Naturally as a Home Helper you’re a friendly, patient, and compassionate person with a desire to help others, so don’t worry about this initial meeting – just be you, remember to smile and listen.
If you do just those three simple things then the chances are your meeting will go well, but it doesn’t harm to go fully prepared, so here are our top tips:
Sounds obvious, but make sure to reread the client’s job post and highlight what their requirements are. Clients will find you trustworthy and capable if you can show that you know a little something about their needs.
Know exactly where you’re going, so you don’t get lost and arrive late.
People form instant emotional opinions of each other, that’s why the first 30 seconds of any interaction is really important to building a lasting relationship. Smile, look them in the eye and be open.
Dress professionally, but not out of character and in a way that makes you feel competent and comfortable. Ask yourself what message your clothing is sending to your clients.
Break the ice with some small talk before getting to their care requirements, which some might find a difficult topic to address. From the very beginning your role should be focused on ensuring they feel comfortable and at ease in your company.
As a Home Helper you will be great company for your client, so show them from the outset that you’re happy to be there. Smile, relax and enjoy talking to them. Push any of your personal worries aside and focus on them.
Many older people looking for help are lonely and want nothing more than someone to talk to. Be attentive, focus on the client with great concentration and be interested in what they have to say.
Sit back and really listen throwing in a few words or gestures of support, showing that you understand and you’re interested. It’s a subtle form of reassurance, but a powerful one.
Have a list of everything that you’d like to cover off. Don’t be afraid of asking questions as it shows you’re organised – this gives the client a reason to trust you.
Take a pen and paper with you and make notes that you can refer to later. Just little pointers to help you structure the meeting and ensure you’ve not missed anything important.
This is not only a chance to fully understand your client’s needs, it’s an opportunity to demonstrate how much you care and how you can really help.
Often when we’re nervous our tendency is to rush in and talk about ourselves. Make sure you listen first and only then share your story and explain how you can help them. Be sure to point out any relevant experience that you have.
If a potential client is asking you more questions, it’s usually a positive sign that they’re considering hiring you. Just make sure you anticipate them, and have some well-prepared answers.
Have examples of any care work that you’ve done in the past or times that you’ve spent with an elderly relative or neighbour.
It’s not just first impressions that count – you’ll need to leave a lasting, positive impression too and arrange a time for a follow up chat.