How Many Calls Does Your Senior Living Sales Team Make Per Month?

How Many Calls Does Your Senior Living Sales Team Make Per Month?

Senior Living CallsRecently, I received an email from retirement counselor at a four-year-old Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in California.  He talked about being busy making 500 calls per month.  I asked if that was 500 calls for just himself or was it 500 calls for the team of three senior living sales people?  The answer was 500 calls for the entire team.

Just an FYI for administrators and senior living sale people – 500 calls for a senior living sales team of three is not great.  Each retirement counselor should be personally generating 300 calls or more in order to increase the occupancy.

We track database calls with all my senior living sales teams.  For the month of October, one of my CCRC marketing directors rocked with 469 calls.  Even with all her responsibility, she set the pace.  One of the retirement counselors generated 340 calls and another made 315 calls.  These three team members produced 1,124 calls in one month!  This included inbound and outbound calls.  This CCRC team is one of the hardest working teams that I have ever encountered.

What is the result?  Tours, tours and tours!  What comes from tours?  Move-ins!  Move-ins increase your occupancy and generate revenue.  How many calls are you and your teams creating per month?  Do you track it?  You should!

Please share your success, failures or comment below 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 at Amazon.com with a 5-star rating.  The book is required reading at George Mason University as a part of its marketing curriculum.  Within this book, the author developed a sales & marketing method with 12 keys to help senior living providers increase their occupancy.   Masson developed this expertise as a marketing consultant, sought-after blogger for senior housing and a regional marketing director of continuing care retirement communities in several markets.  She has also been a corporate director of sales and a mystery shopper for independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled care nursing communities in multiple states.  Most recently Masson was recruited to consult for two debt-free Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Southern California – Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California.  Interestingly, this career started when she was looking for a place for her own mom and helped her loved one transition through three levels of care.

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15 Comments

  1. I’m curious if it was 469 connected phone calls resulting in a two-way conversation or were some of those calls voicemails? Our team does a high volume of calling but it’s challenging to get people to pick up the phone.

    • Great question Karen. The total calls included left messages. It does not include no answers. If you leave a great message, many will call back. It is important to leave a great message. Document the message in your database system and next time, leave a message on another topic.

  2. Diane,
    I’ll chime in… 500 calls is an average of 20 calls per day… divided by 3 – Not Good.
    One campus I put time in at, had one individual of the “team” averaging 20 calls an hour, 3 days of the week when not driving the bus. (checking on individuals who had visited, called, or requested information… and that was in e-mail’s infancy.) Team totaled 3.

    I guess it depends on the number of campus units, waiting list, (if one exists), and how well known the Campus is. It’s not hard selling Santa Barbara… :-) It may be enough if 95% occupied… definitely NOT enough if 70% occupied.
    Depending upon the size of your calling base, you do not want to be “badgering” individuals either or you’ll be perceived as “pushy”. My trick was to track date, time, and a tid-bit of their story… then when calling back I would reference whatever we last discussed; whether that was the death of a pet, an operation or condition, or a celebration which they experienced. The call has to be dynamic and meaningful to both parties… My .02
    Joe

  3. Hey Joe, great comments and I guess you need the rest of the story. 300 calls a month with 10 tours a week will equal sales and move-ins. Obviously, the most important thing is move ins! Move ins come from great tours. Only 20% of people walking in will decide on a retirement community on the spot. So sales people have to be great at follow up phone calls and digging through the database to resurrect interest. Typically I recommend touching everyone in your database on a quarterly basis. Hot leads should be weekly. This marketing director just got 3 CCRC sales in the last week.

  4. Linked In Alzheimer s Association

    I think the point of your article is good – if you don’t measure you don’t have any way to manage.

    First, however, you must carefully define what a call is. It is easy in sales to get into numbers and talk past someone because you do not have the same definitions. Is a call defined to include voice mail, email, snail mail and conversations with a secretary or gatekeeper or, is a call defined as a face-to-face with a decision maker?

