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The First Conversation in Senior Living Sales

The First Conversation in Senior Living Sales

Not too long ago, the first conversation with prospects happened either over the phone with the initial discovery call or in person during an event or tour. Today, the first conversation with prospects is digital in nature. Eighty-seven percent of senior living sales start online, and providers have only seven seconds to engage prospects.

Here are five tips to increase engagement and conversions.

Tip #1: It’s Not About You.

Your prospects don’t come to your website because they want to hear your “story,” meet your team, or read your mission statement. They come because they have a compelling need or concern, many questions, and a desire to connect with helpful resources to guide their decision-making journey.

Remember, you only have seven seconds. So ask yourself how you’re going to connect, engage, and convert them to a lead. Prospects today are much more experiential in their research style. If you have relevant information, they will stay on your site. If not, they will bounce off to a competitor or third party lead aggregator site.

So make sure you put the most relevant and helpful info front and center on your most trafficked pages, particularly the home page. Include calls-to-action that will lead people to helpful resources they can download. Make sure FAQs are easily accessible in the navigation (better yet, include a Live Chat feature so you can address their questions in real-time).

Tip #2: Create Content for All Stages in The Buyer’s Journey.

Ninety percent of website visitors are not sales qualified. Prospects in the Awareness Stage are looking for basic information (e.g., What are the options? What’s included? Can I afford it?).

When they move into the Consideration Stage, they are weighing pros and cons and transitional issues (e.g., Is home or community the best setting? What will we do with all the stuff? Is the family on board? How do we broach the subject with Mom/ Dad?).

By the time prospects move into the Decision Stage, urgency replaces ambivalence and the conversation shifts to timing and location (e.g., Which community is going to be the best fit? what funding sources can we tap into? How do we make a smooth transition?).

To meet prospects where they are, your website must offer a range of content types to consume throughout the journey and multiple CTAs (calls to action) to advance leads. You’ll want to gate some content, but you should also “un-gate” some content as well. Blogs make great un-gated content (we recommend two to four original educational blog posts per month). Offering downloadable activity calendars, menus, and newsletters works well, too.

Guides, e-books, and tool kits work best for gated content (the prospect must exchange limited contact information in exchange for the valuable resource). Offering digital brochures and pricing resources are very popular with prospects and have high engagement and conversion metrics. We have found that e-newsletters are the number one tool to re-engage website visitors.

Need more help getting your website up to snuff?

Check out the following offers:

Tip #3: Make Your Website Interactive.

Websites today have to be more than online brochures. Less copy and more interactive experiences will make the website “sticky” so prospects stay longer and come back often.

Need some ideas? Live chat (not self-managed, not bots, and not foreign-based) produces high conversion rates with 40% of chats turning into leads and 20% converting to a scheduled tour. Interactive surveys (such as financial calculators) and self-guided decision tools (such as Roobrik) engage and convert anonymous website visitors into marketing- and sales-qualified leads. Interactive site maps, virtual tours, and room planners allow prospects to explore from their couch, without the drive time or sales pitch.

Tip #4 Optimize the Contact Us Form.

Prospects at each stage will respond to different CTAs, so offer them a menu of choices. Create a “pick list” with options such as the following:

  • Download a brochure
  • Check pricing
  • Join us for lunch
  • Schedule a home visit
  • Schedule a tour
  • Attend an upcoming event
  • Speak with an advisor
  • Subscribe to our newsletter and/or blog

Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) who opt in to face-to-face or voice-to-voice interaction should immediately go to the community sales team. We recommend marketing automation to nurture early stage leads with personalized workflows. This allows sales teams to stay focused on high-conversion opportunities without the distraction of following up with leads that are not ready.

Tip #5: Attract and Convert More Leads, Tours, & Move-Ins with Essential Resources.

Below, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite resources. But you can find others in our Senior Living Marketplace.

