“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.

Recognizing Buying Questions in Senior Living

Recognizing Buying Questions in Senior Living

Recognize Buying Signals in Senior LivingSome senior living sales people are so focused on getting a deposit that they miss crucial buyer signs from a senior living prospect.  One easy tip for you to start using today is to never answer an easy question that a senior or adult child asks with a simple, “yes” or “no.”  Instead, respond with a clarifying question and discover more about his or her mindset.

The following is an excerpt from my book, “Senior Housing Marketing – How To Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full.”

For example, if they ask, “Is this apartment available?”  You ask, “What is your time frame for moving in?”  The answer given is very telling.  They might say, “Well, I have to sell my home first.”  This indicates they want to buy it!  You just have to walk them through the steps on how to make it a reality.

More Buying Questions 

  • Asking about availability of a certain apartment.
  • What is the time frame required to move into this apartment?
  • They want something repeated.
  • Wanting to know about rates, price, or affordability.
  • Asking about the quality or levels of health care that are offered is a great sign.
  • Wanting to see the model apartment.
  • Asking what the other residents are like.
  • Comparing your senior living community with the competition. This means they are doing their homework and are interested.

Start recognizing closing questions that they may ask you.  The questions can come in the beginning, the middle, or the end of your senior living tour.  When they ask you a question, never answer with a simple “yes “or “no.”  It’s good to answer with a clarifying question that allows more discoveries as to their needs or wants.  Your strategic question can often turn into an early close and result in the sale.

They may say, “How much money would I have to put down to hold it?”  This is not a sale until you walk them through all the steps.  But it’s darned close!

Have your senior living occupancy start increasing today!

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.
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.
Where is Your Attitude Meter Today?

Where is Your Attitude Meter Today?

Attitude Meter in Senior LivingYour attitude meter can subconsciously be affecting your sales performance.  If I gave the same 10 leads to three senior living sales people with different types of attitudes, the sale results would vary widely.  See where your attitude falls today.

Poor Attitude

  1. “Oh no, another walk in, I am so busy.”
  2.  Complains, “Everyone is simply not ready yet.”
  3. Very low repeat tours.
  4. Major thoughts – I’m tired, the leads are terrible and the sales goals are too high.
  5. Dreads follow up phone calls and people saying “No.”
  6. Believes the senior prospect when they say, “I am not ready yet.”
  7. Cares mostly about themselves.

Average Attitude

  1. Takes a few minutes to gear up to go meet the walk-in tour.
  2. “I have a few good prospects, some are not ready yet.”
  3. A few repeat tours per week.
  4. Major thoughts – I can do this, there are some good leads, I want to hit the sales goals.
  5. Some days feel great doing follow up phone calls and other days are a struggle.
  6. Believes the senior prospect 70% of the time when they say, “I am not ready yet.”
  7. Cares equally about the prospect and themselves.

Great Attitude

  1. Excited to greet the walk-in tour within moments of arrival.
  2. Continually plans strategies to turn warm and hot leads into move-ins.
  3. Lots of repeat tours.
  4. Major thoughts – I am excited, the leads are great, I can exceed the sales goals.
  5. Has enthusiasm in their voice as they eagerly make follow up phone calls.
  6. When a senior prospect says, “I am not ready yet,” they know the prospect is scared, but close to a transition.  Believes they will move forward in the near future.
  7. Cares mostly about the senior prospect and helping them find a solution for their needs.

Where do you and your senior living team members fall on the attitude meter?  What else can you add to differentiate the three attitudes?

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 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.
12 Strategies To Move Someone Who Says, “No!”

12 Strategies To Move Someone Who Says, “No!”

12 Strategies to Move Someone Who Says, "No!"There was an overwhelming response of ideas and tactics through Linked In of “How To Move Someone Saying, “No!” (Part 1).

Many people felt that you should never force a senior parent to move.  Once the conversation specified parents with dementia, then everyone was onboard with possible solutions.  Let me sum up the best strategies and “schemes” on how to move someone who is at risk and seems chained to their current home.

  1. Move your parent directly from a hospital crisis to a senior living community.
  2. Be ready to transition your parent to an assisted living community when the rehabilitation is over.
  3. Say, “As soon as you are better, I will move you back to your home.”
  4. The primary care physician can convince mom or dad that it is time to move and list the reasons why.  (This generation is programed to abide by the doctor’s recommendations.)
  5. Bring a contractor by your parent’s home and say, “We need to work on the house and the plumbing will be shut down for two weeks.  You are only going to move temporarily while the house gets worked on…”
  6. Sample stays of two to seven nights – to test-drive a retirement community.
  7. Show them where you want them to move and compare with an awful place they dislike.
  8. Send them to an adult day program for several weeks before moving them in full time.
  9. Sometimes you just need to push them to the next step when your parent’s health dictates it.
  10. The safety of your parent means switching the child/parent roles.  You the Boomer child becomes the parent and makes the decision.
  11. Cajoling: Asking for the GIFT of peace-of-mind from worrying about them.
  12. Cultivating a move can take months.  Include as many lunches and residents activities as possible at a prospective senior living community.

FYI – If a retirement community knows that you are struggling they will triple their efforts to help you and support your parent(s) integration into their community.

Remember that 95% of cognitive seniors who move all say, “I wish that I had moved sooner.”  Once they start thriving they won’t want to move back to their isolated home.  Patience and empathy are two necessary ingredients that must be present for your parent’s transition.

Any more ideas?

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.