Role Playing Can Help Senior Living Sales People Improve

Role Playing Can Help Senior Living Sales People Improve
Role Playing Can Improve Sales Performance

Role Playing Can Improve Sales Performance

Some senior living sales people know it all!  Do you have one of these?  Others are like sponges and thrive learning a new technique or improving their sales performance.

Role-playing as a team can help standardize sales techniques. This could happen at a weekly sales meeting, but I think a retreat format can be more effective.  It’s hard for a senior living sales person to switch off working and jump into role-playing.  It’s better to set the stage in a comfortable atmosphere.  Last week we talked about the importance of a sales and marketing retreat to rejuvenate and inspire the team.

Here are some great topics to role-play:

  • The opening greeting and questions for a walk-in prospective resident
  • Discovery questions – make sure seniors don’t feel interrogated
  • Giving a “wow” tour
  • How to prevent objections
  • A variety of closes
  • Asking for the deposit – multiple times

In a team environment, there are always stronger sales performers.  Have them role-play first.  It makes them feel valued and other sales people can learn from them.  If no one on the team knows how to do the role-playing topic correctly or it’s a new technique, always teach by example first.

Everyone hates role-playing, but boy does it work.  Watch the sales increase and your occupancy go up, up and up.

Please comment to join the conversation and interact with other senior living professionals on what is currently being effective to increase occupancy on a nationwide basis.

Diane Twohy Masson is the author of Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available for sale at  Masson’s book will be required reading at George Mason University in the Fall as part of the marketing curriculum.  She is currently consulting with Seniors For Living and two debt-free Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Southern California – Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California. Connection and partnership opportunities: Email:


  1. The cost of getting a prospect through the front door or on calling in on the telephone is so expensive per contact, communities cannot afford to have their sales staff get their practice on those opportunities. Role playing allows the staff to practice on each other so that they are prepared to make the best presentation when an opportunity arises. The cost of not doing sales training with role playing is much greater than not doing it. Role playing has been done in the new home sales industry for years, for exactly the same reason – it makes economic sense.

    • Great comment Jim! Companies cannot afford to not role play! Leads cost a fortune.


    Interesting concept. I am interested to learn more. We used to have an owner who would stop in, unannounced and ask for a tour. He almost always did it when there was a new administrator or key employee on board. It kept us on our toes.
    By Diana Delgado

  3. LinkedIn Marketing to Seniors

    Great advice. I actually “fake-sell” with my sister who is my most honest critic. Find a good friend or family member to role-play with; it’s worth the time.
    By Carol Harvey

  4. LinkIn Healthcare Marketing

    I think role playing is an excellent idea. I also think these facilities need coaching in order to enhance staff work performance by having the tools in place to handle challenging situations. The awareness will equip staff to be proactive instead of reactive, this will in turn decrease staff turnovers, and the quality of care will attract more clients which will increase profits. I have been consulting Assisted Living facilities for 18 yrs and the experience acquired can be supremely useful for the business, also providing new, fresh ideas while giving guidance and integrating coaching techniques that will put these facilities in a place where they are not only taking care of these seniors but also supporting them on a spiritual and emotional level. The facilities using these techniques/exercises will be a step ahead of the others.The goal is to have all the facilities be able to benefit from coaching. The Administration as well as their staff need the awareness coaching can give them in order to provide a service that until now has not been provided, caring for their residents on a physical level as well providing a spiritual and emotional balance.
    By Hortensia Pineda

  5. LinkeIn Healthcare Marketing

    Role playing can enhance the coaching experience by participants practicing with each other and using the techniques they learn. I think this compares to on the job training lol it’s not the same hearing it than putting it into practice.
    By Hortensia Pineda

  6. Linked In Assisted Living Professional Network

    “Doing” works much better than discussing or reading to teach a skill like selling. Role play is absolutely one of the best ways to work through rough patches and reduce or eliminate any hesitations or timidity while building confidence. Practice makes perfect!
    By Robert Sweeney


    I agree Diane. It’s amazing the number of salespeople that hate to role play though.
    By Michael Miller