“We Are Half Sold Out!” – Seriously?

“We Are Half Sold Out!” – Seriously?

We are already half sold out ticketsIf a senior living sales person or ANYONE said to you, “We are half sold out,” what would be your first thought? I bet, it would not create urgency for you to act now.

When I was considering buying comedy tickets at the Improv last night, I inquired if the event was already sold out. The salesperson divulged, “We are half sold out. Getting tickets should be no problem. We are really surprised that only half the tickets have sold two days before the event.” I thought, oh, this comedian is not as popular as I thought. I will wait to buy my tickets. I was actually disappointed that the salesperson did not create urgency for a famous comic.

It was shocking to me that she would be so forth coming and I walked away disheartened. I told her that I would come back later and did. But I decided to not buy the tickets, because apparently I could just show up in a couple of days and buy the tickets on the day of the event. Her over sharing will continue to affect sales until a manager catches it.

The comedy club sales person over shared. What could she have said instead? “Gosh, let me check, I might be able to get you some tickets. It’s very unusual to have this comic coming to our location. How many tickets would you like?” I would have bought the tickets instantly.

Remember that famous Beanie Baby craze of the 1980’s? It was all about urgency for stuffed toys. Yes, I am the proud owner of 100 Ty bears and still like them.

What are your senior living sales people saying? Is your independent living, assisted living, or skilled nursing sales people saying, “I have quite a few rooms to choose from…”? Cough, cough… You will never fill up with this language. Everyone wants something that they can’t have. There is such a thing as divulging too much information. If a family is given the opportunity to put off the decision to move, they will. Ninety-six percent of seniors end up staying in their own home and not moving. Why encourage them to stay home? How about creating a solution for their needs and offering them the perfect apartment in your senior living community?

Every apartment is unique in some respect, such as the floor plan, the view or where it is situated in the building. Create value for every single senior living apartment. Teach urgency and watch your occupancy rise. I go into a lot more detail in my book, “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full.”

Senior living communities have heavy attrition these days, so it can take two or three more move-ins than move-outs to move up one percent in occupancy. It’s always nice to see the arrow sliding up to 100% full.

So have you encountered too much honesty like me? Do you think it is stupid?

Everyone of us knows at least one senior that needs to move now.  Here is a resource to help you or them make an informed decision.  Diane Twohy Masson’s new guide book for seniors, “Your Senior Housing Options,”  is available on Amazon.com with a 5-star rating.  It reveals a proactive approach to navigating the complex maze of senior housing options. It will help you understand the costs and consequences of planning ahead or waiting too long.  Learn firsthand tips from someone who is currently advocating for three aging parents.

Among the thousands of seniors she and her teams have assisted in finding the right senior living community, the most difficult case has been helping her own parent. Masson spent two years exploring senior housing options with her mother before finding the ideal Continuing Care Retirement Community for her. After eight years in this independent living setting, she helped her mother transition into an assisted living community. Seven years later, even as a senior housing expert, Masson struggled with the decision to move her mother into a skilled nursing community.

More related articles by Diane can be found at  Tips2Seniors.com or like Tips 2 Seniors on Facebook.

Diane Twohy Masson has worked in senior housing since 1999. She is an award-winning certified aging services professional and the author of Senior Housing Marketing: How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full for senior living professionals.

Powering Through a Tough Time

Powering Through a Tough Time

Powering ThroughSales offer each of us constant rejection. It takes a strong person to overcome 18 noes to gain two yeses. Some have it in their DNA to power through tough times and others don’t.

  • When you are achieving or exceeding the sales occupancy goals – life is good.
  • Missing sales goals can be painful and agonizing. Will you be fired?

How do you get back on track achieving sales and start boosting a plummeted self-esteem?

  1. Work on your self-talk. Keep that tape running in your head on a positive channel. If you can’t shut down your internal negative chatter try step two.
  2. Listen to positive sales CDs or tapes on your way to and from work. Zig Zigler, Tom Hopkins and Brian Tracy are always great choices to boost your spirits and inspire you with sales ideas.
  3. Make a decision to be grateful.  Think of five things in your life that you are thankful for each morning.
  4. Find an encouraging mentor to be your cheerleader several times per week.
  5. Pray to find joy in helping a senior today. You can improve the life of a senior who is isolated in his or her home.
  6. Read a 25 second poem and get an instant attitude adjustment here.

What have you done to turn your attitude positive?  Will you share your tips in the comments so others can benefit?

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.
Machine Gun Versus Interactive Sales Approach

Machine Gun Versus Interactive Sales Approach

Do you really listen?

What is your senior living sales style? Are you firing off information about your retirement community like a machine gun or do you have a softer interactive approach with future residents?

How a machine gun senior living sales person thinks:

  • It’s very important to give the prospect ALL the information about my community so they can make a good decision.
  • I want to help them move in soon.
  • I give a great and interesting tour of the community.
  • I want to highlight our most popular areas in the community.
  • I want them to try our food and then they will move in.
  • Prospects are busy, so I have to talk fast and get all the key information out.
  • I don’t know why I am not getting more sales, I ask everyone for a deposit.

How an interactive senior living sales person thinks:

  • What is the reason they walked in the door of my community today?
  • I am genuinely interested in the customer.
  • What’s most important for them to know?
  • How can I help them?
  • Through listening, I can customize the tour for them.
  • I’ll highlight the parts of the community that the prospect will utilize.
  • Asking questions to learn how my community can solve their problem is important (Are they lonely, have a lack of nutrition, fear of not being found laying on the floor after a fall, home maintenance too much or have a desire for socialization?).
  • Once they start visualizing themselves living in the community, they will make a deposit.

