5 Goal-Setting Tips for 2015 Sales Success

5 Goal-Setting Tips for 2015 Sales Success

Senior Living Goal Setting for @015Are you ready for a high-occupancy New Year? Did you hit your sales and occupancy goals for 2014? Congratulations, if you did. If you did not, draw a line in the sand and start over for 2015.

Here are five goal-setting tips for you and your senior living sales team:

  1. Have a goal meeting with yourself and then with your boss.
    • What is the budgeted occupancy?
    • Do you have enough walk-in traffic and leads in your database to generate the sales you need?
    • Should you create some events to bring in new faces?
    • Are you proud of the first impressions of your senior living community?
    • What is your competition doing? Have a plan to differentiate yourself from them. Remember, no negative…
  2. Determine your “A,” “B,” and “C” players (the definition of “A,” “B,” and “C” players is HERE) and what each of their sales goals will be.
  3. Meet individually with each of your sales people. “A” players will automatically believe they can hit the 2015 goal. “B” players will believe after you individually coach and believe in him or her. “C” players will usually whine or complain about the goals. (Your coaching may turn them around or you may need to let them go if they don’t want to WORK to hit the goals.)
  4. Have a kick off meeting for the New Year or a marketing retreat. Acknowledge ALL good and great sales performance from 2014. Your “A” people will love the recognition. “B” people will be proud of their accomplishments. Everyone will thrive in this format and feel supported in achieving their personal and team sales goals for 2015.
  5. Implement a weekly and monthly tracking system to determine if your team members are on track or need additional coaching support.

Good luck and have a great 2015!

Photo credit: www.stylipics.com

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.  Currently, Masson is setting move-in records as the regional marketing director of 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 2014 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.
Dead Flowers on Valentine’s Day?

Dead Flowers on Valentine’s Day?

This is the arrangement the next day...

This is the arrangement the next day…

My sweetie didn’t intend to send me dead flowers for Valentine’s Day.  He saw a beautiful arrangement online and had it delivered to my office as a special surprise.  When I opened the box the flowers were closed, dried out, brown on the petal edges and shockingly in no water.  What??!!?  I pulled them out, read the lovely note from husband and put them in water to save them or bring them back to life.  My husband was upset when he saw them and said he never would have ordered them if he had known they would arrive in this condition.  He thought he had ordered flowers from a florist and they would arrive like the picture shown.

This Valentine snafu reminds me of how adult Boomer children select a retirement, assisted living, memory care or skilled nursing community based on the size of the apartment and what the lobby looks like versus the quality of care.  Almost every Boomer child wants the best for his or her parent, but some judge senior living community solely on external appearances.

In multiple states, I have encountered loving caring staff at senior living communities that have not been recently remodeled, with small apartments or don’t have enormous acreage.  It is very challenging to market these properties, but I have witnessed some amazing sales people overcome this dilemma.

They say the best defense is a strong offense.

Here is what one marketer said in Washington state about tired furniture in the lobby: “We don’t have a big brand new building with a lavish lobby entrance but what we do have is a very comfortable loving family atmosphere where our residents are the focus of our care and attention.”

In Utah, a retirement counselor working at an independent retirement community that needed remodeling would say: “We don’t have all the bells and whistles of the community down the street, but we are home to 120 residents and you won’t find friendlier staff or residents any where else.  I encourage you to meet some of the residents of both communities and judge for yourself who is happier.  Then decide where you want your mom to live.”

An assisted living community in California with less community spaces says: “Initially our community seems small but it is so much easier for our senior residents to live here on a day-to-day basis.  It gives the residents a sense of security to know they can navigate the community without getting lost.”

Does your senior living community live up the pictures in your brochure and what the sales people promise?  It’s never good to show a wonderful picture and deliver poor quality, like when I received the dead flowers.  If you don’t have the ideal gorgeous community, you can still be proud of providing the best care and services to your residents.

Please share your successes, 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.  Currently, Masson is setting move-in records as the regional marketing director of 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.

 

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

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 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

Too busy for Senior Living Sales Training?  Think Again…

Too busy for Senior Living Sales Training? Think Again…

Senior Housing Sales and Marketing RetreatWe are all going a million miles a minute in senior housing sales and marketing.  The phone is ringing, walk-ins show up unannounced, preparing and managing monthly events, helping our move-ins get settled, getting new sales, hand-holding upcoming move-ins, weekly meetings, reports and the list goes on and on.  Many sales people eat lunch with prospects and work way past 5:00 PM.

These are the exact reasons that you do need a sales training.  Call it a marketing retreat.  Take a moment to get off the work treadmill and breathe.  Rejuvenate and refresh the team.  Remember why you love serving seniors and connect with some like-minded colleagues.

Pick a few topics that need improvement or clarity.  Have a sales and marketing consultant or regional manager organize the retreat format.  Make it fun…with prizes and a nice lunch to pamper them.  Have it be all about improving their performance, so they can become more successful.

Depending on the size of your senior living company, some make the sales retreat experience a half-day, a whole or several days.  It’s best to bring all the communities together at one time or break it down by state or region.

The marketing retreat goal should be – creating an opportunity for each senior living sales person to gain new knowledge and feel inspired. The sales people need to feel supported and appreciated by corporate and know that each of them are valued as individuals to the company.

Next week, I am going to talk about how role playing can help senior living sale people.

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 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

Deciding To Use Incentives Or Not In Senior Living?

Deciding To Use Incentives Or Not In Senior Living?

Incentives in Senior HousingWhat Is The Best Incentive You Have Ever Given In Senior Living?

Discounting can be the owner’s operational nightmare and the sales persons best friend.  Incentives cost the company money and affect the bottom line.  Just giving away one month of rent can cost $2000 – $6000 depending on the retirement community.  Yet, empty apartments are losing revenue month-after-month.  Should you or should you not use incentives?

I believe that incentives can permanently ruin some sales people.  Some sales people can ONLY sell apartments with incentives.  When the gravy train stops they don’t know how to just simply sell an apartment at regular price to a senior.  Seriously?!?  In my opinion, this is right up there with someone who is simply an order taker in senior living.

The benefit of incentives is bumping up the occupancy to get ahead of the move outs in a very short period of time.  Every senior living community has to look at their financials and determine what is best for them.  If you have more two-bedrooms than one-bedrooms, an incentive on two-bedrooms can create balance again in your inventory.  It is a funny thing in our industry – how every five years the surplus of a certain size apartment switches.  Right now everyone seems to want a one bedroom…

Here are some common assisted living and independent living incentives:

  • One free month
  • The fourth month free
  • No move in fee or a discount on the community fee
  • A free TV
  • A moving or downsizing allowance

Continuing Care Retirement Communities can use the same or different incentives:

  • 90 – 100% Returnable entrance fees
  • A percentage off future healthcare
  • Paying for the move completely
  • Discounting apartments that are the farthest walk from the dining room
  • A discount off the entrance fee if a prospect commits to moving in within a short period of time

Do you use incentives?  Which ones?  Which incentive in your career resulted in the biggest flurry of sales for your retirement community?  My favorite incentive of all time was a 100% returnable entrance fee at a new community that I opened.  It worked like a charm!  Within months, 70% of the building was spoken for, so we could start construction.

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 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