Few would argue that the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t been devastating. But, when with think about how we are leveraging technology, we may find a silver lining. Think about it, if we were not pushed by quarantines and lockdowns to start conducting virtual meetings and tours, we might never have taken the time to learn how. For many senior living communities, these apps have become indispensable, getting you as close to that in-person meeting or tour as possible.
If you’re already dialed in to virtual meetings and tours, you are already prepared for the future. There’s no sign that you’ll be returning to the meet-in-person world any time soon. Even when things start to open up again, there will be an initial hesitation among families to venture back through your doors.
If you’re one of the many senior living communities who are not making good use of virtual meetings and tours, it’s time to start!
For those of you who may still be struggling with using these new tools, you’re not alone. I talk regularly with senior living marketers who are still grappling with implementing these technologies, let alone using them effectively.
Here are a couple of roadblocks that may be getting in your way:
- Concern that your prospects (of a certain age) will be reluctant to use these new technologies and that your virtual sales efforts will meet resistance.
- Uncertainty of your own ability and that of your sales staff to master these technologies and become adept at selling “virtually”.
As for concern #1, the good news is that many older people are already using technologies like Facebook, FaceTime, and Zoom to stay in touch with their children and grandchildren. Some are even consuming streaming services for weekly services, civic group meetings and book clubs! In other words, if you’re using the technology, chances are they are too.
Concern #2 is more challenging because, behind the worry about sales experience and skill, tends to be a lack of having the right tools and technology in place from the beginning.
Here are three areas you should be looking at:
- Virtual Meeting Technology: While there are plenty of solid virtual meeting products on the market, Zoom seems to have become the standard for novice users which, most likely, your prospects are. It is very easy to use and inexpensive (even free, in some cases). Facetime is also an option for those who are not as comfortable with Zoom. Keep in mind, however, that FaceTime is an Apple product so users (sales and prospects) need to have iPhones or iPads. It doesn’t yet have a scheduling capability, but that will likely change in later versions.
- Virtual Tour Technology: This dynamic technology is wide open right now with no real standards in place. Some of you may already have a virtual tour capability on your website. The key is to make sure these tours are easily accessible to your team, so that they can quickly turn a virtual meeting into a tour, as well as embed them in follow up emails.
- Sales Technology: The key to all of this is integration with your CRM. Your CRM should be able to instantly launch a virtual meeting or tour and record the conversations. Every meeting has a “next step” and your CRM should require that it is scheduled and can’t be ignored. If you want to know how our Continuum CRM accomplishes all this, give me a call. I’ll be happy to walk you through it.
While we’re on the topic of technology, a few words on bandwidth. Nothing ruins an online meeting or tour faster than a bad internet connection! Bandwidth is more important now than ever and it is worth every penny you spend on it. So, if you think your bandwidth capacity might become an issue, now is the time to negotiate an upgrade with your service provider. You’ll be glad you did.
There is much more to cover, and my next blog will focus on the do’s and don’ts of conducting virtual meetings. For now, however, here’s my advice. Pay attention to what’s out there, acquire the tools you need, and become adept at using them. And, finally, make sure your CRM can handle it all!
Give us a call at 800-570-6030 and see how Continuum CRM can improve your sales and marketing effectiveness without breaking the bank. Or, feel free to visit our website www.continuumcrm.com to learn more.