Every staff member in a senior living community can be a potential referral source, recommending the community to their friends, family, and acquaintances. We’ve put together a list of tools every staff member needs to make a good impression. With the encouragement of the executive director and sales counselor, they can be brand ambassadors for your company and your community.
First and foremost, a positive mindset is the greatest tool that every staff member should have. Let your associates know that the best community is one full of happy, thriving residents, and that each of them has the power to influence the overall care provided and atmosphere of the community. Part of being a brand ambassador is having a positive mindset and being an advocate when talking about the community.
The Elevator Pitch
It shouldn’t be taken for granted that everyone in your company has a brief explanation of what they do and where they work prepared. Any staff member might have an opportunity to tell a potential future resident how great the community is, and more importantly, the huge problems that senior living communities solve for older adults. Help them to prepare and practice their own “elevator pitch” that explains in a positive way where they work and what they do there. Keep it simple, for example:
I work with older adults at Horizons Senior Living, it’s an independent and assisted living community. I’m proud of the great service and care we provide to older adults. We’re solving the problems of living at home alone by providing them with socialization, healthy meals, and top quality care. It’s a really nice place for older adults to live.
They’ll of course want to personalize it so it sounds and feels natural. Encourage the executive director to practice it with them.
Suggest that your staff have a few key pieces of marketing materials to keep in their car, like a few copies of the community’s brochure and the business cards for the ED and sales counselor, in case someone asks them for more information.
Consider incentivizing them for making a referral who ultimately moves in, such as a paid time off day, gift card, or a bonus. Make this an easy process by creating a referral form, filled out by the employee when they’ve made a referral. This form includes their name, the date the referral was made, the name of the person they made the referral to, how they are connected to the person, and some relevant details like why the person is considering a move to a senior living community. Recognize them at staff meetings, in bulletin boards in staff break areas, or in company-wide communications.
Pride in Their Workplace
Ultimately, every employee at a community can do their part to ensure that the community is always presentable in its best possible light. A potential resident can be touring the community at any time, viewing the model rooms, meeting current residents, and maybe having a meal or observing one of the day’s activities. All members of the staff – including but not limited to caregivers, housekeepers, maintenance, and servers – may encounter the touring party. They should be ready with a warm greeting and a willingness to answer any questions asked of them.
Finding a Hidden Gem
By encouraging a sales-focused culture, you may even discover that an employee at the community has a knack for senior living sales. By fostering this person’s skills, they might eventually be moved into a position of backing up the sales counselor by performing activities like taking inquiry calls in their absence or assisting with tours.
The benefits to your company and community of fostering a sales-focused culture are many, they help you and your sales teams to build census and increase occupancy, and improve resident satisfaction and retention. It also promotes innovation and improvement – everyone can contribute new ideas for keeping the residents satisfied and attracting new ones. A little encouragement is all it takes to improve the staff’s pride in their workplace and become brand ambassadors of their senior living communities.