  • Senior Living SMART – website design, marketing automation, content development
  • SiteStaff – live chat staffed by college-educated Americans trained for senior living
  • Roobrik – self-guided decision tools with low lead-acquisition costs and high conversions
  • Marchex – call tracking to measure conversion points for digital, social, and traditional channels
  • Design Floor Plans – interactive sitemaps, room planners, 2- and 3-D floor plans
Top 5 DIY Marketing Tips for 2019

Top 5 DIY Marketing Tips for 2019

Already working on your Q1 marketing plans? Join your fellow senior living sales and marketing professionals for this 45- minute webinar where you’ll learn helpful tips to get your promo plans in place for 2019.

  • Goal set based on numbers
  • Identify target personas
  • Select the right promotion for the job to be done
  • Select the right media for the job to be done
  • Measure a job well done

The takeaways from this webinar will help you better structure your goals, strategies, tactics and actions to drive more move-ins more effectively. We’ll also answer some of your questions.

The Five Most Important Resident Marketing Trends

The Five Most Important Resident Marketing Trends

In 2017, LeadingResponse marketed to, and surveyed, more than 250,000 prospective residents, their adult children and caregivers to gain insights, and generate new move-ins for their senior living community clients.  During this hot topic webinar, you’ll learn more about the amazing data and results that were born out of this initiative and how to use that information to dramatically improve your occupancy.

What You Will Learn:

  1. Provide the latest resident marketing trends
  2. Discuss best practices based on data to generate new move-ins
  3. Gain consumer behavior details that increase your conversion rate
  4. Learn more about very targeted efforts to yield the strongest qualified leads
  5. Discuss the difference in behaviors between face to face leads vs digital leads
What Happened? How to Improve the Customer’s Experience Webinar

What Happened? How to Improve the Customer’s Experience Webinar

Marketing, sales and operations have a blind spot into the offline customer journey once a call lands with the sales channel.  Learn ways to deliver a consistent, branded customer experience to improve revenue performance.

You’ll learn:

  • Inbound call handling best practices
  • Understanding where breakage occurs in the customer journey
  • How to effectively score all inbound customer calls
  • How to optimize media to drive more opportunities
SENior living marketing

Get the Most from Your Paid Advertising Budget: Consider Call Analytics

Marketers in the senior living space face a challenge: They often can’t tie their marketing spend directly to its impact on their organization’s bottom line. The thin amount of data they receive shows their online campaigns are generating calls. But how many are from actual prospects? And how many calls are being properly serviced? This is where call analytics can help.

Baseline data—the number of clicks, calls, or visits—isn’t enough to run a thoroughly optimized campaign. Worse, baseline data can be misleading and costly. Senior living marketers need to identify, understand, and, perhaps most importantly, communicate to company stakeholders how their campaigns support the company’s bottom line.

Not All Call Analytics are Created Equal

Basic conversion analytics, such as click-through rates, form fills, email response rates, and call duration, may not tell the whole story. For example, when you run a Google Ads campaign, you’ll know exactly how many calls you received from the ads. What you won’t know is why the calls were made.

Take this real-world example, which illustrates our point: When family members want to reach a resident at a senior living property, they typically search online for the property name. Often, a paid search or display ad renders first. So, the searcher clicks to call the facility. In short, the ad did its job and delivered a call; it’s just not a new customer call as intended.

How prevalent is this? One Marchex senior living client found that over 20 percent of their paid search budget was consumed this way. In other words, one out of every five calls was from residents’ extended families. The calls were not driving new business, as intended. At a few bucks a click, this wasted spend can add up quickly and consume a budget.

Another contributing factor in wasted ad spend can come from inside the residence. A Marchex property management client found that 40 percent of their $100,000 monthly budget went to residents calling for maintenance. Call analytics helped the client improve their bid strategy, resulting in thousands of calls that actually drove new leases.

Call Analytics Help Align Marketing, Sales, and Operations

Adding call analytics into a senior living company’s marketing mix also delivers benefits to sales and operations. Marchex solutions facilitate reporting by surfacing call data by individual location. Once operations has visibility across multiple locations, they can identify opportunities to fix breakage in the customer journey, enable targeted agent training, and address other operational improvements.

