for your company. Your blog entries need to be about your reader NOT you. You have to believe in building relationships. In short, that you will win through osmosis'. By the way, you’ll see here’s the LinkedIn ICAA discussion board. When you get home, join both the Mature Market Experts LinkedIn Group, and the ICAA’s. TR Mann Consulting * www.TRMann.com


Inspire

Do you have inspirational members or residents in your wellness/fitness center? Do you retell their stories as often as possible? If not, you should. In addition, you should capitalize on these stories as PR opportunities. Many individuals search for new meaning in their lives around “retirement”—after all, society tends to devalue you after you retire. Tell your customers how valuable they are to you and your team. The best way to tell stories about inspirational individuals is through the press and your newsletters. The effect? Other people look at those stories and think, “I want to be involved.” Very often their next thought is, “Man, I want to live or work out at a place where people are doing cool stuff.” PR is even more powerful than advertising, because it comes across as an unsolicited recommendation. I guarantee you that the stories you don’t yet know about your members or residents will amaze you. Time spent getting to know these individuals deeply—so that you can discover these stories—will be even more important in the end than the PR itself. Your members/residents will feel a

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real connection with you. They’ll know they belong and are cared for. Plus, most people love being stars!

Inspire

• Hmmm, show them something inspirational! Here’s the link to the Erickson Wii Video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pzp8S_7ys pM

Many moons ago, when I was in charge of advertising at Erickson Retirement Communities, my team created this video about the residents Wii bowling. This was before other communities started using the Wii. I should also note that the web team that created this was incredibly brilliant and was continually coming up with good ideas like this one. Now first, let me state that this idea unequivocally came from and started as a “marketing idea”. But what it grew into …. And the life and excitement it created in the communities was incredible. The residents REALLY got into this … they were talking smack to each other … it was great. And the excitement it created in the community was equally powerful. This video and the series we created got picked up all over the place, all over the country. The internet, newspapers, and TV networks. The value it created and the way it portrayed our residents … as cool, active people … was priceless.

TR Mann Consulting * www.TRMann.com


Involve

Next up is involve. One of my clients is GRAND Magazine, a national online magazine for today’s active grandparents. GRAND, along with one of our advertisers, Humana, created a contest for the GRANDparent of the Year award. This is an example of involving GRAND’s readers and Humana’s customers and potential customers. How can you involve your customers? How about a fundraiser where your members or residents run/walk to raise money? Even individuals who don’t contribute monetarily to the fundraiser can contribute by running or organizing. The opportunities to involve your customers are endless. Don’t want to do a fundraiser? How about a contest? Have fun with this idea. You can do memorable things such as a takeoff on the TV show “The Biggest Loser”; for example, the most miles or most days at the center. At the Tribune, we had a contest for almost everything— cutest pet, best photo, best recipe—any excuse for people to share themselves with us. Again, your goal is to get people involved. Invite people to participate in your walking club, or organize good nutrition classes at a great restaurant (you don’t think everything you do has to happen in your center, do you?). Building relationships extends beyond your customers. And there are TR Mann Consulting * www.TRMann.com


plenty of opportunities to bring the outside world in. Of primary importance is a strong website. Our experience with clients is that roughly 70% of people use the Internet when shopping for a health/fitness facility. Think of it this way: The Internet has replaced the yellow pages. Your site should provide people with the opportunity to connect in many of the ways we have already talked about.

Have The Proper Attire

You wouldn’t climb Mount Everest without the proper attire, and you shouldn’t try to run a business without the proper attire. Part of being an expert is looking and acting the part. How can you apply this principle? Have uniforms, badges, clipboards, as well as other things needed to become the expert. Add to your credentials by using press releases, videos, association memberships, public speaking, framed licenses, honors— you get the point. I’m always impressed when I go into the office of my colleague, Dr. Gary Applebaum. He must have 600 framed advanced education degrees. Instantly, I know he’s a smart person. Also, you must practice this consistently … which I know many of you in the fitness industry have a hard time doing for various reasons … but you and your team need

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to remember that YOU, don’t want to blend in with the members. You are the expert!

Enjoy The Journey

I love this photo of Maestro Dworkin from Conductorcise along with Dr. Landry from Masterpiece Living. If you don’t know these two gentlemen, you should make it a point to meet them. There are both prime examples of people enjoying the journey. We are blessed to be in a profession where we can truly improve people’s lives. It’s a journey we should enjoy. People want to follow people who are having fun. Even on days when you are not feeling motivated, it’s important to act the part. Your ability to motivate your customers is the key to more of them reaching the summit.

TR Mann Consulting * www.TRMann.com


Resources

• • • •

Mature-Market-Experts.com LinkedIn’s Mature Market Experts and ICAA TRMann.com Leave your business card and I’ll send you this PowerPoint with Transcripts

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Profile for TR Mann Consulting

Becoming a Wellness Sherpa - How to Become A Recognized Expert In Your Field  

Tom Mann presents on becoming a Wellness Sherpa at the International Council on Active Aging, 2009. In an age of information overload, becom...

Becoming a Wellness Sherpa - How to Become A Recognized Expert In Your Field  

Tom Mann presents on becoming a Wellness Sherpa at the International Council on Active Aging, 2009. In an age of information overload, becom...

Profile for tmann
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