What is a Senior Living Sales Person’s Deepest Desire?

What is a Senior Living Sales Person’s Deepest Desire?

Appreciating Senior Living Sales PeopleOne of the greatest human desires is to be appreciated.  A lack of appreciation is the number one reason why a senior living sales person takes a job at another retirement community.  Did you know that a person could literally go insane with a lack of appreciation?  It’s true!

Have you analyzed yourself lately?  How are you at appreciating your senior living co-worker, your family or even your spouse?

Are you already defending yourself inside your head?  I thought that I was doing a good job too, until… my senior living sales teams started a new book review.  Yes, we started reading one of the greatest books every written – “How To Win Friends and Influence People,” by Dale Carnegie.

Do you have a favorite book that you refer back to every year or two?  This book is mine.  It suddenly puts me back on track to be a caring human being again.  It’s funny how we can get in a rut without knowing we are in a rut.  We get so busy and focused on accomplishing the goals that we forget to treat people the way we would wish to be treated.

The book suggests highlighting key phrases to refer back to and reading each chapter twice.  Here are three great principles that I need to utilize everyday:

  1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
  2. Give honest and sincere appreciation.
  3. Arouse in the other person an eager want.

Every single one of my team members commented on how he or she treats a senior living prospective resident better than a co-worker or family.  Do you?  Do you want to start a new habit today?  It is up to you…

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.

© Marketing 2 Seniors| Diane Twohy Masson 2013 All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog post may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author, unless otherwise indicated for stand-alone materials. You may share this website and or it’s content by any of the following means: 1. Using any of the share icons at the bottom of each page. 2. Providing a back-link or the URL of the content you wish to disseminate. 3. You may quote extracts from the website with attribution to Diane Masson CASP and link http://www.marketing2seniors.net For any other mode of sharing, please contact the author Diane Masson.
Getting Ahead of the Curve of Senior Living Attrition

Getting Ahead of the Curve of Senior Living Attrition

Senior Housing MarketingEvery organization approaches goals a little differently.  Some senior living communities set sales and occupancy goals that are never achieved.   Each month and year the occupancy dips a little lower with constant resident attrition.  How do you get ahead of the curve?

Well, someone needs to create a sales and marketing strategic plan for your individual independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing care or Continuing Care Retirement Community.  The plan needs to be implemented and every sales person and operational team member needs to be on board.  The focus should be on the simultaneous goals of serving the existing residents and increasing the occupancy with new move-ins.

There are twelve keys that I have developed to increase the occupancy of all types of senior housing.  Some keys can be implemented immediately for quick results and other keys are a process that can take some time to develop and execute.   The bottom line is these twelve keys work and it is my joy to reach 100% occupancy.  Here are the keys in a nutshell; the details are contained in my book called Senior Housing Marketing – How To Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full:

Key 1 – Attitude toward Occupancy – Turn Your Change into Dollars

  • Occupancy-driven Marketing Reports that will Wow Your CFO

Key 2 – Quit Blabbing! Control the Flow of Information

  • Tip: Five Steps to Controlling the Flow of Information
  • Decreasing Apartment Availability
  • Create Urgency for the Wait List

Key 3 – Dare to Differentiate Yourself from Your Competition

  • Keep the Waiting List FULL through Branding

Key 4 – Do You Have Proactive or Reactive Marketing?

  • Effective Follow-Up Inquiry Goals
  • The Typical Behavior of the Average Prospective Resident
  • Follow Up – When and How Much?

Key 5 – Building Value for Your Community – Giving a Wow Experience!

  • “How much does an apartment cost?”
  • Let them push up the price point

Key 6 – Great Events can fill Your Building

  • What is the timing of an effective program?
  • Step-By-Step Event Planner Guidelines

Key 7 – Never Say to the Customer…

  • Use health services words that add value and differentiate you from the competition!

Key 8 – Selling to Personalities

  • Are you selling to their personality type—or yours?

Key 9 – Hard or Soft Closing?

  • Hot Buttons
  • Objections
  • Recognizing Buying Questions
  • Types of Closes
  • Make Urgency!

Key 10 – Internal Customers – no need to worry about them, right? Wrong!

Key 11 – Join the Twenty-first Century with your Website, E-mail Blasts, and Social Media

  • How can you save money building a website?
  • “I just don’t have time to be responsible for social media…”

Key 12 – Media Buying, Public Relations, and Community Relations with a Skinny Piggy Bank

  • Keeping the costs affordable in the marketing plan
  • The magic three to build attendance at an event

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.

© Marketing 2 Seniors| Diane Twohy Masson 2013 All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog post may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author, unless otherwise indicated for stand-alone materials. You may share this website and or it’s content by any of the following means: 1. Using any of the share icons at the bottom of each page. 2. Providing a back-link or the URL of the content you wish to disseminate. 3. You may quote extracts from the website with attribution to Diane Masson CASP and link http://www.marketing2seniors.net For any other mode of sharing, please contact the author Diane Masson.
A Simple Mind Shift to Increase the Senior Housing Occupancy

A Simple Mind Shift to Increase the Senior Housing Occupancy

A Simple Mind Shift to Increase the Senior Housing OccupancyOne of the most common mistakes in senior living sales is believing the potential senior resident when they say, “I’m not ready yet!”.  Please, please, please – don’t believe them.  When you hear those four common words, simply change them to “I am scared”.  It is so hard for a senior to give up their home of 30, 40 or 50 years and make a move.  Just the idea of packing up all of their worldly possessions can be overwhelming.