    One way you spend a lot of time and money generating very little, the other you have a better chance of success.
    By Rick Morey, CSA

  5. Linked In CCRC Sales & Marketing

    The first question that needs to be asked is if you are talking about connected calls (conversations) or just a sheer number of calls. I only count actual connected calls as it is those conversations that will lead to a progression in the buying process. On a regular day we ask that a sales counselor make between 15 and 25 connected calls. With conversion rates being maximized these numbers will allow that person to be a super star.

    Now the next topic is “How to make your calls more effective”… but we’ll save that for another day!
    By James Kelly

  6. Linked In CCRC Sales & Marketing

    I have a monthly goal currently (Nov 2013) of 53 “connected” calls. That likely translates to 159+ calls to have a real conversation. As most salespeople know you have to make several calls before you can get a “live body” on the phone. Even though I am prospecting seniors they are still actively screening their calls; we figured this out in no time. I look forward to the day when our management also counts email dialogue as a valid activity. More people are beginning to respond this way, it is less intimidating, they don’t have to engage in a conversation and is essentially non-committal. I do, however, understand that engaging in conversation stands a greater chance of getting the appointment.
    By Lesley Sargent

    • It would be great if other people shared their quotas too.

  7. Linked In Senior Living Executives

    We require a minimum of an average of 40 completed calls per week. That does not include leaving messages. I’ve been in this business for twenty years and from company to company I have experienced 40 to be the “magic” number. My team is able to achieve and beat this goal without a problem. As a result, we are full with a waitlist. The recipe works!
    By Dawn Winder

  8. Linked In Senior Living Executives

    Whenever I see a Diane Masson article I usually stop and read it. There is always a point or two from which we can learn, not the least of which is developing good systems to monitor numbers and quality of phone interactions.

    The other marketing or “community relations” issues an experienced and concerned ED needs to insure are present and of high quality include: interesting programming and events that encourage the public to visit the community and experience the food and ambiance in the most positive manner possible (of course having mechanisms to capture accurate telephone numbers and correct spellings of names); CEU’s for area professionals on site so as to inform them of your community specialties and receive their AL, skilled rehab or IL-“failure to thrive at home” referrals; and positioning your community as the “go to” for ‘things senior’ in your region.

    Diane, thanks for keeping us constantly thinking about how best to achieve occupancy goals!
    By Michael Coler

    • Thank you so much Michael. I am glad you find my blog posts helpful. Are you signed up to get my weekly blog posts?

  9. Diane – great article! Too often we see marketers getting “tied down” with residents, paperwork, crises, event planning – anything but calls. After reading your article, I went right to our Retirement Home Software reporting and pulled numbers.

    I found that calls alone can’t be looked at in isolation, the whole conversion cycle must be covered. I ran a quick comparison of all our Retirement Home Software users, and while high call volume definitely supports the sales process, (if you don’t make them, tours and move-ins simply won’t happen) the clients with the highest call volume ironically don’t always have lower conversion rates and occupancy percentages.

    Our analysis shows that it is actually more about the quality of your interactions with prospects, rather than simply the number of calls made – quality, not just quantity.

    • Loved your comment Larry! Quality is the key! What is astonishing is the number of communities in this nation that don’t make follow up calls and wonder why the occupancy is down. Your community is at a higher level. Way to go!

  10. Linked In CCRC Sales & Marketing

    good info, Diane – thanks for the tips!
    By Lesley Sargent

  11. Hi Diane,

    Have enjoyed reading your blogs on seniors which are informative with best practices. This one on “How Many Calls A Month” made us gasp with the large number of calls a sales team is expected to make nowadays. 500 to 1,000+ calls a month must be only cold calling behind a closed door and doing nothing else like sales events, tours, refurbishment oversight, building relationships with future residents, community and church relations, follow up on leads and inquiries, application process, and administrative team projects. The senior communities that you work with that have these high call expectations must have many vacancies and no wait lists. Our performance evaluation as a sales team does weigh on the sales metrics (phone calls inbound and outbound, number of sales/reservations, move-ins, and presentations/appointments). We are having to track everything that we do in our database, including call tracking on direct mail pieces and being available 7 days a week (via phone).

    By the way, the former VP of Marketing for CRC presented me with your book and I’ve read it from cover to cover – great work!

    Nancy
    Director of Sales