We recently hosted a webinar with Grow Your Occupancy, “Removing barriers and accelerating sales: Helping prospects who aren’t ready to move.” The conversation featured two Sales leaders, Silverado’s VP of Sales & Strategic Alliances Ki Siadatan and Senior Lifestyle’s SVP of Sales and Marketing Janine Witte, with participation from Erez Cohen, August Health’s Co-Founder and Co-CEO, and moderated by Grow Your Occupancy’s Julie Podewitz.
The webinar focused on insights these sales leaders have gleaned over the years as well as actionable strategies sales professionals across the senior living industry can implement today. Check out the video above to review the entire webinar, or continue reading for a few key takeaways.
Start with the individual - identify and respect the wonderful life they’ve lived
In the webinar, Janine Witte called out something that is easy to forget, but critically important: prospective residents have lived long and rich lives to get to where they are. For sales leaders hoping to bring these prospective residents to their communities, it’s crucial that they understand and appreciate the past experiences and accomplishments of these individuals.
“You hear the stories about how a resident was a war veteran, how they raised nine children, how they started their own company. They created so much value and brought so much to other people in their lives.”
Moving into a senior living community is a major step in these people’s lives. In thinking about helping to facilitate that and move prospective residents in, sales professionals need to first approach prospects with a curiosity, respect, and appreciation for the life they’ve lived to date.
Guide the prospective resident and their family along the buying journey
As people that are immersed in senior living sales every day, sales professionals know the buying process inside and out. For residents and their families, many of whom are first time buyers, that process is brand new.
In the webinar, Erez Cohen shared that understanding that difference is a key point for sales professionals to remember: “as a sales person that has done this hundreds of times, you need to guide the family along and remove any points of friction.”
As a result, sales professionals should use language that their buyers can understand and avoid industry jargon. Doing so allows them to better connect with their prospective buyers, build trust, and increase the likelihood of a sale.
Focus on agreeing to the next step
During the webinar, all participants discussed the importance of talking through next steps with prospective residents and their families, and building consensus around the next step. Whether it’s agreeing to a follow up call, a follow up visit, or starting the move-in packet, no matter where in the process the prospect is in the buying journey, the key to moving them along and keeping them engaged is agreeing to the next step.
In the webinar, Ki Siadatan explained that forgetting the next step is a major reason for not closing a deal: “So many times we see salespeople fail because they don’t take that next step.”
Address common concerns, like families lacking transparency
Along the buying journey, there are many common concerns that sales professionals are accustomed to addressing. One of those concerns is how much transparency families will have into the lives of their loved ones once they move into a community.
Erez Cohen outlined that communities that adopt tools that allow for this transparency have a strategic advantage when selling prospects: “there’s a level of transparency that families are looking for… like seeing the meds that are being administered today” or that a “new med that came from the pharmacy is live.”
New technology solutions, including August Health, allow for this transparency, and can help sales professionals accelerate and close more deals.
“If I’m a salesperson within a community, I’m going to go out there every day and throw a lot of love and appreciation on my caregivers, on my laundry team, on my maintenance team, on my culinary team, because…when you tour my community, when you see all these people, you’re going to see that they’re throwing a lot of love on my residents.” - Ki Siadatan
“The elephant in the room is the cost. We start to hear about their costs and their various concerns. But how often are we making sure that our team’s talk to them about the cost of not coming to us, right? The cost of your health. The cost of your physical well-being. The cost of your time.” - Julie Podewitz
“If you want to control a sale, you have to have all the information you can get your hands on, so you can tie this narrative together and say hey, here’s what makes sense next.” - Janine Witte