Be professional, reassuring and always ask them their timeline for making a move.  If they say they will move in a year, it will really be 6 months.  If they say 5 years, it’s really about 2 or 3 years.  You simply take the number they say and cut it in half, then you nurture that relationship with a touch every 3 months.  If you do this already – way to go!  Congratulations, because you are in the minority of senior living sales people.

Most senior living sales people, hear “I’m not ready yet” and bury that lead in their database.  In our world of instant gratification, sales people just want to grab the people who say, I am ready now.  Well guess what?  Those are only 20% of the sales, so if your occupancy is down – here is probably why!  80% of seniors need to be listened to, nurtured and coddled into moving in.

Increase your senior housing occupancy today with this simple mind shift!

Please share your success, failures or 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 Amazon.com.  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 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: diane@marketing2seniors.net

13 Quick Tips to Increase the Occupancy by 3%!

13 Quick Tips to Increase the Occupancy by 3%!

  1. 13 Quick Tips in Senior LivingFocus on personal and team occupancy goals (visualize success).
  2. Expect the entire senior living sales team to have a good attitude.
  3. Treat every initial lead as hot until they cool off.
  4. Listen to prospective residents and solve their problems.
  5. Don’t listen when they say, “I am not ready yet.”
  6. Give a wow tour!
  7. Introduce prospective residents to multiple residents and staff.
  8. Always inquire about a senior’s timeline on making a move.
  9. Ask for the deposit – every time.
  10. Have fun.
  11. Represent a beautiful and clean retirement community.
  12. Call potential senior residents or their boomer children the next day after the tour.
  13. The sales team needs to believe and treat every walk-in or Internet lead as though they are ready to move in now!

Please share your success, failures or 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 Amazon.com.  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 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: diane@marketing2seniors.net

No hot leads?  Seriously?!!?

No hot leads? Seriously?!!?

Hot LeadsAre hot leads attitude or reality?  I say attitude!  Some senior living sales people expect a prospective resident to walk in and say, “I have my house on the market and I’m ready to move into your retirement community.”  How often does this happen?  It could happen 20% of the time.  This means 80% of the time, a sales person needs to build a relationship, document it in the database and do the dreaded follow up phone calls.  Oh yeah, it’s called work.  If it was easy selling senior living, retirement counselors would be paid minimum wage.

With proper nurturing, over time, a cool lead can become warm and a warm lead can become hot!

Too many senior living sales people say they don’t have any hot leads.  Yet, if you were a little mouse on their shoulder, while they met with a senior….  This is what you might hear the prospective senior resident say, “I’m not ready yet (NRY).”

In sales they say, don’t listen to the first no.  Well I say, don’t listen to the first 10 NRY!  The senior can still be a hot lead (ready to move in a few months)!

NRY simply translated means I am scared.   It’s hard for a senior to give up their home of 30, 40 or 50 years and move.  It’s a lot of work.  The more time they spend at your retirement community the better.  They will fall in love with your residents.  Then the senior can decide they will gain more by moving into your retirement community, than what they are giving up.

The mindset of the sales person dictates how many hot leads they have.    Believe – truly believe the seniors are ready to move in sooner than what the prospective resident actually says to you.  Typically just cut the time frame a senior says in half.

Please share your success, failures or 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 Amazon.com.  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: diane@marketing2seniors.net

15 CCRC Move-Ins in One Month?!!?

15 CCRC Move-Ins in One Month?!!?

CCRC Team SalesThen add another 17 Continuing Care Retirement Community move-ins scheduled for these two California CCRC’s in the next 3 months…This has been the result of a good work ethic for the previous 3 months.

  • 300 calls per month per sales person
  • 20 tours per month per sales person

The sales will come when the work ethic is in place – trust me – it works.

Break the monthly goal down to a daily goal of 15 calls and one tour per day.  A new senior living sales person can easily do it.  A director of marketing with sales responsibilities can do it too.

In order for the two senior living sales teams to have this much success – they need to be backed by amazing operational teams that support marketing 100%:

  • First, you need to have enough leads walking in the door and coming to events.  Hopefully your corporation supports marketing with an adequate advertising budget.
  • Do you enjoy a great reputation of serving excellent food?  Our chef is a tremendous support to my teams and makes events and tours memorable.
  • How is your health care reputation?  Do the local hospitals and doctors recommend your assisted living, skilled nursing or memory care?  If they don’t  – fix it now!
  • Guests need to drive up and see beautiful landscaping, a well cared for building and an ultra clean retirement community.  It may be time to remodel if it’s been 10 years or looks tired.
  • Friendly residents and smiling staff – these two can make or break sales and my communities have both!
  • Can prospective senior residents SEE your residents having fun with an amazing calendar of events including regular live entertainment, exciting outings and themed meals?  Seniors won’t move to a boring retirement community.
  • Transportation can even increase sales by their willingness to pick up prospective residents and bring them in for a tour or an event.

So set a monthly sales goal for your retirement community and have everyone participate in achieving it.  When the sales come, it is not for the glory of marketing, it’s an entire retirement community’s achievement.  Everyone wins and the residents love having new vibrant seniors to connect with at dinner and activities.

Please share your success, failures or 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 Amazon.com.  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: diane@marketing2seniors.net