When we put the senior living sales process under the microscope of science, we have to look at why a volume and velocity approach is vastly inferior to a time and skills approach.
By Anthony J. Mullen, Founder, Advanced Sales Summit
The Science and the Siren’s Call
Issue 3: Why Time and Skills Triumph Over Volume and Velocity and Lead to 50% Closing Ratios
When we put the senior living sales process under the microscope of science, we have to look at why a volume and velocity approach (making as many calls as possible; and seeking to “close” a tour on the first call) is vastly inferior to a time and skills approach (making as many calls as necessary; and building a real relationship with the prospect).
Tony Mullen’s Advanced Sales Summit has helped thousands of senior living sales professionals become star performers. His summit is coming up in a few weeks and could be the perfect opportunity to help you or your team push you communities into the high 90% occupancy zone.
The Science of Relationship Building
The first step is to look at the inputs that cause move-ins, more importantly we need to look at what are the factors that result move-ins above the norm. This is a critical factor, which is often not well understood in the industry.
Move-ins are caused by prospects being in the action stage and by salespeople who have the time and skill to find and work with those in the action stage. The most import of these two variables is the salesperson who has the time and skill to cause more prospects to move take the next step.
The vast majority of prospects inquire, tour/visit but remain stuck in a contemplation or preparation stage and never move (see Issue 1 for a review of the stages of how one changes one’s mind). This is why spending extra time really getting to know the prospect and using the advanced skills of Motivational Interviewing and the principles of the Science of ethical influence become so critical to producing above average move-in results:
The first key is to understand that only 4.5% of all 75 plus households live in assisted living, and in any one year only 2.0-2.5% will actually move to an assisted living community. This means the typical assisted living community with 60 units will have about 2 to 2.5 move-ins per month. These move-ins all come from prospects in the action stage.
Here is the next key reality: the vast majority of prospects (3 out of 4 who tour/visit), will never move in. The reason is that these additional prospects are still in the contemplation or preparation stage. Visiting, in and of itself, does not cause someone to change their mind and move into your community.
The One Exception
There is one rare instance where a volume and velocity approach might produce a very slight increase in move-ins over the course of a year. If a community is able to capture all calls and emails (and respond immediately and appropriately) and the competitor(s) do not.
However, this situation, while possible, is exceedingly rare, because the average prospect will visit three communities. So, the community which captures more calls and responds immediately still must compete to distinguish themselves; and that will almost always be due to the salespeople and how they treat prospects,
Something that is way more important than the real estate, amenities, location, and other non-people attributes.
In order to produce move-ins above the norm, a community must have sales professionals who can help more people move into the action stage. This can only happen through spending quality time with more prospects (typically a top ten or top twelve list) who meet more of the objective criteria for moving (children have suggested they move; are more sociable; are more open to being with others their age).
Quality time means learning and using the advanced skills that help people self-motivate. We know senior living communities will improve the health, mood, and potentially the longevity of many prospects and the best professionals know how to help prospects self-motivate around the benefits of moving.
Only So Much Time
The final piece to the science is the severe limitation of time. The ideal is more quality relationships with more prospects, who could move from contemplation or preparation into the action stage.
However, one sales professional (no matter how good they are) can only produce a finite number of move-ins by helping more prospects move into the action stage. The only way to produce more move-ins is to add another competent sales professional (or professionals). This is the second most important decision executives will make.
Issue 1: Do You Know What It Takes to Master Your Closing Ratio?
Issue 2: Is Flawed Thinking Hurting Your Occupancy?
Anthony J. Mullen has 30 years of experience in the field and spent several years in the trenches. He is the founder of the Advanced Sales Summit to be held June 27-28, 2016 in Jupiter Beach, FL. To view the agenda or register, go to www.theadvancedsalesummit.com.