Take the journey with us as we share senior living and 55+ sales best practices for attracting and nurturing prospects during this time, as well as tools you can use to connect with them while following social distancing guidelines.
Before we shift gears, it’s important to understand why we need to change course during these times.
Have your sales office’s phones been quieter lately? Are web inquiries slowing down? If so, you’re not alone. A recent Enquire Solutions study shows the decline in the number of inquiries, tours and senior living and 55+ sales over the past two months.
So, where do we go from here? What has helped our clients during this time is having tools and resources in place to complement the adapted lead generation and nurture strategies we recommended. This includes marketing automation software and a sales representative responsible for managing incoming calls and emails. Having senior living and 55+sales resources in place is important during the best market conditions and even more so now given the impact COVID-19 has had on businesses.
RECOMMENDED INQUIRY MANAGEMENT PROCESS
Web form completed, or phone call received
Salesperson responds with a personal touch via phone or email to begin discovery process; utilizing sales tools and resources provided during training
If no contact is made, schedule a future activity in database (1-2 weeks out) and continue that process until connection is made
If no contact is made after 3-5 tries, move to a colder lead status in your database
Weathering the Storm
The next logical path is to your existing leads. Since across senior living and 55+ sales the number of new inquiries via phone and email are down, now is that time to work those leads in your database.
Spending time re-visiting your existing database now can be fruitful for your community once it opens back up. Prospects will remember who reached out to them when they were feeling lonely, and who offered resources and tools to improve and add value to their lives. Outreach during this time should be about spending less time in the selling zone and more time in discovery finding out more about the prospect’s current situation and any challenges they may be facing. Here’s a simple outline for how you can transform this down period for new inquiries and tours into a successful one.
Set a time to think, plan and move!
Morning, afternoon, evening, weekends – pick a time you work best
Complete daily scheduled senior living and 55+ sales activities
Working in a customer relation management system makes it especially easy to keep track of your outreach to prospects
Maintain HOT leads
These are folks who are going to be your first sales once this is all over
HOT leads are typically those people who are considered to be depositing 30-60 days
Right now, that would be from the time you are able to allow for sales or admissions
Follow-up on new incoming calls and leads (within 24 hours)
Catch up on past due activities
Address those emails and calls that were piling up prior to the crisis
Navigating a New Senior Living and 55+ Sales Process
If you’ve ever been part of Creating Results’ sales training courses, you know that we’re typically focused reducing the number of touchpoints from inquiry to sale. Now we’re adjusting our sails slightly to redefine the success of calls, emails and virtual tours. Even with all the challenges that COVID-19 has brought to senior living sales, you can still communicate with prospects and build trust and brand loyalty with them. When they’re ready to make the move, you’ll be at the top of their list because for the work you put in at a time when other communities took their foot off the pedal.
Asking more thought provoking questions, like “what are you doing to pass the time?” or “what are you looking forward to the most when this is all over?” can tell you a lot about what they may be seeking in their future community.
If you’re using virtual communications (Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc.), you can and should treat it just as is if the prospect were sitting across from you. Having your “virtual filing cabinet” at the ready doesn’t mean that you show them your entire website, your collateral, your floor plans and everything on screen. A “virtual filing cabinet” is a way to showcase, and what your prospect sees value in, your community. The difference is that it’s done through virtual means and digital assets that your community may have readily available. eBrochures, video tours, online floor plan tools, and more can bring the same experience from your sales office to your virtual meeting – all tailored to what they want and see of importance in their move to your senior living or 55+ community.
We Are on This Journey Together!
So, while much of the process of senior living and 55+ sales remain the same, there are a few key takeaways during this time. Slow down, clean-up your database and when you can connect with your prospects, be more empathetic!
This has certainly been an interesting time for our industry, but much in the way we’ve faced challenges before, we will come out on the other side and there will be sunshine again.