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Battling COVID-19 Webinar

Senior Living Marketing Webinar: Battling COVID-19

We’ve gathered industry experts for this FREE senior living marketing webinar to give you the tools to effectively manage the COVID-19 pandemic in your senior living community. From resident and staff health, effective procedures for cleaning and disinfecting to managing crisis communication.

Here’s what you’ll learn: 

  • Strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in senior living communities
  • Prevention, treatment of COVID-19
  • COVID-19 HR Policy
  • CDC Recommendations
  • Safety FAQs
  • When should you use standard precautions
  • Three types of transmission
  • Practicing good EVS procedures
  • Supporting staff, residents and families
  • Crisis Communication
  • Virtual sales tools
Why All Senior Living Websites Need To Have a Blog & Premium Content

The Benefits of a Senior Living Blog & Premium Content

Even as we sit here in 2020, it still amazes us the resistance we occasionally encounter when we tell people they should have a senior living blog and offer premium content (e.g., free guides, infographics, checklists, ebooks, etc.).

So let’s explain our rationale once and for all.

1. Senior living blog posts and premium content provide additional opportunities to attract people to your site and engage them with helpful info.

The more paths you can give people to enter and explore your website, the better. And that’s precisely what premium content and senior living blog posts do.

Remember, most people begin their shopping online these days. A basic 10-page or 20-page senior living website isn’t enough to cover all the information people are searching for. But every blog post you write is considered a website page. Every landing page you have for a free download, like a guide or infographic, is considered a page. And ALL of these pages are excellent ways to help attract site visitors and convert them into leads.

Google also likes a deeper website with lots of helpful info: “If your pages contain useful information, their content will attract many visitors and entice webmasters to link to your site.”

2. Blog posts and premium content provide a great opportunity for long-tail keyword optimization.

A long-tail keyword is one that’s hyper specific, but doesn’t have a ton of monthly searches. That’s OK, because the specificity of the search term often indicates someone’s eagerness to buy sooner rather than later. For example, someone searching on “yellow sneakers women wide width size 8” indicates a certain level of interest beyond someone who simply googles “women’s sneakers.”

Armed with a solid list of long-tail keywords relevant to senior living, you can optimize your blog and premium content so that it helps capture the people conducting these long-tail searches.

3. Blog posts and premium content can speak to a specific point in the buyer’s journey—and to different buyers.

Some of your core pages—like your home page—need to speak to everyone. It’s the home page, after all. It needs to be welcoming to everyone who lands on it, regardless of who they are or where they are in their journey.

But a guide that that discusses the differences between independent living and assisted living is speaking to someone earlier in their journey. The one-sheet on your community’s pricing is speaking to buyer who is in the decision making stage.

Having different types of content that speak to different types of buyers at different points in their journey is not only helpful to your prospects, but also your marketing and sales teams. How? Well, marketing and sales will be able to score the leads appropriately based on the types of blog posts and premium content the prospects read and download.

In the example we used earlier, the person learning about independent living and memory care would be a marketing-qualified lead (MQL) since they’re still in the educational stages, while the person who requested pricing would be a sales-qualified lead (SQL).

4. Blogs and premium content allow you the space to dive deep into complex questions.

Think of the most common questions people ask about senior living. Do a quick answer on your FAQs page. But go into a deeper explanation in a blog post or guide.

5. Blogs and premium content give you a great place to show your community’s personality and unique point of view.

In a previous article, we mentioned that one of the challenges facing senior living communities is that most (if not all) are essentially selling the same thing—and your core web pages won’t differ too much from competitors’ web pages.

But with a blog and other premium content, you can begin to differentiate yourself simply by how you talk and the approach you take to common questions (or objections/challenges).

In fact, we’d argue that more and more senior living communities need to get into this “personality-driven” content. Write a blog post on a day in the life of your…activities director, nurse practitioner, head of dining, you get the idea. Include candid photos and real quotes. Or create a guide on “How 3 Real Families Helped Ease Their Parents’ Angst About Moving into Our Community.”

