By Gail Peacock
It feels so good to have the worst of the pandemic behind us. But as I look at my own community where I am currently acting as the Executive Director, and other communities, I am seeing too much evidence of a post-Covid hangover. Think in terms of the big mess that needs to be cleaned up after a rip-roaring party.
Here are 8 things we can do to make the sales process better than ever:
- Go walk your community with the very specific goal of looking for all that Covid stuff that was easy to spot and easy to access by staff and residents. You likely don’t need hand sanitizers every 2 feet on every counter. You probably can tuck away the gloves and masks out of plain sight, but still easy enough for staff to access them.
It’s just that those do not need to be the first things people see when they tour your community.
- It’s time to stop talking about Covid unless prospects ask about it. There is strong evidence that prospects are not very worried about it, otherwise they would not be touring your community.
- Take a fresh look at what is working and what is not working in your communities. Just because it worked before Covid does not mean it is still working. Or, and this is hard, maybe it was not actually working that great before Covid, but was rather just the way you always did things.
Talk to residents and ask them what they love about living in your community. What is the first thing they say? Ask families the same thing. Finally, ask team members what they love most about working in your community. You need to do this one-on-one, a survey will not give you what you need.
- Talk to professionals that come into your community to serve residents – doctors, therapists, etc. Ask them who you should be talking to about referrals.
- During the pandemic, we got used to kind of rushing prospects through the tour process. In and out in 20 minutes or less and maybe even kind of sneaking in and out of various parts of the community. It is time to slow down, to really get to know the residents, to understand their needs, their fears, their dreams.
- Pay attention to your Google reviews, respond to bad ones. Don’t rejoice if you have no reviews, go to work getting some. And if you have negative reviews, respond to them with a sincere and specific comment. There is nothing worse than a consumer seeing the same response over and over again. It screams, “We don’t really care.” More than ever, prospects are researching you like crazy before they ever walk through the front door.
- Don’t be afraid to be the expert, even if you need notes and cheat sheets. More than anything else people are looking for help, for someone they can trust. Someone who will help them figure out what is best for their loved ones.
This means if you are not the right fit, then tell them so. It also means that you have an obligation to learn more, to become wiser.
- If you are not the right fit, be ready and willing to help them figure out the right fit, even if it is the competition. Tell them to call you any time, for advice or just to talk things through.
What would you add to this list?