“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.

Thanksgiving Week Phone Calls?

Thanksgiving Week Phone Calls?

Senior Living DinnerThis is the best time of year to make your database calls.  Seniors open up about whether their family really visits with them or not.  Call your prospective residents this week (not on Thanksgiving) and simply wish them a Happy Thanksgiving!  Then you casually ask if they have any plans for Thanksgiving.  The truth pours out of the senior.  If they have nothing happening, invite them to your community for a wonderful dining experience in the next week.  Most of them say, “Yes!”

Please share any tips that have worked for you!

Wishing you all a happy Thanksgiving with your family and friends!

Diane Twohy Masson is the author of “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full.” It is rated by Amazon Editors as one of the best books of 2014 and readers have given it a 5-star rating on Amazon.com.  This award winning 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.
Need an Attitude Adjustment in 25 Seconds?

Need an Attitude Adjustment in 25 Seconds?

You Can Be Whatever You Want to BeToday, I want to share an inspirational poem that I have read continually since my college days:

You Can Be Whatever You Want To Be

There is inside you

all the potential to be whatever

you want to be ~

all of the energy to do whatever

you want to do.

Imagine yourself as you would like to be,

doing what you want to do,

and each day, take one step

towards your dream.

And though at times it may seem too

difficult to continue,

hold on to your dream.

One morning you will awake to find

that you are the person you dreamed of ~

doing what you wanted to do ~

simply because you had the courage

to believe in your potential

and to hold on to your dream.

~ Donna Levine

I hope this poem inspires you! You have the capabilities inside you to change the world in our wonderful profession. I am thankful that I help seniors every single day.  Tip:  Read it out loud, it goes into your subconscious brain faster.

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.
Qualified Senior Living Sales Candidates?

Qualified Senior Living Sales Candidates?

Now HiringIs there anyone else struggling to hire a quality senior living sales person?  My search in Hemet, CA has been ongoing for four weeks.  The majority of applicants are unqualified and present poorly composed resumes.

Where to look?

  • Craig’s list can have a high success rate to find some senior living operational candidates but I have had no luck hiring senior living sales people through this resource.
  • LinkedIn has been good to me in the past, but I only received 8 applications in one month and it cost me $395.00.  It was very disappointing and an expensive dead end.
  • Career Builder has produced the most viable senior living sales candidates.

Quality of resumes?

  • Overall, I have seen the most poorly written resumes of my life in the last month.
  • Typos and format mistakes galore, candidates should have a professional or savvy friend review his or her resume before applying for a job.
  • Are nurses, EMT’s, mechanics and others in completely unrelated disciplines mistakenly seeking a senior living sales position?  Or are they just completing three job searches for unemployment?

Customer service experience is not sales and closing experience!

Order takers need not apply!  Sales and closing experience means having a sales track record with a closing ratio.  It’s a person who has overcome objections and persists until they get the sale.

No senior housing experience?

The last two people I hired had no experience in senior living sales.  They did have a passion for seniors and a background of sales and closing experience.  One of them was working in the healthcare profession and the other called on healthcare professionals as clients.  One of my specialities is training what I call “green” (no experience in senior living) candidates.

Interview process?

  • My first interview is over the telephone to see if he or she can be clearly understood, has a great phone voice and can sell me on why I should offer them an in-person interview.
  • The second interview is in-person with the Human Resources Director and myself.
  • The third interview is with the Marketing Director and Executive Director.
  • One person literally interviewed herself!  Next!  They would not stop talking!

The Results?

  • 60 applications
  • 10 phone interviews
  • Three second interviews
  • One third interview
  • Zero hired

Anyone out there in Riverside County, CA?

The Village is proud to be a debt free* Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) and has been serving seniors in Hemet, California for 25 years. We are honored to be voted as the Best Retirement Community in the Inland Empire for 8 consecutive years! Our 13-acre campus, including Independent Living, Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing Care, has been completely remodeled.

We are seeking a highly motivated Senior Living Sales Professional, internally referred to as a Retirement Counselor. In this role, you will increase occupancy by proactively generating sales leads and following up on all traffic generated through advertising, promotions, events, phone visits, and in-person home visits. Our Retirement Counselors offer tours with prospective residents and provide customer service to our current and prospective residents.

Responsibilities:

While this is a sales and closing role, you will get leads from hosting walk-in guests, events, phone calls or responses to advertising and marketing campaigns. You will combine inside, and outside public relations to build a professional, local network to help increase referrals and the CCRC occupancy. You will share the impact of: “A guarantee of care for the rest of your life.” Our retirement counselors use a consultative soft sell approach with prospective residents and explain the value of our senior services, benefits and how we differentiate from other senior housing competitors. Other duties will include completing reports, competitive studies and tracking leads.

