Growing Epidemic of High Pressure Sales of Senior Products

The stock market is lower and the prices of everyone’s homes are declining to various degrees. These events and the economic aftermath of September 11, 2001 loom large in the minds of senior’s in today turbulent economy as they are strapped for cash to pay for increases in their daily living. But many companies and sales people are “selling the fear” to motivate seniors to make decisions on housing, health care and other financial services products. The messages of fear are bombarding seniors daily from the phone, television, web and mail.

Direct mail pieces have targeted seniors in the reverse mortgage industry and life insurance industries promoting “government approved” programs and making them appear to come from and be endorsed by government agencies. Other seniors have told us of senior housing sales people constantly calling and pressuring them to sell their homes and move into their facilities. Is this what seniors will receive if they attend a “free seminar” or put their name on a raffle list at a senior event?

While seniors should be protected, what is the difference between an effective salesperson and harassment? Some might argue that harassment is a valid sales technique….but probably not for seniors.