THAT’S the type of content people won’t see anywhere else because it’s unique to your community. It’s honest, and it tackles the stuff that’s in the back of so many people’s heads.

The communities that start producing truly original, heartfelt, honest content are the communities that will succeed the most this decade—and a blog and premium content are a great way to disseminate this sort of material.

Need fresh ideas for your blog or premium content?

Let’s brainstorm together for 30 minutes!

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Using Premium Content to Generate More Leads, Tours, & Move-Ins

Content is king. If used correctly, it will attract and convert website visitors into qualified leads, scheduled tours, and move-ins.

But what content should you create? Most people immediately say “blog posts.” While blogs are a great tool to improve SEO, increase traffic, and engage visitors, you need to do more than simply “blog” if you want to generate leads, tours, and move-ins.

1. Invest in Premium Content

Your site probably has lots of ungated content, meaning people can access it without giving you their info. Your blog posts are examples of ungated content.

But offering premium content—something people can’t get anywhere else that is “gated” behind a form—motivates visitors to give you their contact information in exchange for the valuable content. From there, you can continue to nurture the prospects along their sales journey. So what should the premium content be? Think guides, e-books, “how-to” articles, and checklists.

A good place to promote your premium content is through a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of a blog post (e.g., “Get our free guide on aging well!”). The blog posts are the bait, your prospects are the fish, and the premium content serves as the hook.

Keep in mind that it’s important to have a variety of premium content because prospects will “bite” on different content based on their stage of readiness and interests.

2. Create Stellar Landing Pages

Your landing page is where the premium content “lives.” This the “gate” part in gated content. The landing page should include:

  • An image of the premium content – so work with a graphic designer on a beautiful cover!
  • A compelling description of what the prospect will learn – so work with a copywriter!
  • A form to gather contact information in exchange for receiving the content. If you want to be sure to gather real emails, distribute the content to prospects via email rather than direct download.

Don’t overwhelm prospects with too many required fields! This is a first date, so simply ask for first and last name and email address. In terms of how to create and host landing pages, we recommend HubSpot because they offer progressive profiling so you can ask additional questions with every opt-in form. As prospects take more premium content, you get more information such as preferred location, their role, and desired lifestyle.

Remember, marketing’s job is to “plate up” sales-qualified leads (SQLs) to the sales team. Each landing page represents a piece of content related to the sales funnel. Your sales team will be especially interested in prospects who opt into content that indicates they’re sales ready. And by knowing what content the SQL has downloaded, your sales team can have a more productive conversation when they talk to the prospect on the phone or meet face-to-face.

3. Set Up Effective Senior Living Marketing Automation to Nurture Leads

Congratulations, you took an anonymous website visitor and converted them to a lead – great! Now, it’s time to nurture these leads to create face-to-face or voice-to-voice interactions with the sales team.

However, if you reel in the fish too quickly, it will get spooked and drop off the line. That is what happens when you send every lead directly into your CRM. Instead, use a marketing automation platform that will create automated workflows to provide additional content and offers (e.g., tours, lunches, home visits, events) that are relevant to the lead based on the “bait” that reeled them in.

For example, if someone downloads a piece of educational content on tips for aging well, this suggests they are at the top of the sales funnel and perhaps just beginning to learn about senior living options. How you nurture them will be a lot different from the way you nurture someone who’s downloaded a guide on how to finance different senior living arrangements.

If you follow these three steps, you will establish your brand as a thought leader and you’ll continue to bring prospects back to your website throughout their journey. Best of all? You’ll be serving up SQLs that your sales team can take across the finish line.

If you need assistance setting up these systems, please contact us or call 888.620.9832.

