Over the many years I’ve spent in senior housing, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had discussions about the need to sift through our lead database

Over the many years I’ve spent in senior housing, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had discussions about the need to sift through our lead database, whether paper (in the old days) or today’s electronic lists.  Typically this action is initiated by panicked corporate or regional managers who are reacting to a drop in occupancy and lack of potential move-ins.  “We need to go back through our pile of leads and re-contact everyone!  Let’s prioritize this!”  Kind of like waiting for the ice storm before you race to Walmart looking for an ice scraper, isn’t it?

Gold ProspectorI’m guessing that you can identify your current “hot,” “warm” and “cold” leads right now.  If not, please stop reading this article and google, “The Beginner’s Guide to Sales.”  For everyone else, let’s agree that this is a given. 

You ask (or are asked) for an update on current leads; a recitation of names, statuses, action steps, etc. for a handful of each temperature label.  This is the “churning” funnel of current prospects; enough to keep us busy and to keep up with move outs and – hopefully – even enough to help you net a positive gain this month.   So, there’s no need (or time) to concern yourself with those other 397 names in your lead database today, right?  Not until an occupancy emergency occurs!  You will need an ice scraper; don’t wait until the ice storm hits!

Hot Leads Just Waiting to be Rediscovered

The possibility that sitting in your large database of prospects may be one person ready to move in tomorrow should be enough get your attention.  But, I’d venture to guess that most of us have more than one “decision-ready” prospect lost among the vast cold and lukewarm leads. 

Consider the odds.  Multiply the number of leads in your database by the number of competitors in your market.  If you knew that you had the names and contact information of 2 or3 “decision-ready” prospects on your computer, how much of your time would you spend today seeking them out?  How about 5 “decision-ready” prospects?  10?

The urgency of sifting through your lead database and finding the decision-ready ones should be intensified with realization that someone else – a competitor – may have them in their database too.  Who is going to reach them first?

We are in such a unique business – where the circumstances of our customers can accelerate a buying decision suddenly; a turn in health, an injury or illness, a death or hospitalization, living arrangements, or a decision made by adult children.  Any of these can turn a “cold” or “lukewarm” lead into a hot in the time it takes for you to deliver that basket of cookies to the hospital discharge planner – again. 

While it’s vital to keep the flow of new leads strong, is it any less important to identify which of your current prospects may have moved from one temperature to another.  Is it important to manage, organize and refine your lead base? 

The genisis for this article was a conversatiion I had with Adrienne Mansfield Straub who is with Sage Age Strategies a Senior Housing Forum Partner.  She suggested that sometimes it can be helpful to have an outside consultant help senior living companies do an analysis of thier old lead base to find the hidden nuggets of gold.  This is something that Sage Age has done with great success for a number of their clients.  What they found was a new set of eyes could spot opportunites that were missed by local staff.

If you are interested in hearing more about what Sage Age has done for other clients you ccan contact Adrienne at 570-601-1720 or adrienne@sageagestrategies.com. You can also visit their website at www.sageagestrategies.com/.