By Steve Moran

At the recently concluded SMASH senior living sales and marketing summit, Jamison Gosselin moderated a panel that consisted of three individuals who had all completed the senior living buyer’s journey. They talked about how they explored their choices (all in Las Vegas) and made their final decision.

Normally I am not a huge fan of panels, feeling like people mostly say the things they think the audience wants to hear … things that will make them and their companies look good, things that are safe. As a result they are mostly boring.

This one was powerful, with real insights, and will be the source of at least two articles.

Simplest Takeaway: The People 

All three family members talked about how big a difference the attitude of the team members working in the community made in their decision-making process. They all talked about how they wanted to see smiles on the team members they crossed paths with in the communities. They believed — rightly so — that if team members liked working in their communities, those caregivers will be more likely to love the residents and do the best job of serving their parents.

The Salesperson

Perhaps more importantly, the relationship with the salesperson was critical to the discussion. What they said, in essence, was that they actually need to like and trust their salesperson. From the perspective of the consumer, this one individual could make or break the sale.

They assumed that if they liked and trusted the salesperson, that individual was a proxy for every single person who worked in the community.

What This Means

This means that you need to pay attention to the smiles and attitudes of your team members because they have a huge impact on your occupancy. They can make it possible for you to close more sales or kill sales, and you will likely never know why.

In particular, if you are having lots of tours, or even lots of prospects, that are going nowhere, you need to be looking at the likability, the trustability of your salespeople.

Get this right, and you will beat the competition.