Fresh Ideas For Planning Events That Drive Traffic & Generate Leads

Senior Living Marketing Events: Fresh Ideas That Drive Leads

Editor’s note: We updated this article on 9/15/20 in an effort to talk about senior living marketing events in the time of COVID-19.

Senior living marketing events can typically go one of two ways. First, well-planned and executed events can generate qualified leads, re-engage existing leads, and create opportunities to develop new professional contacts and nurture existing relationships.

On the other hand, poorly executed events can be a big waste of time and money. Add in a pandemic, and event marketing becomes even more complex!

Don’t worry. We got you covered. Here are some fresh event ideas, most of which you can adapt in a “virtual” way. Popular options include Zoom and Facebook Live. In fact, we’ve written an in-depth post on how to effectively use Facebook Live during COVID-19…and beyond.

Senior Living Marketing Events: Show That You Are An Expert & a Resource

Educational senior living marketing events will help position you as a trusted advisor and valued resource. Below are some topics and themes to consider.

  • Author Visit. Many authors are doing virtual book tours right now. You can either host or simply promote a popular author’s upcoming virtual book tour. For in-person events, the author can speak and bring books for purchase and signing.
  • Downsizing/ Transitions. Invite real estate pros and downsizing experts. Hold a panel discussion in person or via Zoom/Facebook Live.
  • Financial Solutions Same idea as above. Your community hosts the experts in person or virtually. Think VA benefits, life insurance conversion, and long term care.
  • Legal Issues/ Financial Planning Topics. Ditto.
  • Memory Care Topics. Ditto. Think brain fitness, education, research, driving, and dementia.
  • Support Groups. Ideas include: caregiver support groups, Alzheimer’s, men’s groups, bereavement groups, etc.
  • Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Do this at your community, or bring your program to a local hospital or skilled nursing facility.

Senior Living Marketing Events: Be Social & Show Your Fun Side

Some of the senior living events below work better “in person.” But many can be adapted to a virtual environment. We’ve marked those with asterisks.

  • Art classes. *This can be a GREAT thing to do virtually. The teacher demonstrates via ZOOM, and people follow along/participate at home.
  • Fitness classes. *Same idea. The teacher conducts the fitness class via Zoom, and people can take part from home.
  • Networking. Think breakfasts, lunch, cocktail receptions, martini mixer etc.
  • Dash & Dine. Stop by for a tour or event, and take home dinner on us!
  • Spa Night. *For a virtual component, perhaps offer a virtual “series” on nail care or how to trim your own hair.
  • Brunch. Ideas include champagne, jazz, holiday, Mother/Father’s Day.
  • Senior/Senior Prom with local high school (Star Dust Prom).
  • Holiday/ Special Day Socials / BBQs. Think of all the possibilities: Valentine’s Day, Saint Patrick’s Day, Mother/ Father’s/ Grandparent’s Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving.
  • Chef demonstrations & duels and contests.  *Another great option for Facebook Live. Think of how many people love watching reality cooking shows!
  • Fashion Show. Collaborate with a local store and use staff, residents, family, or professionals as models. *Again, a version of this could be transitioned online.
  • Comedienne. Professionals need to have fun after work. *So many comics are sharing free clips right now on YouTube. Compile a bunch and share with your contacts.
  • Reading or one act play by local theater group 

Senior Living Marketing Events: Grass Roots & Community

  • Host spiritual groups. Think Parish Nurses, Stephens Ministry, Non Denominational meeting of Rabbi’s, Pastors, Priests etc.
  • Host seniors groups. Think Red Hat Society, Senior Centers & Groups.
  • Host art shows for local schools/ artists or resident art
  • Host piano recitals for local teachers if you have a piano
  • Dinner & a movie if you have a theater
  • Sponsor a community yard sale
  • Host fundraisers. More and more of these are happening online, such as virtual walks/races.
  • Sponsor a community health fair with free screenings
  • Host community group car wash
  • Host a variety/ talent show
  • Wreath/ Miniature Tree decorating – referral sources & families buy a wreath or tree and decorate it (usually with a theme) and raffle them off for charity at a social event.

Reminder, we’ve helped our clients successfully “pivot” during the pandemic.

In fact, we never missed a beat since we’re a virtual marketing agency. As a result, most of our clients didn’t either. WE CAN HELP YOU. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and take advantage of our free 30-minute brainstorming session. We can help you come up with effective senior living marketing events that will work now.

Market Better During COVID-19!

Access our free resources! Includes tips on senior living events and more. Get started here.

7 Keys to Successful External Business Development

7 Keys to Successful External Business Development

An important component of every successful sales plan involves generating referrals from professional sources by creating and nurturing relationships. It is challenging to balance internal and external sales responsibilities, so here are some best practices to get the greatest results from your efforts:

1. Have Designated Days Established for External Business Development

Tuesday – Thursday are usually the best days to meet with referral sources. To ensure that you create more referral opportunities with healthcare sources, find out what day they hold their care planning/discharge planning meetings and schedule a visit right after.

2. When Possible, Start Your Day with Sales Calls

Once you set foot in the community, it is very difficult to get out! Going directly from home to networking events, scheduled sales calls, and cold calls will reduce the opportunity for other sales activities to distract you from prospecting. 

3. Know the Difference Between a Sales Call and a Cold Call

A sales call is a scheduled appointment with purpose. It is face to face and it serves to move your relationship with the referral source forward. To be effective, 50% of your sales calls should be scheduled in advance to ensure that you have a face-to-face appointment with a decision maker who influences referrals.

A cold call is an unscheduled face-to-face meeting with a decision maker who influences referrals. It involves having a conversation that moves the relationship forward.

Dropping off brochures, flyers, invitations, cookies, etc., does not qualify as a sales call or a cold call. You must have a face-to-face meeting/conversation with a decision maker or an influencer who can help you get to the decision maker.

4. Hunting and Farming

There are two ways to increase your business; you either have to get more business from your existing referral sources by going deeper in your accounts, or you should find new pockets of untapped business. Finding new sources is hunting, while getting more business from established accounts is Your week should be a combination of both hunting and farming.

The best way to hunt for more business is to ask every contact at every sales call who they know that you should be talking to. Statistically, every referral source you interact with has a network of 250 contacts. Ask them, “If you were me, who would you be talking to, or who would you want to meet?”

The best way to farm for more business is to ask your existing contacts who else you should introduce yourself to in their organization.

5. Don’t Spill All of Your Candy in the Lobby!!!!

Once you get the appointment, stick with your plan and time frame. It is very tempting to “dump” all of your information in the first visit and then have nothing to tell them in the next visit. On average, people only remember 7% of verbal communication.

6. Common Courtesy Goes a Long Way

  1. Call to confirm the appointment.
  2. Be on time.
  3. Come with a purpose that is meaningful to them.
  4. Stick with the agreed upon timeframe—they are busy!

7. It’s not about You!

The main goal for sales calls is to learn about them—their role, their goals, their challenges, their business, who they would like to meet, how you can help them, what success looks like, how you can refer to them, and what resources would be valuable. Take an interest in them and they will take an interest in you. As you nurture the relationship, you will learn about their interests outside of work and this provides an opportunity to do something memorable that sets you apart. If a referral source brings their dog to work, bring biscuits or treats for your next meeting. If they love to eat out, bring a clipping of a new restaurant about to open. People like to do business with people they connect with, so be creative!

How does your community’s sales team farm for new business? Please share!

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How To Generate Word Of Mouth Endorsements – A Case Study

Written By: Doug Pruden Principal Customer Experience Partners, LLC – and Senior Living SMART Partner

What Costco Might Teach us About Generating Word of Mouth

Confirmed Costco shoppers appear to enjoy their shopping experiences at the big-box retailer.  Despite the less than luxurious facilities, larger than desirable multi-packs, membership fee, and frustratingly long checkout lines, Costco rises to the top in just about every national customer satisfaction ranking.  At first glance, it may seem strange that Costco ranks right up there with the likes of Nordstrom and Trader Joes, but when all of the components of the total customer experience are considered, it makes sense.

