How to Train a “Green” Senior Living Sales Person (Part 2)

How to Train a “Green” Senior Living Sales Person (Part 2)

"Green" Senior Living Sales PeopleThis week I want to share with you which four techniques I used to train a new “green” sales person recently.

Last week, I talked about four sales training techniques in “How to Train a “Green” Senior Living Sales Person (Part 1)”: Shadowing an existing sales person, throwing the new “green” person in (with no senior housing experience) to just start selling, sending them out to study the competition and a dedicated all day training.

Recently, the first step I used training a “green” sales person was an all day training with the marketing team.  This was crucial, so she could have immediate knowledge of how this business works in a nutshell.  I interactively taught her and the team how to engage with a prospective resident, build a relationship in a short time and help someone make a decision to move to our community for the next chapter of his or her life.  She heard the successes of the other retirement counselors and she started to visualize how easy this business can really be.

The second step was letting HR do their thing and allowing her to shadow some quality senior living sale people, so the all day training would sink in a little more.

The third step was sending her out to study the competition.  This helped her articulate the strengths and weaknesses of our Continuing Care Retirement Community versus the retirement community down the street.  She truly saw the business through the eyes of the senior customer and learned what a senior housing interrogation, from one of our neighboring competitors, can feel like.

The fourth step was having her start to become a student of this business.  She started studying the web site, all the marketing materials and reading a senior housing book with 12 keys to marketing senior housing.  During training there is a half an hour here or an hour there, when the trainer (me) may need to address something that has nothing to do with training.  These can be opportunities for the “green” person to read a chapter of a senior housing training book like “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full.”  Part of the reason, I wrote this book was to help train “green” sales people quickly.

Actually, I used all the steps that I talked about in Part 1, except throwing them in to sink or swim.  Once my “green” person knew the right way to build a relationship with a prospective resident, I sent them out to study the competition and their eyes were opened.  They have no doubt that our Continuing Care Retirement Community is the best.  I think it is vital to get your person to believe in their heart that your retirement community is the best and a great value for the money – as soon as possible.

Good luck and I would love to hear your stories of what training techniques worked best for your new employees and why…

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  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: