5 Steps to Warm Up Cold Senior Living Leads

How many times have you looked in your CRM and noticed the cold lead numbers growing? 

Statistically, most senior living sales databases are heavily weighted in COLD leads. If a customer doesn’t move quickly through the funnel, or if they aren’t reached on the first or second call attempt, they often go COLD.

Companies vary on closing out leads. We have known some companies that do not close out cold leads closed until 20 call attempts have been made, or the prospect has passed. Even then, bi-yearly flyers are sent in case they know someone who may be looking. 

It is no wonder some people have a negative opinion of sales in senior living.

Cold leads are diamonds in the rough

It takes a special sales counselor to open this cave of wonders and find the hidden gems! Playing the detective, and combined with a determination and polite persistence, databases can be less “cold heavy.”

Finding out the following from the prospect may get results in warming up a cold lead:

  • What needs do they have that are not being met? 
  • Where are they on the journey? (This one is important. Creating a timeline with moving in at the end is a valuable sales tool.)
  • What is their emotional state? 

Once you can identify where they are, you have to meet them with grace and wisdom.

Meet the family where they are  

The chances of them fitting neatly into your sales cycle are slim. Each family is different and their journey is different. Yes, we see the same common themes, but complacency and making assumptions are the enemies of sales, so do not assume. Instead, ask and learn.

If you can’t go forward, go deeper  

Learn about your customer. On the one hand, delving deep into a cold lead conversation is rewarding. You may make someone’s day. On the other hand, not following through is a broken promise. Continuing to connect builds meaningful trust with the family and elevates you to a trusted advisor who helps them take the next steps forward.  

We all know situations can change on a dime. David Hopkins, Sales & Operations Specialist with Grow Your Occupancy, shares: “I reached out to a cold lead and the situation had changed. Instead of her mother needing care it was her father. The father had continuously covered and made it look like her mother was the one needing help. One bill to collections and the daughter realized what was going on. If we had been able to establish an in-person visit, we would have been able to help divert the disaster that awaited her. Making specific and customized recommendations helps the family know we are listening and become a trusted advisor.”

5 steps to warm up cold senior living leads

  1. Go back to the last notes in your CRM. (If you do not have notes, please call Grow Your Occupancy ASAP! We need to talk!). What was the problem?  Ask yourself why a solution wasn’t found. What is the specific problem they need help with? Start a conversation where you left off with a simple statement of fact: “I understand you started your search a year ago,” or “Your mom went through a long bout with pneumonia a few months ago.”
  2. Brainstorm with your team to determine the best advice to provide your customer. What should the prospect do, decide or think about? Where are they “stuck?” How can you help? It may be something tangible – a service to help the process along. It may be emotional, something they need time to talk through.
  3. Deliver uniquely. Sending another brochure will surely end up in the trash and cause more annoyance than helping. Perhaps send them a custom video sales message by email. Or schedule a senior move specialist or organizer to come to their home and provide 2 hours of “help” sorting their stuff. Often a simple home visit to learn more about your prospect is all they need to build a stronger connection and help them decide, “I want to live at your community.”  
  4. Be consistent. Think polite persistence. They raised their hand, be it a day or a year ago. They asked for help. It’s our job to continue the effort to be of service.
  5. Treat your “cold” leads as “new” leads. Start a brand new cadence of connecting. Do not space attempts weeks and months out. If a prospect has been in the database many months – or years – they are often the ones with the highest need today. Scheduling a call in 6 months does not help anyone in this process.    

Remember, we are experts, and families sometimes need our guidance to avoid the woulda, coulda, and shoulda. 

Ready to take your senior living occupancy growth success to a new level by warming up your cold leads? Grow Your Occupancy provides the sales coaching, accountability, onboarding, playbook, and marketing expertise essential to your senior living sales and marketing success. Learn more about Grow Your Occupancy here. Or book your free 30-minute consultation today.

5 Tips for Implementing Facebook into Your Senior Living Marketing Plan

Once the domain of teens and young adults, social media is now widely accepted by older adults and has become a part of their regular lives. According to a 2022 Gallup poll, 69% of all US adults aged 55 and older have a Facebook account, and 60% use it daily or weekly. 