Word of Mouth Just Happens, Right?

But the apparent contradictions don’t stop with Customer Satisfaction.  Costco also enjoys strong, positive word of mouth!  Actual, in-market dialogue about a company often doesn’t track well with these more traditional measures.  So, it’s worth taking a look at how Costco manages to turn purchases of 6-month supplies of olive oil or ‘convenient’ twenty-four packs of D-batteries into a shopping experience that customers actually talk about.

Of course numerous possible explanations come to mind.  It could be that shoppers like to brag about how much money they save, such as the convenience of ‘one-stop shopping’, etc.  However, according to Robin Ross, Senior Director of Corporate Marketing, Costco’s ability to generate word of mouth also has to do with offering unexpected surprises and instilling the sense of a ‘treasure hunt’ into every shopping visit. Costco understands that providing good bargains and a satisfactory shopping experience may keep customers coming back, but these more mundane issues are not likely to stimulate conversations with friends, neighbors, relatives, and co-workers.  And, it’s this positive word of mouth that communicates and perpetuates the memorable customer experience which, in turn, helps keep customers returning and attracts new customers as well.

Advertising Isn’t Involved!

Stimulating and maintaining dialogues about itself with little or no advertising demanded what Ross describes as a “better idea”.  Costco elected a unique strategy.  They added “conversation products” into their product mix; a $3,000 toilet, a $2+ million dollar ring, and computer-measured, custom-tailored men’s suits.  These items are both unconventional and unexpected offerings in a discounter-setting and in truth Costco doesn’t expect to sell many of these items.  But along with other, more affordable ‘treasures’, they provide customers stories to tell.  This unusual merchandise provides customers a reason to talk about their trips to Costco.  Embedded in the resulting word of mouth may be mentions of other, more traditional purchases; the wild salmon they bought or the rewarding savings they received at the in-store pharmacy.  The next time a friend mentions Costco pay attention; you may be a recipient of just such a report.

Strategies for increasing the volume and positive tonality of word of mouth aren’t unique to Costco. Senior living facilities that understand how to provide: 1) Motivation, 2) Content: stories to tell, and 3) Opportunity: chances to relate their content, will enjoy increased word of mouth as well. To hear more about managing and monitoring word of mouth for your brand join us for a Senior Living Smart webinar on October 14!

Would you like to learn more about word of mouth referrals?

Watch our webinar, and don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need solutions.

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Back to Basics – Selling Memory Care

There is a reason that a family member decided to pick up the phone when they did and call you. Finding out the reason is key in selling memory care. Here are the 6 basics to remember when selling memory care:

1. Listen, Listen, Listen, and then Listen Some More.

  • Allow the family time to vent and explain their frustrations.
  • Make sure to give them an opportunity to ask questions.
  • Ask open-ended questions. This will give you more information regarding their situation and concerns.
  • Learn about the potential resident and stress points. Why did they pick up the phone and call you?

2. Selling Memory Care – Educate and Inform.

  • The more they understand, the more control families have over the decision making process.
  • Don’t overwhelm families with too much information.
  • Use different resources. Some people learn more from books and pamphlets, others from videos or lectures.
  • Build a resource library.
  • Offer support groups and educational programs.

3. Help Solve Their Problems.

  • Reduce stress during the decision making process – providing the right amount of support.
  • Offer respite services.
  • Know your Community Resources:
    • Alzheimer’s Association
    • Elder Law Attorneys
    • Counseling Professionals
    • Geriatric Medicine Professionals

4. Listen…Yes Again! Mark Twain once said, “You have two ears and one mouth, so you should listen twice as much as you say.”

