Successful selling involves more than just pitching a couple of benefits and throwing out a price. There are so many factors that influence buyers, and some things they consider to be benefits may not even be tangible. This is especially true when selling senior living services.
Many salespeople overlook a vital aspect of senior housing that can be a huge selling point: Community. “Although the growing array of amenities, services and perks add value and convenience, they can’t compete with the personal connection and satisfaction that comes with joining a vibrant senior living community,” writes Lindsay Casillas. In her article for McKnight’s Senior Living, she discusses the importance of fostering a sense of community and showcasing that community feeling to prospects.
One tip Casillas has is to start early. Use personal tours to connect residents with the visitors. Try to find connections between the two and immediately kickstart relationships. Kickstarting relationships will make the prospective resident feel comfortable and strengthen the current community. In order to make these connections, you must be attentive, perceptive, organized, and most importantly, actively engaged and familiar with residents.
Once a sale does close, that doesn’t mean your work is done. The aforementioned continued engagement with residents is an ongoing part of your sales strategy. “Sales professionals typically are trained to ‘hand off’ residents to executive directors in the single-minded pursuit of new leads,” she explains. “Meanwhile, the best way to identify potential prospects is right in front of them.” Casillas points out that happy residents can be incredible sources of high-conversion leads. Their referrals present major opportunity, and likely, they will be eager to help the community grow and thrive. As she writes, “trust in their voices as some of your strongest assets, their personal testimonials are priceless, and their positive energy is contagious. “
These are only two of the tips she shares in her article, and they all encourage salespeople to use “community” as a major driver of new business. While amenities do influence buying decisions, it’s the sense of community that will be your strongest selling point.