By Steve Moran

According to author Daniel Pink, every one of us is selling something. From time to time we need to/want to motivate other people to do something. It might be for our own good, it might be for their own good, or it might be motivated by something else.

And of course in senior living, we are highly motivated to sell occupancy. We want this because we believe that it is better for residents and family members. We want to sell it because it is an economic necessity for the health of senior living organizations.

But this creates a problem!

The Kill Criteria Problem — In Sales

If you are a senior living salesperson, you have on more than one occasion continued to pursue a prospect who was never ever going to move into your community. Deep down in your soul, you knew this was true, but you kept chasing and hoping ….

You kept on selling even when the chance of success was at best negligible, and you did it because you …

  • Had already put so much time and effort into the process
  • Thought there was still a tiny tiny chance that they might buy (though not really)
  • Were sure it was the right thing for them to do

You would have been so much better off if you had killed the effort.

The Kill Criteria Problem — Beyond Sales

The kill problem is not just a sales problem, it’s a life problem. You hired someone you really liked, and they are not performing. You had an idea for a new product line, and people didn’t buy it. You created a management system that isn’t working. You have a relationship that isn’t working. You took a job that looked perfect and turned out not to be.

You hold on, you keep hoping, though everyone else is telling you to give up to move on. But you have put so much time, energy, and effort into whatever that thing is.

The Kill Criteria Solution

If you were to pre-establish kill criteria, you would waste less time, money, and energy. We all, every single one of us, take on things where a positive outcome is not certain. It is a part of being human. The problem is that when it is obvious to those on the outside that a change in direction is needed, when we are in the middle of something, it is impossible to be objective.

The solution is to set some kill criteria in advance:

  • If after the second tour, they will not make a commitment to move in, you are done.
  • If the CEO won’t meet with me in the sales process, I am done.
  • If that salesperson I hired is not closing five sales a month, they are out.

Setting your criteria in advance rather than just figuring it out will save you time and money. It will make hard decisions easier.

What kill criteria do you need to set right now, today?