  • Listen to what is being said as well as what is left unsaid.
  • Don’t jump to fill pauses in the conversation.

5. Remember it’s an Emotional Process.

  • Families may not always be rational. Provide patience and don’t judge.
  • The decision to call you is often filled with guilt. Guilt can be the main hurdle to overcome.

6. It’s All About the People.

  • Physical Environment is important – but it’s all about who is going to be taking care of mom.
  • Engage with residents and associates on tour.

Things to keep in mind during the tour and move-in process:

  • Encourage families to make a decision before a crisis (fall, wandering) occurs.
  • Make the decision process less daunting by providing support for the Move-In process.
  • Recognize and understand what each family is going through and recognize that each family and each situation is unique.
  • You do this every day – for families, the tour and move-in process is often unknown and overwhelming.

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What are the most important factors that your community emphasizes when selling memory care? Let’s Chat!

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6 Components of a Successful Senior Living Social Media Strategy

Using Social Media to Create a Fully Integrated Growth Strategy

For growth-oriented senior living communities and health-related organizations today, a sound social media strategy should be an integral part of the total marketing program. Your community events and outreach activities should now be viewed in the context of how they fit into your overall social media strategy. They represent an ideal opportunity for positive social interaction with the surrounding community. Social media becomes a vehicle that can take virtually anything positive that is happening and turn it into a valuable marketing opportunity. Social media, which is increasing in usage and popularity every day, becomes a way to supercharge and magnify your marketing efforts.

The overarching goal for senior living organizations today is to become the recognized “go-to” resource for all things related to senior care and senior lifestyles. This involves a strategic shift from an “advertising/event mindset” to becoming a valuable and valued educational resource for your community. Ultimately, your social media strategy is not just about getting your name in the marketplace, it is about getting prospects to visit your community and to choose your community as the best option over competing communities or remaining in the home.

Specific Goals that Support Your Senior Living Community’s Growth

Sage Age works with our client-partners to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy that includes social media as a vehicle to accomplish the following key goals:

  • Building Credibility – Even if never spoken, families have two questions: Will mom or dad be safe here? Will mom or dad be happier here above all other options? When social media is effectively implemented, it will build credibility, trust, and confidence – the keys to the “purchase decision.”
  • Storytelling – Storytelling is the oldest and most effective form of marketing that exists. It grabs the heart, builds credibility and is most powerful when it is a resident or their family member that is telling the story. Social media is the only effective way to tell fresh stories to a large audience.
  • Crowd Sourcing – This is a business term for “viral marketing.” If you tell compelling stories and provide useful information, the crowd will tell your story for you. They will pass the stories on to their families and friends, to people you might never be able to reach directly through traditional marketing approaches.
  • Content Marketing – For most communities, finding time to write, knowing what to write, and actually writing it effectively is often a significant challenge. Yet creating valuable content on a consistent basis is a powerful way for you to stay personally connected with your prospects, your family members, and your referral sources. Sage Age excels at creating relevant, compelling and engaging content that will garner your customer’s interest, attention, and response.
  • E-mail — E-mail is the tool that supports and reinforces the above tasks. It is how you get the word out.
  • Assessment – Finally, it is essential to continually assess the effectiveness of your efforts and to make minor adjustments or radical changes based on the findings.

Does your senior living community have a social media strategy? Let’s Chat!

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Senior Living Marketing: The Power of Differentiation

Marketing a senior living community can be challenging. After all, most communities are essentially selling the same thing. As a result, it can be difficult for consumers to identify the community best suited for their lifestyle and needs.

How can you elevate your senior living marketing to show true differentiation? Read on.

1. Differentiate through technology. Here’s what to keep in mind when evaluating your options.

2. Differentiate through value and price. You could use a “high-end” approach. This caters to the belief that the more costly a product or service is, the more valuable it is. Another option: Position your brand as the provider of high quality at a value price. (Hint: Southwest Airlines does a great job at the latter.)