What is the one word difference between these two approaches? Listening!

Both types of senior living sales people are hard workers and care about the prospective resident. The difference is that the machine gun approach turns off prospective seniors. A senior wants to be understood and needs someone with compassion and kindness to interactively solve their current dilemma. They did not just walk in your community for the free food, they came in for a reason. Listen and learn the reason.

You may be thinking – I do listen to the customer!

Tip: When you do your next tour, determine if you are listening 90% of the time and only talking 10% of the time. If you can get them to talk about their own current living and lifestyle challenges, they will sell themselves.

Please share your style, strategies, 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 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.
Strategizing Initial Tours in Senior Living

Strategizing Initial Tours in Senior Living

Strategizing Initial Tours in Senior LivingEvery senior living lead should have a short-term and long-term strategy.  An initial call-in goal is to get a senior living prospect to come to your building for either a tour or an event.

You should create short and long-term goals for each walk-in prospective resident too.

Here are 10 walk-in tour goals with number one being the highest level to achieve:

  1. The highest level is having the senior move into your senior living community.  Way to go!  You helped them find a solution for their needs.
  2. Scheduling a move-in date – this means their house sold and they are ready to move in now.
  3. Depositing on an apartment – congrats it is a sale!
  4. Coming back to choose an apartment – don’t make any assumptions or they will walk away without selecting an apartment.
  5. Coming back to discuss financial requirements – it helps to have the administrator involved.  It is always humorous for someone with one million dollars to wonder if they can afford your community.
  6. Coming back to discuss health concerns – this may or may not be the official health assessment.  I have had seniors with arthritis wonder if they will qualify.
  7. Coming back to dine with residents – this is usually encouraged by you the sales person.  Let your resident’s magic work on your prospect.
  8. Attending an event – let them imagine the lifestyle of your community.
  9. Touring a second time – invite them back to dine, look at the perfect apartment or meet some residents/staff.
  10. Wanting to ask more questions – this is fantastic, it means they are interested.  Help them find a solution to their needs.

Every walk-in tour should have a follow-up strategy noted in your database.  ALWAYS call them the next day.  Continue building on the relationship from your initial tour.  Then watch your occupancy rise!

Please share your strategies, 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 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.
Who IS Your Competition?

Who IS Your Competition?

Senior Living CompetitionSounds simple – right?  It’s all the companies that provide the same services that you do.  Wrong!  It is so much more than your similar competitors down the street or in your particular industry.

Let’s just use the example of your front desk/concierge/greeter/receptionist.  Whether you are in the hotel business, retail trade or provide senior housing, each customer compares how he or she is treated when they enter your establishment.  So Wal-Mart, The Ritz-Carlton and a Continuing Care Retirement Community are competing.

Customers may call two or three different types of companies in a single day.  Each phone call either provided a great phone interaction and a solution for the customer or some frustration.  Maybe they called to make dinner reservations, a doctor appointment or inquired about their parent’s future care at an assisted living community.  How many rings did it take for someone to answer the phone?  Was their voice clear, distinct and friendly?  Did it sound like they were smiling through the phone or a bit haggard?

A FedEx delivery from an online store, a pizza delivery, a taxi transporting someone to the airport and a driver from a retirement community taking a senior to and from a doctor checkup are all competition.  Was the delivery person friendly and were they on time?  Did they leave the package in the rain or was the pizza cold?

Take time to work with you team on how you can provide better customer service.   Can you think of more examples of competitors who don’t initially seem like competitors?

Please feel free to sign up for my weekly blog.

Diane Twohy Masson is currently writing a new book for seniors on how to select senior housing options.  Her first book, “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” is available at Amazon.com with a five star rating.  Masson continues to set 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.  Her mom’s struggle with dementia is inspiring Diane to pen a third book to support adult children.

© 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.
Using An Opening Power Statement?

Using An Opening Power Statement?

Use Power Statements!

Use Power Statements!

Are you just going through the motions and showing your senior living community?  What’s something you can do to jump out from all the competition?  How about a power statement at the beginning of your tour or presentation?

Let me throw down a few power statement ideas and then you can share yours on the comment area of this blog.  Hopefully, everyone will help each other tweak their power statements to make them stronger.

“A lot of seniors are excited about moving in here.  We have 15 people moving into 10 apartments in the next two months.  There is so much interest in our retirement community right now that we have limited availability.”

“One of our caregivers just won caregiver of the year.”

“Our chef just won an iron chef competition.”

“SB Hospital just told us they are proud to partner with us.  We are now the cornerstone and long-term care pillar in our community, because all the other local administrators and director of nurses have changed many times.  We alone remain constant in key staff longevity and great care management.”

Now, it is your turn.  Time to share your power statement and we can either give you a “like” or make a suggestion to enhance your statement further.  Any suggestions to tweak mine?

A special shout out to Nona for writing this comment to me last week, “Each time I read one of your blogs I become a more skilled senior sales professional.  I love the attitude meter.  Thank you for your enthusiasm and insights.”

Please feel free to sign up for my weekly blog.

Diane Twohy Masson is currently writing a new book for seniors on how to select senior housing options.  Her first book, “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” is available at Amazon.com with a five star rating.  Masson continues to set 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.  Her mom’s struggle with dementia is inspiring Diane to pen a third book to support adult children.

© 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.