When the occupancy of a senior community is tanking, who takes the fall?

By Kent Mulkey

When the occupancy of a senior community is tanking, who takes the fall?  

You’re right: the sales counselor, for not “making their numbers,” which usually means their call outs to prospects. Sadly, yet another burned out salesperson burned, just waiting to be fired.

Don’t Set Yourself Up For Failure

Often, the corporate sales and marketing staff set the sales counselor up for failure by putting in place unrealistic, mind-numbing, prospect-annoying call metrics that virtually nobody can keep pace with, not to mention the flat tire of flat occupancy.

Here’s the point: there is no direct correlation between the number of call outs and sales success.

In 2016, ProMatura conducted a study to determine the optimal method for converting senior living prospects*. The findings were clear: spending more time on each prospect, rather than contacting as many leads as possible, is the most accurate way to convert senior living prospects.  

Depth Trumps Breadth

Ryan Fuller, in “What Makes Great Salespeople”, says that it is all about taking time to get to know your prospects, “Depth trumps breadth. Top sellers focused on building deeper relationships with fewer customers rather than casting a wider net of shallower engagement.”

One company I helped years ago with occupancy challenges required their sales counselors to make 10 call outs per day. If the sales counselor could sustain that torrid pace, she would have talked with every viable prospect in the sales database every 60 days, to do what most sales counselors do best – “check in to see if they have decided to move.”

Which will take you straight to Nowhereville.

In fact, the impact of call outs on conversion ratios by top sales professionals is a whopping 2%. Yep, true. Check back later for more.

*The ProMatura study utilized Sherpa (a Senior Housing Forum partner), a senior living CRM and sales conversion system. Visit them at sherpacrm.com. They are great folks.

The views expressed above are solely my own and do not reflect the views of my employer.