Getting a prospect to tour your senior living community is a critical step in the senior living sales process—but it’s only one step. Once prospects finish the tour, then what? What can your marketing and sales teams do to help prospects cross the finish line and become residents?
We’ve rounded up some tips for helping your teams do exactly that.
Senior living sales tips: what to do during the tour
Build a personal connection
The salesperson’s job is to focus on the prospect. This is an excellent opportunity to discover what makes the prospect tick, their questions, and why they (or their family) might be hesitant about your community. Remember, the main goal isn’t to sell—it’s to listen. Show sincere empathy and take mental notes.
- PRO TIP: If a prospect raises a concern, you can address it, but “addressing” doesn’t necessarily mean “fixing.” Not every concern can be fixed. Sometimes, it’s more important for the prospect to simply be heard.
Tailor the tour to the prospect’s interests
To do this, you need an excellent pre-tour process that captures relevant details about prospects. Are they foodies who love gourmet meals and fine wine? You’ll want to stop by your community’s pub and talk about the wine tastings on the first Saturday of each month.
Does a prospect love to read? Talk about the community’s book club, stop by the library, and—ideally—introduce them to book club members during the tour.
- PRO TIP: Don’t force it. Your community might not have something for every interest under the sun, and that’s OK. If someone brings up a new hobby, you could talk about a current resident who started a new program or club that didn’t exist before they moved in. Your job is to show what’s possible in your community in addition to what’s already in place.
Offer a “taste” of your community’s lifestyle
We mean both literal and figurative tastes. Food quality is always at the top of prospects’ lists, so invite prospects to have a meal. Better yet: invite them to come back for a meal after they finish their tour. Book it with them before they leave, but send them home with something to whet their appetite, like yummy baked goods from the community’s kitchen.
As for figurative tastes, invite prospects to participate in activities like an upcoming movie night or book club. Don’t simply invite them, either. Facilitate by introducing the prospect to the resident in charge and reminding the resident as the date gets closer.
- PRO TIP: During the tour, hand the prospect a physical invitation where the prospect gets to choose from three upcoming events. They can RSVP on the spot. If they don’t want to commit before they leave, tell them you’ll call them tomorrow to see what works for their schedule. This provides an excellent opportunity to check in and gauge their feelings about the community without seeming pushy. You’re simply following up on the invitation.
Pepper the tour with success stories
Share success stories about current residents or their families. Hearing about positive experiences—or experiences they can identify with—can go a long way in helping to alleviate doubts and inspire confidence.
PRO TIP: Introduce prospects to current residents during the tour, including some of the ones featured in your stories. This allows them to see firsthand the positive experiences and relationships that can be developed within the community.
Discuss the move-in process
If your community doesn’t have a new resident welcome program, start one ASAP. Every community should have a program for welcoming new residents and helping them acclimate. The program can include pairing the resident with a peer, making sure someone from the community is there to greet them on move-in day, and scheduling introductions between the new resident and essential personnel, like the chef and the executive director.
- PRO TIP: This isn’t a once-and-done conversation. Creating a thoughtful guide to moving into your community will benefit everyone involved. You could create a section on your site for new and future residents that includes essential and helpful info.
Senior living sales tips: What to do post-tour
Always follow up
It seems so basic, right? Senior living sales 101. But in our busy world, sometimes the basics fall by the wayside. Always follow up tours with a heartfelt note—ideally, a handwritten one you send via good old-fashioned snail mail. You can then follow up with digital communication like email, but a handwritten note is classy—especially in the eyes of the older generations—as it takes time to write and shows someone you’re thinking about them.
Personalize the note! This is where all that listening you did during the tour will pay off. Demonstrate you were listening by referring to something they said or providing further info about a question or concern they had.
- PRO TIP: If you’re working with a family member—like an adult daughter looking at communities with her mom—send a note to both people. Make sure you don’t say the same thing. Again, personalize these letters. What’s on the mind of the adult daughter will be different from what’s on the mom’s mind.
Provide written info on the move-in process
You’ll see that we repeated this tip—on purpose. During the tour, you should discuss the next steps if the prospect wants to move in. You should also discuss how your community helps residents acclimate. But post-tour, you should follow up with specifics in writing. Creating a packet with a checklist of next steps, important dates, and even a list of helpful service providers like senior move specialists can be helpful. (You can turn this into a digital packet on your website as well.)
- PRO TIP: Consider working with vendors on preferred pricing packages. For example, if a new resident uses one of the preferred moving companies you recommended, the company could discount them. This creates added value for new residents and senior living referral sources and networking partners.
Offer incentives if/when appropriate
People love good deals, like waived fees or discounted first month’s rent. If you’re heading into a historically slow season—or your census is below a critical threshold—you can deploy incentive programs until you get your numbers back up.
- PRO TIP: Implementing a “make your friend your neighbor” program is another great program for all residents (but it works exceptionally well with new residents).
Need help preparing your sales team for productive tours?
Your best bet is to use a senior living call center like LeadGenie. The staff can qualify callers who are ready for tours and record interesting nuggets about them for the sales reps who’ll be leading the tours. Learn more about LeadGenie here.