3. Differentiate through product and services. Convey value by highlighting unique product or service features. For example, how does your dining program compare to local restaurants? How does your resident wellness program compare?

4. Differentiate through customer service. Thanks to the prevalence of online reviews, good customer service will always be important. But exceptional service will elevate your status in the senior living marketplace even more. What are your residents and families saying about you? Do you have a customer service program that creates raving fans?

5. Differentiate through user experience. Senior living communities must build emotional connections through memorable experiences. Remember, there are many transition “points” for residents and families during their stay in your senior living community. How well do you do at these important points in time? Are you eliciting feedback from your residents and following through on what you’ve heard?

Need help creating an unbeatable senior living marketing strategy?

We’ve spent decades working in the industry. Let us help!

 

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Cue The Deer – What We Can Learn From Funny Farm To Create The Perfect Tour Experience!

The movie Funny Farm with Chevy Chase should be required viewing as part of senior living sales training.  When Andy Farmer and his wife struggle to sell their country home after a not so idyllic experience of rural living, they decide to enlist the help of an eclectic cast of characters from the community to create the perfect experience for a hot lead with a “scheduled tour.”  Everything is planned down to the most minute detail – from ducks waddling along as they arrive to a deer prancing across the yard, to the perfectly staged home setting and refreshments – even the yellow dog.  It all unfolds perfectly with the help of the entire town!

Nothing is left to chance – the deer had been caged and as the “prospects” arrived, Chevy Chase as Andy Farmer gave the command into his radio to waiting helpers “cue the deer” at just the right moment.

The Perfect Tour Experience

The couple that was “touring” was so taken by the experience. They offered more than the asking price, closed on the spot; and because everything was so perfect, they even wanted all of the furniture, dishes, and yes, even the yellow dog. A well planned tour of a senior living community can have the same effect with families choosing the community that is the best fit and where their loved one will be comfortable.  When this happens, there is less price sensitivity because the family sees and appreciates the value.  I have had many situations where the family wants to purchase the entire model apartment because it is so warm and inviting!

Here are some quick tips for how your community team can create a “Cue The Deer” experience:

  • Do thorough discovery to learn about the prospect’s life story – the more you know, the more personal of an experience you can create.  Ask about interests, hobbies, careers, military service, favorite foods, books, movies, music, family, routines, “must haves” and “non-negotiables.”   For example, with my mother, the community must serve tea in a teapot – heaven help the server who shows up with a tea bag in a cup and tries to pour water over it and call it “tea”!
  • Based on this information, plan the tour and use your team.  There are some easy personal touches that the team can execute such as having a welcome sign at the reception desk with their name, having the favorite refreshments served in the hospitality room or dining room if they are staying for a meal, schedule a favorite activity for the time of the visit, plan introductions to key staff and similar residents, have the favorite music playing in the model apartment, or a book by the favorite author on the bed stand – if they are a cat lover, buy a stuffed cat for the bed and hang a “welcome home” sign around their neck.
  • Have a personalized gift at the end of the tour – something especially for them.  Some common themes can be kept on hand (tea/ coffee lovers basket, dog/ cat lovers selections, photo books of local towns spiritual books/ journals, etc.) and others can be purchased prior to the visit if it is something specific ( like the latest book by a favorite author).
  • Also, do things that your competitors are not doing!  For instance, put out a valet parking sign in advance of the tour (if they can’t find a parking spot or have to park far away, you will have your first strike against you); meet the tour personally at the car – what a great first impression; have umbrellas and wheelchairs handy; have cold water at the ready on hot days; serve refreshments in glassware & china, not Styrofoam and paper; offer homemade not bought goodies and finally, walk every visitor out to their car for the final personal touch.

Do you need a plan to build census and turn tours into sales?

Click Here to contact us now so we can help you plan the perfect tour to build census in your community!