A community’s key to more move-ins: stop selling so hard!

By Susan Saldibar

If you’ve ever been in sales like I have, you know the daily grind of call, call, call, follow up, follow up, follow up. Lots of voicemails, lots of emails; very few connects. By day’s end, a lot of activity with little return.

The more you know about someone, the easier it is to build a relationship.

That said, when I watched this great video [below] of Steve Moran chatting with Validus Senior Living, Cindy Crowley, at last month’s Advanced Sales and Marketing Summit for Senior Housing, I almost wished I was back selling again. Because, after they put in Sherpa, a Senior Housing Forum partner, about a year ago, the message to sales was this: more time spent with less leads equals more move-ins.

They call it “person-centered selling”. I call it a great way to sell.

Validus Senior Living is young and growing, with 8 memory care communities and plans to expand into independent living and assisted living. They installed the Sherpa CRM solution about a year ago, and it’s starting to make a difference in the way they sell, and the results they get.  

The first difference Cindy noted was in the database Sherpa helps them create; not just a thin layer of data, but a deep information set, so that they know a lot about a prospect’s life story well before the initial contact takes place. That’s what helps facilitate building real relationships with prospects.

It’s hard to stop selling hard!

Steve asked Cindy how challenging it was to introduce such a revolutionary new sales process to a seasoned sales team who is pre-programmed to dial for dollars. According to Cindy, they’re still in the process of training, teaching and supporting the team on the new platform. And old habits die hard. “They tell themselves, ‘I have to make more calls, I have to make more calls, I need more leads’,” says Cindy.

It reminds me of debriefing someone who has been brainwashed in a hostile environment for years and is now allowed to come into the light and act human again.

More time spent in the “selling zone”, equals more move-ins per month.

Steve asked about results. “It allows our sales team to spend more time planning and building the relationship,” says Cindy. “So they’re spending more time in the ‘selling zone’. And that is resulting in an increase in move-ins per month.”

So basically more one-on-one; learning what’s important to them; building trust. More time spent planning how to move the relationship forward. More home visits and creative follow up.

And Cindy’s pretty confident of the results. “Because, when they do make the decision to move,” says Cindy, “We’re the community they’re going to move to.”