There are endless choices today for seniors and their families when the time comes to consider a move to a senior living community. The National Center for Assisted Living reports that around 28,900 assisted living communities are currently operating in the United States. You don’t want to get lost in that crowd!
The single most important point to remember as you market your community and seek to stand out above the competition is this:
For seniors, and for their families, choosing a senior living community is an emotional process.
Of course practical considerations like services and amenities, price, and logistical considerations like staying close to family play an important role.
But in the end it is the way the prospect feels about your community that will determine whether they move in, or move on.
Read on as we explore five key ways to make your senior living community stand out from the rest by connecting with seniors and their families on a deeper level that builds rapport and trust, guides them toward their best decision, and results in increased sales and occupancy.
Five ways your senior living sales team can stand out from the rest
1) Demonstrate genuine empathy and compassion
It’s important to put yourself in the shoes of your potential residents and their loved ones and show real understanding for the unique challenges and feelings that seniors and their families may experience when considering a senior living community. By demonstrating empathy, you create a connection with your potential residents and establish trust.
Compassion motivates you to take action to alleviate their concerns and fears by answering their questions, providing reassurance, and offering resources and support that can help them make informed decisions.
Empathy and compassion will help you build strong, meaningful relationships with your potential residents and their families, and create a positive experience for them during a challenging time. This will lead to more sales.
2) Forget about the sale
Not completely, and just for a little while! But the initial connection with a prospect, whether in person, over the phone, or even over social media, is not the time to try and “close the deal.” Instead, step back and take the time to listen to their needs and concerns (empathy and compassion) and to connect with them on a person-to-person level. This is an essential step because….
3) People prefer to do business with other people who they know, like, and trust
This is especially true when considering a life-changing “business decision” like a move to a senior living community. By taking the time to listen and connect with prospects, and demonstrating empathy and compassion for their difficulties, you will meet the know, like, and trust criteria and be far more likely to eventually make the sale.
4) Make the tour a time to stand out
The customer experience during their tour of your community is another area where, with some thoughtful attention to detail, you can make your community stand out. When hosting a prospect and their family, consider:
- Sending them an itinerary ahead of time, so they know what to expect during their visit, and can budget their time and energy accordingly.
- Have a plan in place within your team, including operations staff, that facilitates the tour while showing the community at it’s best–for example hold off on vacuuming areas where the tour is in progress, having vacant rooms presentable for viewing, etc.
- Make parking easy! This detail gets noticed, especially if you can arrange for valet parking for guests.
- Roll out the red carpet! Meet them at the door, have a personalized welcome sign in the lobby, find out their favorite music ahead of time and have it playing….you’ll never go wrong making your prospect feel as if they are the most important person to ever walk through your doors.
5) Don’t miss following up post-tour as a time to make a lasting impression.
Post-tour follow up is another way to go the extra mile and cement a positive relationship with your prospect. Send a thank you note with a small gift, or even a personalized video message from the Executive Director using a video communication service like Covideo. If it hasn’t happened yet, a visit to your prospect’s home may be in order. No matter what, stay in touch, always be helpful and give prospects and families the time and space they need to make a comfortable and happy decision. If you’ve followed the steps listed here, there’s a great chance their decision will be to move into your community!
That concludes our list, but be sure to register now for Grow Your Occupancy’s complimentary Sales Leadership webinar on Wednesday, March 22, 2023, where our CEO, Julie Podewitz, and a panel of expert guests will discuss this topic in more detail. See you there!