Maybe there is good reason your sales numbers don’t add up!

By Kent Mulkey

Do your numbers add up? I mean add up to something that makes sense, that works, and that provides real data in measuring your success?

Check out this sign posted next to the road when entering New Cuyama, California, which closely resembles the way in which senior housing salespeople measure their activity:


Population         582

Elevation           2150

Established       1951

TOTAL              4663

How about these startling numbers: my 87-year-old mom is on the “call list” of about 6-8 senior communities in her area. She has visited and toured all of them at least once. Once a week or so, she receives a call from one of them, which goes something like this:

“Hello Mrs. _________, this is _______ calling from ________.  How are you today? (room left for a one- to two-word response). Great, I am just calling to see if you are moving closer to moving into a senior community, such as (ours). No? OK, I’ll call back again. Have a good day.

The other day I asked my mom, “How many of these places actually know you? I mean your interests, your needs, your hobbies, your fears, your legacy, your 80+ years living in the community, your degree of readiness to move?

None. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Zip. Nobody. Goose Egg.

The likelihood that my mom will move to any of these senior communities is exactly 0%.

Senior Housing sales professionals end up with a tossed salad full of numbers and formulas that often confuse them and leave them discouraged and defeated, although numbers are an important piece of the puzzle, when used intelligently.



1-800 [(10X))13i>2] – [sin(xy)/2.362X]

Ah, but then there is the community my mom will move to, if and when the time comes for her to move (which is never, according to her). They deserve special mention because of the world class way in which they engage and have developed a relationship with my mom: Oakmont of Cardinal Point in Alameda, California.

The staff at Cardinal Point invite my mom to lectures in areas of interests they know she will like. They invite her for lunch with people she knows or to meet new friends who live there. They call her to find out how a particular home improvement project is coming along. They invite her to join the walking club at the community (they know my mom is committed to walking 10,000 steps per day). 

You get the idea. It’s not the numbers that matter, no matter how they add up. Selling to seniors is not a “numbers game.” It’s the people. It’s not how often you make a call to a prospect, it’s how well you make an authentic connection with them, build trust and serve as a guide to help them in making the best decision for themselves regardless of whether they ultimately move to your community at all. 

I’m all for coming along side seniors and their families in sorting out the myriad factors that go in to making a move, and letting math grow up and solve its own problems.