Seniors and Sales People Wearing Masks

Seniors and Sales People Wearing Masks

MaskAlmost everyone wears a mask out in public. It can be exhausting to hide behind a fake exterior and pretend we have it all together. I meet seniors and sales people everyday that seemed poised and polished to the world and yet they are terrified inside.

Many seniors and sales people have lost the ability to be real and authentic. They have worked hard to create the illusion that everything is fine, because they fear showing their vulnerability.  

Seniors walk into retirement communities everyday announcing that he or she is fine and “not ready yet” to make a move to senior housing. If you could pull off the mask, you might see a frightened senior who knows their memory is slipping, had a recent fender bender in the car or is just extremely lonely. That’s why they are exploring senior housing options.

Is this you?

Sale people may be dealing with an angry teenage daughter, a new baby, or ailing parents. They have to leave their breaking heart in the car and arrive for work with a mask of happiness. 

Is this you?

Here are the three most common masks:

The I’m Fine Mask: You smile and say that everything is fine when your heart is breaking. It appears that you have it all, but you may feel lost inside. It is safer to hide, because people expect it.

The Performance Mask: You have the “to do” list. You keep up a frantic pace.   If you stop performing then you are not worth anything at all. You want to matter and count.

The “I don’t care” Mask: You don’t bother with your looks. You do not seem to care. You are desperate to not be seen. You are certain that others will reject you.

Masks can be exhausting.  

I know because I am usually wearing the performance mask. On top of working full time as a regional marketing director at two Continuing Care Retirement Communities:

My personality has always been driven. I have always increased the occupancy of any senior living community I was working with. I love achieving goals. It’s also important to create balance in my life so I don’t burn out. I just started a women’s bible study called, “Keeping the Balance.” It is already changing my life and helping me recognize the real me, so I can be authentic with you. Today, I had some me time. What a treat. Tonight I will be dancing with my husband at Oktoberfest.

Balance in life is important. The opposite of wearing a mask can be seniors and sales people who over share. They want to dump all their problems on you and it may not be at an appropriate time.    

When my mom was in in later stages of dementia, her mask of pretending to be okay was gone. She just said whatever was on her mind.

How about you? What’s your mask? Have you found your balance?

Diane Masson has 19 years experience, both personally and professionally in senior housing.  She is an author of two books with 5-star ratings, a weekly blogger and a regional marketing director of two Continuing Care Retirement Communities.  Follow her newsletter on Tips2Seniors.com or Tips2Seniors on Facebook.

5 Tips to Achieve 5 Sales in One Week

5 Tips to Achieve 5 Sales in One Week

5 Tips!  Go Hawks!

5 Tips! Go Hawks!

Five sales at one Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in one week! Are you and your team hitting these numbers? How is it possible? Here are a few tips:

  1. Have a sales retreat to appreciate your senior living sales team and make them feel valued. Have you taken the time to do this or are you too busy to “waste” a day of work? It could be the most important day to improve the sales team’s attitude and turn around your occupancy.
  • Our retreat focused on setting individual sales goals and building self-esteem and confidence.
  • Each sales person was recognized for his or her achievements in 2014.
  • The retreat created two types of energy: individually and with the team. This energy blossomed into momentum.
  1. Have you created a marketing plan that brings new people to your senior living community on a regular basis?
  1. Does your team call back every tour the next day even if they say, “I’m not ready yet.”?
  1. Is your entire operational team focused on first impressions of guests and prospective residents?
  1. Are your residents 100% satisfied and sharing their enthusiasm with prospective residents?

Focus on these five tips and watch your occupancy increase for 2015.

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.

“Your Senior Housing Options,” will be coming soon to Amazon.com. If you sign up for my weekly newsletter on the right side of this blog, you will be notified when my new book becomes available. Check out my new website: Tips2Seniors.com or please follow me on Facebook.

3 BIG Senior Living Sales Mistakes

3 BIG Senior Living Sales Mistakes

3 MistakesMANY senior living sales professionals selling continuing care and retirement communities make three common mistakes:

  1. Believing only older need driven seniors will move into an independent retirement setting.
  2. Only focusing on seniors who want to move now.
  3. Not doing enough “discovery” to tailor a tour to a senior’s lifestyle.

