I cringe every time I hear a sales counselor say “I’m calling to check-in.”
Let’s face it: you’re not.
Checking in is the sales counselor’s way of carefully testing whether or not the prospect likes them enough to take their call.
The hope with the check-in is that they’ll tell you they are ready to move to your community. Unfortunately, the check-in call is the least effective way to gauge whether or not your prospect is ready to become your resident.
Check-in calls are also the absolute best way to get sucked into a conversation with no purpose and no end in sight. Checking in gives the prospect an excuse to talk to you about everything under the sun, except whether or not they’ve decided to make the move to your community.
Make Purposeful Calls
Always, always, always have a purpose for your call. There are dozens of reasons to call your prospect, but every call should lead to a subsequent action.
Prospect engagement and the ability to move them through your pipeline depends upon a mutually agreed upon plan for your next interaction. The prospect agrees to an action and you agree to follow up on that action.
Engage with Prospects Effectively
There are many steps to agree upon in order to keep senior living prospects engaged with you and your community.
After an appointment you may agree your prospect will go home, reflect on the residences they were shown that day, and decide whether or not they’ll become a part of your wait list.
Or, you may agree it is time for them to start cleaning out the forty years of stuff that has prevented them from getting where they want to be: your community.
Keeping detailed notes of your interactions and your next steps is the easiest way to remember what each party agreed to do and when. Use your CRM to your advantage. Make a note of the next step, schedule it on the agreed upon day, and refer to it when calling.
Use Your Community Calendar
Your community calendar gives you virtually unlimited opportunities to engage with your prospect and invite them to have an authentic resident experience.
Prospective residents get excited about the chance to visit your community when there is entertainment. Invite them to a luncheon, a marketing event, or host them for an overnight stay in conjunction with a resident activity.
Populate the events in your CRM for easy reference, tracking, and reporting. This is a great way to create a historical picture of what kinds of events prospective residents enjoy.
You also get to provide valuable feedback to your marketing and activities departments as to what types of entertainment have the highest prospect attendance. They can plan similar events and activities in the future.
If your community draws from outside your local area, incorporate dinner and a show at a local restaurant and theater for your visitor. It’s a great way for them to become familiar with what the community at large has to offer. Prospects stay engaged with sales counselors who develop unique opportunities for them to experience life as a resident.
Active listening is one of the most important traits of a great sales counselor. Their prospects know they care about them, regardless of whether or not they ultimately choose your community and become a resident.
The counselor knows if they have three children and eight grandchildren. They’ll know that Sparky the Golden Retriever is their entire world and there’s no way they are moving to a community without him. They’ll understand that it’s getting challenging to maintain the home and property, despite the prospect’s love for gardening, and the pain of letting go of a good portion of forty years’ worth of treasures.
Use the task manager in your CRM to remember to send birthday greetings, or as a way to invite your prospect to their favorite community event that only happens once a year.
Senior living prospects love engagement. They want to know that the community they ultimately choose cares about them as a person. They want to know they can express themselves and follow their passions.
Keeping detailed information and notes in your CRM about your prospects is vital to forging the strong relationships that lead to sales in senior living. A sales counselor who excels in active listening will surely excel in engaging their prospect and moving them through the pipeline.
If you’ve done your due diligence, your prospect will gladly take your call and agree to move through your sales process. It will mean you’ve gained their trust and they look forward to working with you. Especially if you’ve built the necessary relationship and gotten to know them on a personal level.
Guiding and engaging with your senior living prospects through the process while showing you truly understand what drives them will make you a more effective sales counselor and ultimately drive move-ins. So please stop calling to check-in.