The Village is an equal opportunity employer. EOE/M/F/D/V

If you are interested in this position, the complete job description and requirements are listed on careerbuilder.com or please send your resume directly to me at dmasson@fmcwest.com and reference this blog post.   Come and be part of a team that has been breaking sales records for two years!  You will be personally trained by me, start participating in weekly book reviews and report directly to me.   I look forward to meeting you in person.  Diane Masson

Your tips could help others improve on a national basis, so please share by commenting on this blog.  If this weekly newsletter can help your sales and occupancy – why not sign up today so you don’t miss a single one? 

Diane Twohy Masson writes this weekly blog to support and engage with other senior housing professionals.  Her first book is Senior Housing Marketing – How To Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full.  Many sales teams and organizations have used the 12 keys contained in this book for their weekly book review.  Diane is working on her second book to help seniors select their senior housing options.

 

© 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.
“Is there a Hippie Retirement Community?”

“Is there a Hippie Retirement Community?”

Hippie Retirement Communities?

Hippie Retirement Communities?

A younger senior woman with long hair and beads asked me this question at a presentation last week.  I asked what a hippie retirement community would look like for her.  She said, “Less walls and more indoor and outdoor living.  Where you felt outdoors, even when you were indoors.”

This made me think about our outdoor dining venues, so I showed her the “Fountain Café at The Village.”  It is an outdoor dining venue, where the chef barbeques for the residents.  Entrée choices might be barbequed salmon, ribs or an amazing burger.  Soft music emits from rock speakers that reside in the surrounding garden.  Residents can come and sit in the outdoor café at any time to read a book or spend time with visiting family.  Beyond the Fountain Café area is the popular putting green.

She loved the outdoor area.  I said, “Is this what you are talking about?”  She said, “Yes!”  Then I explained how the health club with state-of-the-art exercise equipment adjoined the outdoor swimming pool.  It has an indoor/outdoor feeling too.

The younger senior loved it and agreed, but said she was not ready for an apartment with walls.  Anyone know of a hippie retirement community, maybe something with tents?  Are we ready for Boomer hippies?

Can you share what is happening in your city and state, so we can all understand senior housing from a national perspective?  It’s as easy as making a comment below.  Thanks in advance for joining the conversation and sharing this blog with other professionals in the senior living world.

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.
Three Solutions to Arguing and Objections in Senior Living Sales

Three Solutions to Arguing and Objections in Senior Living Sales

Arguing with a SeniorAre you fighting with prospective residents who are in denial?  I don’t mean physical punches… After they ask a question or make a comment, are you coming at them with a quick verbal rebuttal?  Stop it!!!  Many senior living sales people don’t even realize that they are arguing with the prospective resident.

It can be very difficult to evaluate yourself and recognize your own faults.  Do the best you can to catch yourself saying a “but” or ask a co-worker/supervisor to listen to one of your tours.  When the prospective senior says something like, “I love my home and can’t see myself moving.”  I have heard sales people say, “But…you don’t see how wonderful life could be here.” Or a senior says, “I am doing fine in my own home.”  (They can barely walk and you recognize an unsafe situation for them living at home.)

The prospective senior is in denial.  It is so common.  Don’t fight them, they will just get irritated and go to your competitor down the road.  There are three easy solutions to deal with denial.

1)   Ignore the senior’s denial and keep educating them on the benefits of living at your community.  I don’t mean – shoving it in their face.  Some seniors have so much denial that it could take them months or a few years to recognize the benefits of living at your senior living community.  Keep inviting them to events.  Eventually they can see the lifestyle in your independent or Continuing Care Retirement Community is better than living in their own home.

2)   If you work in an assisted living or memory care community, time may be of the essence with a need driven situation.  Get the phone numbers for the adult children and work through them.  A strong Boomer child, who understands that his or her mom or dad is unsafe, can create a 48 hour or one week move in for the parent.  Invite the children to dine at your retirement community with the parent.  It’s magical, how quickly they select an apartment and put down a deposit.

3)   When they say, “I love my home with the 180 degree view of the water and mountain.”  Don’t interrupt!  Let them go on for five minutes or more about their lovely home.  Then causally say, “ Your home sounds lovely, why are you here?”  Whatever comes out of their mouth is the real reason.  Now it is up to you to provide a solution and collect a deposit.

Remember that everyone walks in the door of your retirement community for a reason.  Yes, they can be in denial, but they came to you.  Help them, by listening and exploring an implied need.  Then provide a solution – gently…

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.  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.