After the financial world turned upside in 2008 and real estate took a dive, younger seniors remained in their own homes.  Now, younger seniors are moving into retirement communities again.  Senior living communities must have amenities and lifestyle choices that attract younger seniors.  Does yours??  As a sales person, you must believe that younger seniors will move in too!  I have acutally heard a senior living sales person say, “They are only 83 years old and not ready yet.”

Only 20% of seniors will walk in and say, “I am ready to move in now.”  The order taker marketers love this type of prospect.  Well guess what?  The majority of seniors need handholding and relationship building over a period of time.  They need to come into your senior living community four to six times to visualize themselves living the lifestyle.

Discovering the passions, pursuits and interests of a senior seems so obvious to the “A” player senior living sales professional.  This allows the sales person to tailor the “Wow Tour” to each senior.  It may mean having the senior meet other residents who share their common interests.  It could involve meeting and touring each adult child, so they can support their parents moving into your community.

Senior living sales takes more time and effort than it did six years ago.  Why do so many senior living sales people simply give a tour?  What have you witnessed or experienced?

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.
Do You Call Back Every Prospect Who Toured Yesterday?

Do You Call Back Every Prospect Who Toured Yesterday?

Copyright Marketing2seniors.netThe prospect may say, “I want to think about it.”  “I am one or two years away.”  “I am not ready yet.”  “I am not interested in a pushy salesperson.”  Will you still call them back promptly the next day? If not, why not??

The senior living prospect walked in your door for a reason.  They need your services or are considering your services.  They should automatically be classified as warm if they walked into your senior living community.  They may be eating cereal for dinner or sleeping in a recliner chair because the alternatives are too much effort.  This is a viable lead that deserves your time and attention, even if they say, “I am not ready yet.”

I find it appalling that some senior living sales people will only give the time of day to a senior that can move in now.  Ultimately, they are neglecting potential sales.  In my experience, only 25% of the seniors say, “I am ready now.”  “My home is on the market.”  “My kids say I have to move immediately.”  “My doctor recommends that I move to assisted living right away.”

So this means that the other 75% of potential seniors are too scared to express their needs.  They say a quick statement in the beginning to protect themselves from being SOLD by you.  They have lived in their home for 40 or 50 years.  They don’t WANT to move.  They are just beginning to UNDERSTAND that a move would be beneficial to their health and well-being.

Educate this scared senior and show how your Retirement Community, Assisted Living or Continuing Care Retirement Community is the best choice for them.  Then watch your occupancy rise.  The end result will be providing solutions to improve the quality of life for a multitude of seniors.

Do you call EVERY tour back the next day?  If not, why not??

Your tips could help others improve on a national basis, so please share by commenting on this blog.  If this weekly blog can help your sales and occupancy – why not invite your team to sign up today so no one misses a single tip to improve the occupancy? 

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.
Are You Enabling Senior Prospects to Stay Home?

Are You Enabling Senior Prospects to Stay Home?

"I'm not ready yet!"

“I’m not ready yet!”

Scenario One:  The senior prospect says, “I am not ready yet.”  And you say, “Okay!”  You might even try to call them a second or third time, but you get the same answer and give up.  So you schedule a call out for six months or a year.

Scenario Two:  The senior prospect says, “I am not ready yet.”  And you say, “Okay!”  Then you change tactics and start inviting them to events or a lunch at your senior living community instead of expecting them to make a decision to move over the phone.  You schedule an invitational call every couple weeks or once a month.

You can’t sell someone over the phone.

Are you trying to sell a senior over the phone?  Nobody is ever ready to move, particularly a senior who tends to live in the present moment.  Quit enabling seniors to live at home, by giving up on them or believing the “I’m Not Ready Yet” mantra.

Instead, do everything in your power to get them to come for an enjoyable visit that holds no pressure.  If you pressurize them over the phone, every time you call, it makes people cling to their armchair a little harder and not leave the house.

How about gently pulling them to an entertainment event, a luncheon or an outing with the residents.  Remember that most seniors are lonely and will venture out if you are not going to pressurize them.

Every senior that DECIDES to move has to determine for himself or herself that they will gain more by living in your retirement community than what they will give up in their precious home.  Sometimes it just takes patience and persistance.

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.