Assisted Living Sales – 10 Tips for Success

Become a Business Hunter

Woman showing information to an elderly couple

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Assisted living sales is a competitive marketplace. After all, you are "selling" something that most people do not want and for which they have to pay out of pocket. To be successful, your salesperson should be in the marketplace “hunting!" 

It is clear that seniors and their families are increasingly technologically sophisticated and that they often use electronic media in their initial search for senior housing options. Yet studies show that most people prefer a face to face experience to receive information about senior housing services and products. And that is truly one way to convey the culture of assisted living and dispel myths face to face.

Regardless of your current occupancy level, your sales representative should be out in the marketplace “hunting” new business. Getting through the gatekeeper is tough so once you are in the door are you leaving a lasting impression?

One of the biggest mistakes by senior housing operators is lack of outside sales training. A sales call is not a time for a social visit; it is a time to deliver a well-articulated, targeted message. If you need to increase your inquiries, professional referral sources are a gold mine. But without the proper approach, it is a waste of everyone’s time. Do you want to increase your lead generation? If so, take an honest look at your outside marketing training.

Outside sales is a blend of art and science but when done properly it can produce amazing results. This is all about customer relationship management.

10 Tips

  1. The messenger is more important than the message. Both are crucial, but don’t underestimate the power of your personality and your delivery- confidence is key.
  2. Speak English. Leave your buzzwords and other jargon at home.
  3. Tell stories – brief stories. People can relate to stories and that speak to the emotion.
  4. Be clear about your message. Don’t "feature dump."
  5. A professional encounter is usually a brief discussion, not a seminar or lecture. A typical professional meeting runs about 15 minutes – or less. You have about 3 minutes to make your point.
  6. Your meeting will rarely follow the script you envision beforehand. Be prepared for the subject to change, and roll with it.
  7. Anticipate tough questions and practice the answers. You should almost never be caught off guard or surprised.
  8. Never leave a meeting without a follow-up plan. Know what you want, the action you need or want the other party to take and agree on next steps.
  9. You get one shot. Don’t plan on another.
  10. And always, always ask for the business!

The key to marketing is to reach prospects emotionally and develop relationships over time. In essence, boomers and seniors are a large affinity group you need to bond and build trust with so that when they need healthcare services, they will be inclined to look to you.

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