If senior housing community is like most, you are probably doing a bunch of things to attract new residents: Big events, local advertising, on-line lead generation and multiple forays into your local marketplace. You likely are paying for one or more full time marketing/sales person (or maybe you are that person). Yet if you are not engaging your staff, family members and vendors to be advocates for your senior community, you are missing one of the most powerful and least expensive tools available to you.
This article was inspired by an article at INC “Turn Customers into Your Best Salespeople: 4 Tips” This is my take on 4 things you can do to turn these valuable resources into your very best salespeople.
1. Have an Excellent Exceptional Senior Community
As the INC article points out, you have to have an exceptional senior community or the rest of the tips are worthless. You must be the very best in your marketplace and in your market space.
What this means is that even if you are operating a modest income property in a market of high-end properties, you can do a lot to create an amazing experience. Make sure your carpets are clean, your paint fresh, your community smells nice and most importantly your staff is competent and loves your residents . . . and their family. If you are running a high end community you need to not only look good, but every single person on your staff needs to be friendly and have a “go the second mile”, mentality.
The idea is this:
- Every time a family member thinks about coming to your community they look forward to it.
- Your staff looks forward to getting to work on time or even early because they know they will have a great day.
- You are the favorite stop for your vendors. They are treated as a valuable part of the team.
2. Select one or more potential rock stars: employees, vendors and family members
Be very strategic about figuring out who these people are. They are not automatically the most loyal of these three groups. You need to think about those people who have great influence or the potential for great influence in your marketplace. They should be people who are likely to be liked by others and are seen as experts or authorities in the circle of influence.
Look for people who are good story tellers and have a great, compelling story about your community. Here is the thing though . . . this requires the engagement of people who are not a part of the sales and marketing department. This requires active involvement of the executive director and other department heads.
3. Turn your customers into stars by giving them what they want.
I am convinced that senior housing communities do not spend enough time really thinking about their local community and local marketplace and asking, themselves the question: “What do they really want?”
The way to start is to create a formal or informal advisory board. Get them together once a quarter or even better once a month and ask them what they want. Ask them what they are seeing in the marketplace that works well. Ask them what you can be doing better. Look for ways you can help them with whatever their passion is. Make introductions, invite them to make a presentation to residents or family members, ask them to write a testimonial or do a testimonial video for you.
If you are bold enough ask them to go visit your competition so and report back what they are doing better or different as well as what they are not doing as good as you.
4. Whatever you do, don't give them financial incentives.
We are ultimately in business to make money which means that money motivates us, and in truth, to some degree money motivates all of us. Yet for most of us, the non-monetary things are way more important. If you offer financial incentives you will destroy the relationships and the opportunity.
What are you doing to turn your vendors, family members and staff into marketing and sales rock stars?
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Finally: If you know anyone who is looking at emergency call systems I would appreciate the opportunity to talk with them about Vigil Health Solutions.