Unlike the old west prospector who dreamed that there’s gold in them thar hills, there’s real gold in your lead bank – you just need to know how to mine for it! Your current lead bank has so much value in it that it is possible to fill every one of your senior living communities by the end of this year without a single new lead!
We’ll say that again: Your current lead bank has so much value in it that it is possible to fill every one of your senior living communities by the end of this year without a single new lead. Here’s how.
Due to the pandemic, two interesting things have happened:
The number of leads in senior living community lead banks nearly doubled. Most of these prospective residents have not made any decision about senior living yet.
Almost half of previously active professional referral sources have not provided a single new referral in the past 12 months.
This has created two opportunities that senior living providers can act on to fill their communities: mining their lead bank, and activating dormant professional referral sources. Take a look below at the average number of prospects and the average inquiry to move-in rate for each:
Lead Bank Activation
Referrer ActivationLead Bank: 166 prospectsDormant Healthcare Referrers: 52 prospectsInquiry to Move-In: 9%Referral to Move-In: 31%Equals… 15 Move-InsEquals… 16 Move-Ins
The potential results are compelling, so why aren’t we doing it?
People issues. Salespeople may lack experience or have unrealistic expectations of how much time and effort every move-in really takes.
Training issues. Salespeople weren’t trained on essential sales skills like how to properly conduct discovery, how to follow up, and how to ask for a referral.
Process issues. Sales teams may lack consistency in the approach to selling and the use of sales systems.
Consider which of these issues may be at play in your organization and what your strategy is to correct them.
Lead Bank Activation: 5 Tips for Unlocking Move-Ins
1. Convince your team it’s real. Review your lead bank with them and identify the opportunities. How many leads are there? How many haven’t been contacted recently?
2. Adjust expectations. Senior living is a big decision that takes time for prospects to make:
Independent Living averages 237 days (up from 203 pre-pandemic)
Assisted Living averages 200 days (up from 145 pre pandemic)
Memory care averages 85 days (down from 107 pre-pandemic)
Expecting a lead to move in 2 or 3 months after their first inquiry isn’t realistic. Help your sales teams to understand that these are long decision-making timelines and encourage them to be in it for the long haul.
3. Set goals. Senior living sales requires significantly more touches before a sale than most other products. While we’ve all heard that a typical sale takes 6-8 touches, the reality of senior living sales is that an Independent Living move-in requires 26 sales touches; Assisted Living requires 25; and Memory Care requires 21. Achieving these touches requires setting activity and performance goals (check out our tips for setting goals).
4. Implement processes. Formalize your sales system and document every detail of it, from handling initial inquiries all the way through to the move-in and every step in between.
5. Train on these skills. Develop your sales teams’ sales skills by teaching, promoting practice, and reviewing and correcting skill development.
Referrer Activation: 5 Tips to Reactivate Dormant Professional Referral Sources
Identify the most productive pre-pandemic professional referrers. Your senior living CRM is a great tool for conducting a lead source analysis.
Find common characteristics for those dormant referrers. What are the common threads – are they in a certain part of town? Do they fall into specific areas of medical practice? The common characteristics may surprise you.
Compare earlier referral activity with recent activity. What were your sales teams doing before that they’re not doing now? Is the level of professional outreach activity on par with what it was?
Find the gaps. Where is the present different from history? What can be done to achieve a comparable level of activity again?
Follow up with them. Share updates of how “their” residents they referred to your community are doing.
Don’t ignore the gold in your sales data – mine it! If you’re not working the leads you already have, and reactivating referral sources you haven’t heard from in some time, you’re missing real opportunities to generate move-ins and fill your communities.
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