What’s the takeaway from this data for senior living sales and marketing professionals? Not only are your prospects utilizing Facebook in a big way, but so are their adult children. Here’s how to capitalize on seniors using Facebook by making it a part of your senior living marketing plan.

5 tips for implementing Facebook into your senior living marketing plan

Why focus on Facebook and not other social media avenues? 

In that same Gallup poll, we see that only 13% of adults 55 and older children are utilizing Twitter daily or weekly, and only 21% are on Instagram daily or weekly. Dani Merlino, Grow Your Occupancy’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, shared this story: 

“My sweet Gram is on Facebook despite her account being hacked about 15 times now! When I start to talk to her about other social media platforms, her eyes glaze over and she thinks it’s all nonsense. Facebook was the first platform she dared to try and it’s going to be the last. It took her four years to figure out how to post and to understand that when she was commenting on my pictures the rest of the world could also see her comments (which led to some fun conversations). Between Facebook and television that’s about as much technology as she can handle for the day. She knows how to use it to get neighborhood gossip. Why fix something that isn’t broken by adding more social media platforms?” 

How to capitalize on the 60% regularly using Facebook

Older adults are definitely using Facebook, so how do you use that to your senior living community’s advantage? Engage with them! Respond to their comments on Facebook. It will make them feel special that they were heard and acknowledged. 

Tailor your posts to be most enticing to them by post pictures instead of long written content. When you do post written content, be sure it is meaningful and relevant to them. 

Make Facebook fun and engaging by holding regular giveaways! Your prime audience loves freebies. Getting the freebie into their hands also creates prime opportunities to either visit them at their home or invite them into your community.

Consider Facebook ads. You don’t need to be a paid ads wiz to do this. Facebook allows you to easily boost most posts, within a budget of your choosing. Plus, you get to pick the call to action like a phone call, initiating a chat, or a visit to your website. 

How to make your Facebook ads relevant

Merlino shares: “I once worked with a digital advertising agency that designed an ad for one of my communities in a rural setting. The ad read, “Luxurious community with a 5 Star feel. Enjoy our fine dining.” It is a 40-bed community out in the middle of the country, surrounded by farmland. Our typical prospects were not interested in a luxurious community and fine dining.” 

What’s the takeaway from this story? Know what is important to the demographic you’re marketing to. In that story, that community’s residents were interested in a small-town feel, with home cooked meals and all the comforts of country living. Your Facebook ads should be realistic and not misleading. Be wary of using stock photos: do they really look like your residents? Do they portray the lifestyle your ideal prospects are seeking? Consider using images of your actual residents (with their permission) for your Facebook ads. 

Targeting options for Facebook ads

Facebook considers ads for senior living communities to be in the Housing Special Ad Category, therefore the ad targeting options like age and gender are not available. Facebook does target housing ads to users within a 10 mile radius of the community so they definitely are worthwhile, especially considering you can set your budget per ad as low a few dollars and still have a high likelihood of getting a few clicks.

Be strategic about including Facebook posts into your marketing plan

Let your short-term sales goals inform your marketing strategy, including a schedule of Facebook posts that reach the ideal prospects. For example:

Do you have a glut of independent living studio apartments? Plan out 5 meaningful Facebook posts per week that include pictures of actual residents participating in activities and partaking in your community’s nice amenities. Boost one of them as an ad each week.

Do the approaching winter months mean the likelihood of frigid temperatures and severe weather? Utilize resident testimonials to showcase the benefits of worry-free and maintenance-free living. 

In today’s world where more people are on Facebook than are receiving the daily newspaper, and you can advertise on Facebook for a minute fraction of a print ad, don’t count out Facebook as a key part of your senior living community marketing strategy.  

Ready to take your senior living occupancy growth success to a new level by incorporating Facebook into your senior living marketing plan? Grow Your Occupancy provides the sales coaching, accountability, onboarding, playbook, and marketing expertise essential to your senior living sales and marketing success. Learn more about Grow Your Occupancy here. Or book your free 30-minute consultation today.