Senior Living Consumers Have Changed. Has Your Sales Process?
Shopping for a senior living community is a highly unique and sensitive process. Each prospect and their loved ones come to you with their own personal history, experiences, needs, wants, and, most importantly, fears and concerns. The sales and marketing process continues to be more and more challenging as digital communication methods evolve with changing consumer needs and expectations.
It’s no longer just the marketing team’s responsibility to own the success of a customer experience. The role of sales in senior living has both changed and remained consistent in the past five years. While your sales team is still necessary to guide prospective residents and families through the process from inquiry to move-in, the process is changing.
Sales teams must think like marketers when they decide how and where to communicate with prospects. They must do more than talk pricing and amenities. They have to market your brand and emphasize the senior living customer experience. Your community may want to experiment with collaborative cross-department goals for both the sales and marketing teams in order to effectively reach prospects and their loved where they are in the digital landscape.
Effective Communication Strategies
How to Reach the New Senior Living Audience
Think about how often you answer a sales call or respond to a direct mail piece. Never? Once in a blue moon? As a consumer yourself, you have your own preferences in how you want to be contacted by a business. The same is true for your ideal resident and their loved ones.
People used to answer the phone or initiate a face-to-face meeting at the beginning of the sales process. Now sales and marketing teams must learn how to create an authentic emotional connection via email or text messaging. How do you do this when a face-to-face meeting may not happen until late in the conversion stage? Meet senior living consumers where they want to be met, which probably isn’t any different than your own communication preferences.
Best Practices for Email and Text Messaging
First, don’t just launch into your sales pitch or start listing community features; you must create an emotional connection, work to build rapport, and then start the conversion process. How do you do this? Learn how to tell the story of your community, offer opportunities for prospects and their loved ones to self-educate and be informed on their own terms, and use text and email messaging to your advantage.
When sales teams think like marketers, and vice versa, the customer experience becomes less like a linear step-by-step process and more like a well-crafted story that carefully considers the importance and significance of this decision. The sales and marketing teams both need to approach every part of this journey with empathy, consistency, and problem-solving solutions. And, they need to be quick about it. Don’t use canned messaging to respond to an online query. Instead, update your brand guidelines to include email and text messaging standards, example language, and best practices. Text messaging is a great tool to share relevant articles, events, and a quick check-in. Learn how to grow the relationship and build rapport through brief examples of your expertise and the overall community experience.
How G5 Can Help
A proactive collaboration between your sales and marketing teams work is your operational advantage. G5 understands this collaboration, and the positive impact it can have on your bottom line, better than anyone else in the game. Our Intelligent Marketing Cloud outperforms other real estate digital marketing solutions by 2.5 times. Let us partner with your sales and marketing teams to provide data-driven insights, predictive marketing, and lead insights so that you can reach prospective residents and their loved ones in less time, with better results.