A sales method that spends more time “selling” is more successful at moving younger seniors into independent and assisted living communities than the traditional method.
At least according to an article published last year in the Senior Housing and Care Journal.*
The study compared the traditional sales method used by most teams in the senior housing industry, called “transactional,” with one company’s method called “prospect-centered.”
They found that prospect-centered marketing resulted in 4-5x higher conversion ratios for both independent and assisted living. They attributed the success of their program to four factors:
- Time in the “selling zone” is directly correlated with prospects advances. The selling zone is defined as face-to-face contact or phone calls, planning the next advancement and sending thoughtful, personalized followup.
- Asking more and better questions helps the sales team address underlying emotional issues. A secret shopper report cited showed the average sales counselor asked only three questions. This is woefully insufficient for understanding the prospect.
- Use personalized, creative follow-up.Proactive and unique outreach to prospects (even cold ones) can elicit a response. This outreach can only be done w sufficient personal knowledge of the prospect.
- Invest more time planning strategic advances w each prospect. The sales process should uncover enough information so that planned activities lead the prospect to overcome emotional resistance and decide.
The study does admit that the prospect-centered process is slower and more time-consuming. However, the sales team will be working smarter and the efficiency pays off in greater revenue and sales commissions.
*Smith, David A. and Fisher, Alexandra. 2012. “Measuring Success in Senior Housing Sales: Prospect-Centered Selling with the “Stages of Change” Model. Senior Housing and Care Journal 2012, Vol. 20 Issue 1:21-34. Property of National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry, Inc.