In the ever-evolving senior living industry, well-informed sales strategies that run right to the core of your organization are essential for successful census growth. Investing in compelling marketing is a great place to start, but knowing how to convert valuable leads into valued residents is equally as vital. The most successful senior living organizations know how to seamlessly integrate expertly informed senior living marketing and skilled sales training.

What is Sales Training?

Sales training will help your team unlock the skills needed to convert leads into residents. Typically, sales training aims to help organizations enhance communication with potential clients. Creating these real connections involves getting to know your audience, and can be achieved by using available data and market trends to build informed consumer personas. 

Excellent senior living sales coaching will allow each member of your team to feel empowered and informed in their personal role. Though your strategy should be regularly reviewed and updated, initial training can build an excellent foundation for future success, while ensuring you establish great sales practices from the start.

Why is Sales Training Important?

While most senior living organizations would agree that perfecting your marketing strategy is vital for census growth, the importance of robust sales training is often overlooked. But marketing and sales work together, and neither one performs at its peak without the other. Marketing draws in inquiries from prospective residents, and relevant sales training can effectively convert these inquiries into visits, tours, and residents. 

Actions speak louder than words, and bold claims mean nothing if you don’t follow through with targeted action. With excellent sales training, your team will be prepared to maximize the chance of each walk-in, call, tour, inquiry, or appointment becoming a resident in the future. A stellar marketing strategy can attract your ideal client, but seniors need to feel real, human connection in order to trust a community with their health and wellbeing. Effective sales training will provide your organization with the tools you need to deliver the compassionate, reassuring and tailored communication potential residents are looking for. 

Each senior who makes an inquiry should be treated as a possible new resident; families typically carry out extensive research before taking any further steps at all, so if they’ve got as far as reaching out, there’s a good chance you’re a serious contender. What you do next is of vital importance, and with solid sales training your team will know how to take each inquiry one step further. Ultimately, a good sales strategy could be the difference between securing a new resident and losing them to a more proactive competitor.

5 Practical Senior Living Sales Training Tips From SMCG®

  1. Get to grips with your CRM system. A CRM, or customer relationship management system allows you to keep track of the relationships you build and communications you engage in with seniors and their families. This powerful tool can help you identify and follow up on leads with personal and consistent communication, all while identifying what is and isn’t providing value to potential residents.
  2. Get to know your customer. Creating a consumer persona is a great way to tap into your audience, getting to know who they are, what they’re looking for and what they need from you. As a senior living organization, you may wish to focus on both seniors themselves and younger relatives. Your consumer personas should be based on hard data, plus extensive market, and competitor research (your CRM can help with this!)
  3. Treat each lead as an individual. Though well-informed consumer personas can help you relate to the families you serve, be sure to tailor your sales approach to each individual. For example, an adult child seeking memory care for a parent with advanced dementia is unlikely to be interested in amenities their loved one cannot use. On the flipside, recreational and social activities may be very attractive to a senior who wants to live independently, while benefitting from a little extra assistance with activities of daily living. Good sales training emphasizes the importance of listening to the consumer and tailoring their experience accordingly.
  4. View sales training as a dynamic practice. Sales training is never ‘complete’ and should be viewed as something that evolves adapting to industry changes, supporting your team and meeting the needs of your company.  Trends, priorities, and consumer personas change over time, which is why it’s important to refresh your sales training on at least a quarterly or semi-annual basis. As a senior living provider, staying one step ahead of the competition with a dynamic approach to sales will be what keeps your waiting list full.
  5. Play to your team’s strengths. Each member of your team has unique value – be sure to honor this. While strategy and training are vital, so is authenticity, integrity, and passion. Moving to senior living is a highly personal milestone, and prospective residents appreciate authenticity, personality, and genuine care. Ensure your team are incentivized and rewarded for both great sales performance and harnessing their personal strengths. 

SMCG’s® valuable sales coaching program will help your organization get the most from your marketing strategy, while playing to your team’s strengths. Get in touch today to find out how we can grow your census and improve ROI with skilled sales training.