Get your pen and paper! As senior living sales and marketing consultants, we are often asked “What can we do to drive more move-ins?” Regardless of the type of community or market, we have found five key activities that consistently lead to improved sales.
1. Home Visits: love them or hate them (and we know many of you do), home visits have proven time and time again to advance a prospect in the sales process. Meeting prospects on their own turf not only provides an opportunity to observe how they live but, more importantly, promotes a greater bond between you and the prospect who is more likely to ‘open up’ and share his or her stories and aspirations.
2. Creative Follow-Up: creative follow-up is a fun and impactful way to demonstrate to your key prospects that you listened to their story and understand what’s important to them. Prospects often decide whether and where to move based on their feelings toward a sales person. Creative follow up is a surprising, unexpected and personalized way for you to demonstrate that you understand, that you hear them and, most importantly, that you care.
3. Planning Sessions: often two (or more) heads are better than one when it comes to strategizing ways to advance a prospect. Planning sessions involving all members of the sales team, and potentially other staff members such as the Life Engagement Director or even the Executive Director, can often help strategize ways to advance prospects who are “stuck” and help get them to the next logical step in the sales process.
4. CRM as a Sales Tool: a good CRM can be a sales person’s best friend. Not just a reporting tool, a robust CRM, such as Sherpa, can help advance the sales process by prompting you to journal each prospect’s stories, thoroughly understand their situation and develop a follow-up step for each interaction. In addition, a robust CRM can benchmark your progress against similar communities and show where you are spending most of your time, whether in the selling zone, outreach zone or non-sales related activities. A good CRM shouldn’t waste your time inputting data, but help you become a better sales person!
5. Active Listening: the best sales people spend more time asking questions and actively listening to the answers. The key is to ask the right questions and listen to what is being said and, more importantly, what is not being said. The greatest psychological need someone has is to be heard. We are doing prospects a great favor when we genuinely tune into what they are saying and truly listen to them. Remember, you don’t talk anyone into buying anything; you listen them into it.
As senior living sales people, we work in a field where we can learn some amazing stories about the people we meet. Learning and understanding your prospects’ stories and legacies will help build a trusting relationship which, in turn, advances the sale and leads to more move-ins.
Find out more about our semi-annual StoryTree sales training. It’s a fun and interactive way to learn sales strategies which have proven to result in higher conversion rates and improved occupancy.Register for StoryTree