Converting 10 senior living prospects to move-ins in a month sure sounds like an impossible task! It’s right up there with monthly goals like walking 100 miles, reading 4 books, doing 20 random acts of kindness to strangers, or losing 10 pounds.
With the right mindset and strategy, they’re all achievable goals for most people. Since we are not fitness experts, we will steer clear of advice in those areas. We do have advice on what needs to be in place to accomplish double digit move-ins.
Here are our five tips for senior living sales success.
5 steps senior living salespeople can take to get 10 move-ins in a month
What is one trait that most successful businesses have in common? Culture. It is common in most industries to talk about creating a sales-focused culture, but even in 2023, sales is still perceived as a dirty word in the senior living industry.
It is imperative to remember that in the senior living industry, sales equals helping people.
The biggest complaint I hear from staff in other areas of senior living communities is, “Sales will move ANYONE in,” because they’re worried about staffing ratios and how they’re going to care for those new residents.
Big-picture thinking, though, would realize that more residents equal more revenue, which in turn affords the community the ability to hire more staff at competitive wages. In a sales-focused culture, EVERYONE should want to move in more residents each month.
An excellent sales culture starts with the recruitment process. Sales is introduced and emphasized at the very first interaction. Recruiting for positive mindset and a “We can do this” culture is the first step to achieving high occupancy.
A common new move-in delay is the assessment process. Common culprits are a lack of communication, lack of urgency, and a weak or non-existent assessment system. A move-in should never be pushed back due to inability to complete the assessment timely.
Every community should have well-documented systems and processes in place for new resident assessments. This process could look different for each community – it’s what works for YOUR team.
Communication between departments is key. Sharing an assessment schedule calendar and communicating between the departments during morning stand-up will prevent the clinical team from being caught off guard. Coordinating with nurses at your sister communities in the area is a great backstop in the event of an absence or other scheduling conflict.
3. Be strategic about your sales and marketing activities
All too often, we see the activity logs in our clients’ CRMs filled with meaningless activities. We’re talking about dropping off flyers and brochures at area businesses that don’t have the clientele to refer to your community; attending networking groups that really don’t have members that overlap with senior living; spending excessive time creating posts for the community’s social media accounts; or ‘just checking in’ calls and emails to prospects without setting a next action step to name a few we’ve seen.
Instead, your strategic marketing plan should map out your path to successfully meeting your monthly move-in goal. What should be in your plan?
- Tap into your CRM database to uncover prospects that are “low hanging fruit” prime for a follow-up call. Pull the Post-Tour Prospects T90 days – these are the prospects who have experienced your community, have been considering this for some time, and have had multiple contacts. This is your “low hanging fruit” – not the “new leads” who we think will move quickly. We could stop here, because this is a sure-fire way to get to 10 move-ins a month.
- Utilize your CRM to the fullest. We’re talking about logging all activity, recording calls, taking detailed notes, always scheduling next steps, and following the discovery path to truly get to know prospects and their needs.
- Nurture relationships with the professional referral sources in your area most likely to refer prospective residents. Geriatric care specialists, case workers and discharge planners at hospitals and skilled nursing facilities, elder law attorneys, financial planners, and clergy have tremendous influence with seniors and their loved ones. Forming and maintaining valued relationships with them will pay off in the long run.
4. Believe in your product – and your team
A sales team member who does not believe in the community is a liability. Apathy about or a lack of confidence in the community shows during discovery and tours. We talked earlier about the importance of the sales culture, but the community’s culture of caring for its residents is equally – if not more – important for the entire team to buy into. Rely on regional and corporate team members to assist with any obstacles that are in your (or a teammate’s) way of believing in your community.
If YOU don’t believe you can move in 10 residents a month, then it will never happen.
5. Tour and inquiry training
There is such a thing as a bad tour. A bad tour can drive a hot prospect to your competitor’s door in no time flat. As a sales director, it’s imperative to continually train all staff members (yes, ALL staff members) in the community on etiquette when they encounter a tour. Staff meetings are the perfect time to grab a few staff members and have them shadow you on a mock tour. Have a tour tip sheet available for all team members: a grab and go tool that maps out the tour and prompts answers to common prospect questions they may be asked.
As a sales director, unless you want to work 24/7 (you probably already feel like you do) you need a back up team. Work with your executive director to establish a backup team who can handle inquiry calls in your absence.
Train the backup team in your procedure for handling inquiry calls. Practice with them often.
Converting 10 prospects to move-ins in a month is not impossible. It takes confidence that it can happen, a positive mindset, sticking to a winning strategy, and the entire community team’s involvement. You need to have a plan and a process, communicate often, work through challenges, strategically plan time in the highest impact areas, and identify any gaps in your processes and address them before they become larger problems.
Ready to take your senior living sales success to a new level by empowering your sales leaders to achieve their goals? 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.