“I like to think of sales as the ability to gracefully persuade, not manipulate, a person or persons into a win win situation,” Bo Bennett.
Most senior care business directors and owners have one goal: find new residents and clients. However, though finding customers can happen without planning and direct action, it’s much better to understand how to prospect. You can then use prospecting to attract clients who are more likely to move into your community. Though prospecting is just one part of the sales process, many professionals consider it the second most crucial part, next to asking for or closing the sale.
- Qualifying questions come naturally. “Is the person you’re speaking with a decision-maker for the family? Is he or she already shopping around for a solution?” etc.
- The approach and presentation are a given after you get your foot in the door; and
- You rarely get the sale without a formal close.
However, without prospecting, many SMB owners waste time trying to sell to people who aren’t ready to make a decision, cold and lukewarm leads at best.
The Steps to Simple Prospecting:
- Define your ideal customer or target market and the decision-maker who will actually sign on the dotted line:
(ie. the adult child earning $X/year, the active senior couple with X hobbies and $X retirement savings, etc.) The more specific and detailed you are in your description, the easier finding prospects will be.
- Use a soft approach:
Cold calling is hard for people who aren’t seasoned sales pros. However, there’s a way to soften things. Prospecting is part of that. Try sending a piece of direct mail or email first before calling on the phone. Asking the person if they received your correspondence is a much easier way to start a potential sales conversation. Direct mail is more memorable than email. Try sending a little 3 x 4 inch booklet or a standard tri-fold brochure that beautifully advertises your community or care service; along with a cordial sales letter with a call-to-action asking them to call you or contact you online.
- Aim for reachable goals with your campaign:
Too many business owners aim for an immediate year lease. However, you may want to close a free trial weekend, social event or something softer and easier for your potential clients to agree to. This will make the whole encounter easier for you and them.
Growing and managing a senior living community in the modern marketplace isn’t easy. There’s a lot of competition. However, one of the easiest ways to stay afloat is to use big data to qualify leads for your organization. Data analysis provides you with a very rich prospect pool of people more likely to want or need your product or service, who are also financially able to pay for it.