One of the first determinations most senior living salespeople make is the status of each prospect

“They said they wanted to move in during the next 30 days, so they’re hot.”

“She’s a hot prospect because she’s not safe living alone.”

“He said he’s not ready yet, so he’s cold. I’ll keep following up every couple of months or so.”


One of the first determinations most senior living salespeople make is the status of each prospect – whether they’re hot, warm, or cold; 1, 2, or 3 – an estimation of how quickly that prospect might become a resident.

I’ve sat through numerous meetings where the executive director, regional sales manager, and sales staff debated this assessment – how to determine it as well as the frequency of contact needed to move the prospect closer to making a decision.

Active or Inactive

But what if an entirely different measure were used? What if – rather than a salesperson’s guesstimate of hot, warm or cold – only one rule, one criteria was used to determine if prospect was to be included on the hot board and in the sales pipeline?

That’s what DEI Sales does. For over 35 years, DEI Sales (a Senior Housing Forum partner) has provided a sales management system and training to over 600,000 salespeople in 10,000 companies spanning a wide range of industries. In 2006, they adapted their principles and practices to the senior living and care industry, and are helping senior communities achieve year-over-year improvement in both census and profitability.

According to Jeanine Aspen at DEI Central, there are many reasons DEI Sales’ system has such a good track record. But, it starts with determining whether a prospect is active or inactive rather than guessing if they’re hot, warm and cold.

To be considered active, the prospect and the salesperson must have mutually agreed to a Next Step and scheduled a time and date for their next contact. That date and time needs to be on both the salesperson’s and the prospect’s calendars.

Number 10Jeanine explained, “In a lot of sales programs, sales staff is held accountable for activities they do. But the real pay off comes when the prospect takes or agrees to an action. If the prospect has not put a date with your company’s salesperson in their calendar, they’re not likely to give you their money anytime soon.”

Data Driven Selling

DEI calls this technique “date-driven selling. Jeanine further noted, “One of the main purposes of weekly sales meetings becomes separating active prospects from inactive ones. We’ve determined that the best sales operations aspire to have between 15 and 20 active prospects at any one time, certainly no fewer than 10. Once date-driven selling has becomes a way of thinking and working for your sales team, you can use this information for much more reliable forecasting.”

Additionally, since most salespeople are competitive and love processes that work, their willingness to secure a scheduled next step is a great indicator of their overall motivation and skill.

For a deeper dive follow the link  below to a video that features Ms. Pat Cokingtin of Americare, she shares her company’s success with the DEI’s data-driven process.