There are 1.5 million searches for senior housing every week. 50% of all inquiries including call-ins, scheduled tours and walk in visits happen after 5 PM, or on weekends and holidays. Assisted living occupancy has plummeted to a record low so no one can afford to miss a single lead. We have to be prepared to engage and respond to leads 24/7.
Here are 4 ways to create a 24/ 7 sales culture:
Revisit Your Manager On Duty Program
I have been consulting for a company that just acquired two communities and neither had an MOD program in place. This was the first change we made and every weekend since starting this program, both communities have had at least one walk in tour a day! Without an MOD available, these families would have found a competitor ready and willing to help them and our community would have missed an opportunity. MODs have to be properly scheduled and well trained to create an effective program.
Enhance Your Website – Your Online Front Door!
87% of senior living leads begin online, and 45% of your website visitors will make a purchasing decision within 12 months.
- You can quickly, easily and inexpensively enhance your website by adding Live Chat. Chat hosts are your online sales team, ready to answer questions, show empathy and build trust with online prospects 24/7/ 365 – or whatever hours you want them to cover.
- Another way to enhance your website is to offer a downloadable content such as a brochure, sample activity calendar, floor plans or menus. You can also offer e-books, guides, checklists and blogs to keep prospects on your website and give them plenty of reasons to return.
Rollover Call Center Support
It’s all about “speed to the lead” in today’s fast-paced world! Having inquiries linger in voice mail or sticky notes and expecting prospects to wait for a call back is not an effective strategy. But, sales people are busy doing tours, hosting or attending events and building relationships with referral sources and they are not always available. One solution is to set up roll over support with a call center company that will pick up calls after a certain number of rings to the sales person’s phone. They can also pick up after 5 PM daily, on weekends and holidays. Never miss an inquiry again!
Add Marketing Automation
Connecting your website and CRM to a platform such as HubSpot ensures that every lead will be responded to and nurtured 24/7. Here is how it works. A prospect fills out a lead form on your website or populates into your CRM from a third party referral source such as APFM. This activates a workflow that has been created in HubSpot. Your lead gets an immediate response with a custom welcome message and links to valuable content such as marketing collateral.
For example, the first message is a “thank you” message to let your prospects know that you have received the lead, communicate that your team will reach out shortly and provide downloadable brochure or other marketing content. Over a period of several weeks, these leads will continue to receive messages inviting them to tour, attend an event, read your blogs, download content, offer a home visit or an invitation to enjoy lunch at the community. The strategy is to capture and nurture all leads and automate follow up until the prospect is ready for an interaction with the sales team.
Debbie Howard is the founder of Senior Living SMART, a virtual marketing agency reimagining senior living marketing strategies and tactics that work with today’s prospects. SLS connects its members with all the resources they need to grow occupancy. Before starting SLS, Debbie was the VP of Sales & Marketing for Five Star Senior Living and Emeritus.