Topics Discussed and Key Points:
- The senior living industry from a sales perspective
- Five situations prospects find themselves in
- Tailoring your message for lead acquisition versus lead nurturing
- Attributes of the best salespeople in the senior living space
- The best way to approach personalization
- Keys to empathetic selling
In today’s episode, Debbie speaks with Leff Bonney, an Associate Professor of Marketing at Florida State University where he teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses in sales and sales management.
Leff has been involved in various consulting projects for major senior living providers to help them define their sales process and do a better job engaging with prospects and guiding them along the decision journey.
Some of the primary insights uncovered by Leff and his team include the fallacy of the persona-driven segmentation. Different situations may arise between customers who match established demographics. Therefore, Leff recommended shifting to situation-based segmentation that takes context into account.
Another unproductive practice is the one-size-fits-all approach that prevents providers from differentiating themselves from others, which of course is vital in attracting the right prospects.
Prospects find themselves in one of five situations when they come through the door. The top two situations are what Leff calls dazed and confused (comprising about 20% of prospects) and red alert (comprising about 30% of prospects), with the rest being either in the ready referral, prepared shopper, or tire kickers categories.
Asked for the attributes of top-performing salespeople in the industry, Leff names adaptability as the number one skill, as this allows them to navigate the often fast-paced developments that a prospect for senior living providers tends to undergo.
Another is curiosity, which allows them to paint the best picture they can of the prospect and their particular situation. Likewise, creativity minimizes the tendency for the salesperson to fall back on a one-size-fits-all approach.
In the same vein, the ability to personalize experiences dramatically boosts that all-important know, like, and trust factor, not to mention contributes to differentiation when done right.
Finally, Leff comments on the power of empathetic selling and how a focus on defining the problem instead of the solution, along with simple tweaks in copy, can make all the difference.