The Handwritten Note – And 6 Reasons Why You Should Make Them a Sales Habit

Senior living is a high-touch, emotional business. In our ever-growing digital world, technology is taking on a greater role in sales almost before our eyes, but there is still tremendous value in a truly personal touch.

During a recent sales workshop a top sales director was asked to share her tips and tricks. Her response, “I don’t have any. Just do the work. Be consistent. Stay focused on selling, make your calls, plan your tours, practice your skills, make strong outreach connections. Most importantly, personalize the experience.”

Since buying decisions are heavily influenced by our emotions, creating a personalized, meaningful experience is critical in senior living sales success. A simple example of personalization is the hand-written note.

I’ve been thinking about the hand-written note a lot lately. I talk a lot about doing them in the course of the prospect’s journey. I’m curious how many still do, especially in this digital age.

When the student is ready, the teacher appears

Recently, a sales associate shared a move -in success story. He is focused on creating hand-written notes, especially for warm or even cooler database prospects. He committed to (and is following through on) sending five handwritten notes weekly.

Imagine his surprise when the phone started ringing.

Within one month of sending his first batch of notes (approximately 20) he has given four tours and has received two additional phone calls thanking him for his kindness.

He also took a deposit and signed a lease with a prospect he’s been working with – on and off – for over a year. She’s been hot, warm, cooler, warmer, cooler, hot and back to cool. She called him after receiving his note and told him she is now ready to move forward. When asked what is was that prompted her today she said, “Your cards and notes have meant the world to me. You didn’t give up, even after I cancelled two tours. No one else has been so kind. You even remembered my birthday.”

We all love the sales that happen quickly, the prospects who speed through the sales funnel. The truth is though, most don’t. The salespeople who continue prospect conversations with personalization are rewarded with unexpected “bluebirds” that fall from the sky; the sales that seem to come out of nowhere.

Today’s sales wins (lagging measures) are a result of past efforts (leading measures). That hand-written card mailed six months ago is still remembered today.


6 reasons you should be sending out handwritten notes

  1. Your competitors aren’t doing it. It sets you apart from the other senior living communities your prospect is considering. It keeps you at the top of their mind.
  2. It’s a tangible reminder of their connection with you. The envelope with your name in the return address and the card with a recap of your last conversation will help them to remember their connection with you a lot longer than the email that was deleted as soon as it was read.
  3. It’s respectful. It’s a statement that older adults can relate to and appreciate – because it was once a common courtesy that has mostly disappeared from today’s society.
  4. It’s a guaranteed open. In our digital world of tracking opens on emails, we’re lucky if we get more than a 20% open rate. A personal, hand-written note in their mailbox will almost certainly be opened.
  5. It’s an opportunity for a next step. The note can include an invitation to visit the community for lunch, for example. That will then give you an opportunity to follow up with a call: “I’m calling about the invitation to lunch I sent you…”
  6. It is an efficient use of your time. Writing a handwritten note takes less time than several unsuccessful call-out attempts.


Are you writing and sending out handwritten notes as part of your regular sales routine? Have you made it part of your company’s sales procedure? I’d like to hear from you about your successes with handwritten notes! I’d love to hear from you! Email me at [email protected] – or better yet, drop me a handwritten note to me at:

Grow Your Occupancy

Attn: Julie Podewitz

5500 Maryland Way, Suite 320

Brentwood, TN 37027


Ready to take your senior living sales success to a new level by elevating your executive directors to community sales leaders? Grow Your Occupancy provides the sales coaching, accountability coaching, and sales-skill coaching essential to fill that important role. Learn more about Grow Your Occupancy’s sales coaching and training here. Or book your free 30-minute consultation today.