Topics Discussed and Key Points:
- Lead generation amid COVID-19
- Why warmer leads have been converting better than cold leads in the past few months
- What prospects want to talk about during the pandemic
- The power of creative follow-up
- Shifting your messaging from crisis communication to reopening
- Creating a sales and marketing playbook for the new normal
In today’s episode, Debbie speaks with Julie Podewitz, Chief Sales Officer at Vitality Senior Living, on the widespread effects of COVID-19 on the senior living industry and best practices for how communities can navigate the new normal.
Asked about lead generation amid COVID-19, Julie notes that while leads have been down (more than 50% in some markets), sales conversations continue to remain strong—and in certain cases are actually higher than pre-COVID-19 numbers. A big factor is sense of urgency which, according to Julie, has been “moved forward in a massive direction”. Empathetic sales has become the norm. The pandemic has “forced us to be doing what we really should be doing, which is asking questions” as well as demonstrated the importance of building rapport using every available channel. While leads have lessened, phone calls have been longer and more meaningful. During these challenging times, busyness has morphed into productivity.
Even if prospects may not be able to move into a community anytime soon, there is no better time to connect with them than right now. Potential residents are looking not only for a resource, but for an ear as well. While leads across the board have been down, referral leads have been on the rise, which says more than anything else that prospects are looking for people that they can entrust their future to. By connecting with and creatively following-up with these prospects, getting sales is a given.
No matter the current climate, what needs to remain consistent in your brand’s messaging is honesty and transparency. Of course, this is especially true amid the pandemic, during which fear is the biggest shared hurdle that senior living communities must overcome in the minds of their prospects and current residents. By being upfront with your intentions in your communications, you will assure and inspire confidence in both your employees and customers.