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
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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.