Spend time well.

By David Smith, Founder and CEO of One on One Services to Seniors and One on One Sherpa

In 2002, Oakland Athletics General Manager Billy Beane challenged the conventional model used by baseball insiders to evaluate success. Sherpa a Senior Housing Forum Partner now challenges the relevance of existing industry performance indicators.

Maximize Time in the Selling Zonesm

It should not be surprising that increasing the amount of time spent in direct sales activity will increase the number of advances and the number of move-ins. Unlike typical industry CRMs, Sherpa measures and tracks “Time in the Selling Zonesm.” This is the time spent: face-to-face, voice-to-voice, planning advances and creating personalized follow-up. Time spent doing non-sales activities, like community outreach, PR, and move-in coordination, while important for other reasons, aren’t included as selling time. Moreover, data from Sherpa shows that for each selling hour invested, the most productive time is that which is spent planning next steps and doing personalized, creative follow up. For more on increasing the ROI of selling time, please click on the following PDF download:

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” — Invest Time Planning!

If the decision to move to a senior community were grounded in logic, a lot more prospects would say yes. But this is a decision that is deeply emotional. For us to help prospects address their resistance or get ready, it is important to invest time planning. According to Alex Fisher, Co-Founder of Sherpa, “Curiosity, planning, and thinking about prospect’s life stories builds trust with the prospect. It also allows us to get to know who we are dealing with and where they are coming from. This helps inspire us to do whatever we can to help them get ready. Moreover, when prospects hear themselves tell their own stories, they increase their awareness of discrepancies between who they were and what they valued, compared to how they are actually living today. This is a first step towards helping them get ready.”

Planning next steps begins with an assessment of the prospect’s current situation – especially how “ready” they are to move. From this we can develop meaningful, evidence-based strategies that will help prospects “get ready.” Sherpa supports, encourages and guides a sales planning process that is deliberate, pro-active and focused on advancing prospect “readiness” for a move. Billy Beane might have noticed that investing time to plan next steps for prospects is similar to what the best hitters in baseball do while they are on-deck. Think, strategize, observe and get mentally prepared for whatever gets thrown at him.

“It ain’t over ’til it’s over” — Follow Through & Follow Up

Personalized, pro-active and creative selling initiatives help trigger call-ins and other responses even from otherwise “cold” prospects. Says Fisher, “It is a very underutilized sales tactic primarily because it takes time, discipline and focus.” Properly done, each creative follow up resembles a personalized and targeted mini-marketing campaign. When to follow up? Before or after every call-out and tour is an opportunity for creative follow up. Used frequently and consistently, creative follow up leads to more call-ins and positive responses. It increases the number of advances.

A Huge Opportunity

Billy Beane challenged the conventional model used by baseball insiders to evaluate success. Sherpa also challenges the relevance of existing senior housing sales performance indicators. A more meaningful set of KPIs now gives providers a “huge opportunity” for increased sales — just as Beane did when he changed the way to evaluate what makes a hitter successful. The formula is simple. To increase sales conversion ratios: use relevant performance milestones; spend more Time in the Selling Zonesm with fewer leads, and invest a significant percentage of that time planning next steps and sending creative follow up.

Sherpa focuses on relevant sales behaviors needed to achieve higher conversion ratios. “For more information about Sherpa see: “The Cold Lead”

Are you ready to play ball?