Sales can gain insights into how agents perform. For instance, they can determine how closely agents follow sales scripts. Or they can learn how agents respond to callers (or whether they answer the phone at all). In fact, Marchex analyzed millions of senior living industry calls over a twelve-month period and found that 23 percent of calls to senior living companies go unanswered.

Finally, call analytics deliver insights that help marketers take an active leadership role in the company. With call analytics, you can prove value more effectively than basic analytics and help justify marketing and ad budgets. You can also provide value to operations and sales. Best of all, at the next annual budget meeting, you’ll able to offer data-driven results that demonstrate how your marketing is positively impacting the bottom line.

To learn how your marketing, sales, and operations can benefit from call analytics, download our one-sheet for senior living marketers and Call Conversation datasheet →

Marchex is the leading provider of end-to-end call analytics solutions, with the deepest and broadest set of applications for mid-market and enterprise businesses on the market today. The best customers are those who call your business. Marchex helps you understand who called and why, so you can turn more of these callers into customers. Learn more →

NEED HELP TRYING NEW IDEAS? WE’RE THE APP FOR THAT! 🙂

Seriously, we’ve been in your shoes, and we can help. We keep our eyes on the latest and greatest technology, including call analytics, and get a sense of if and how it could work for the senior living industry before we recommend it to our clients. Get in touch and let’s talk about how we can help.

Blogging Basics: Three “Must Do” Tasks & One DO NOT!

Blogging Basics: Three “Must Do” Tasks & One DO NOT!

Blogging is a popular strategy to generate organic traffic, enhance search results, and keep prospects on websites longer.

That said, it does take smart planning to get the most out of your blogging efforts. So before you open up your Word doc and start typing, check out these best practices.

Do Develop Buyer Personas

There is no point in writing anything if you don’t know whom you’re writing for. That’s where buyer personas come in.

Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal prospect. The persona encompasses background, demographics, motivators, goals, pain points, and other types of useful information regarding how the prospect goes through the sales cycle.

Building strong personas will help you better understand your prospects and it will make it easier to tailor content to them, no matter where they are in the sales cycle.

For example, prospects who are trying to decide whether senior living is right for them are in a much different place than prospects who need to move within 30 days. For the former, you might create a downloadable checklist—think statements that people can either agree with or disagree with. For the latter, a moving guide might make sense. You get the idea.

Make sure you don’t create buyer personas in a vacuum. While the personas are fiction, you need to base them on real people. Interview current customers, prospective customers, and lost customers so you can create an accurate persona.

Before You Create Killer ContentHow to Create Buyer Personas eBook

Understand Your Prospect Personas

Prospect personas are fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customers. They help you understand your customers (and prospective customers) better, and make it easier for you to tailor content to the specific needs, behaviors, and concerns of different groups.

Do Invest in Keyword Analysis

Keyword research will tell you how prospects are searching in your local market. The analysis provides a list of the most common and popular keywords, the number of searches initiated monthly, the difficulty in ranking for each keyword, and where your community and your competitors currently rank.

For example, “assisted living” will be extremely difficult to rank for, but “assisted living Boca Raton” will be easier and more targeted to the type of prospects you want to attract (assuming your community is actually located in Boca Raton!). Remember, the goal isn’t simply to generate more traffic to your website; the goal is to generate more targeted traffic.

Do Create an Editorial Calendar

Download our sample Excel editorial content calendar spreadsheet →

With your keyword research in hand, select keywords with the highest monthly search results and moderate or low “ranking difficulty.” From there, you can create your calendar:

  • The first step is to integrate these keywords into your blog titles.
  • Assign each blog to one of your personas. For example, adult children and older adults are going to be interested in different topics, so it’s important to map your content to the right persona.
  • Align your content with various stages of the buyer’s journey. Some prospects are in early research stage, some are in planning mode, and others are in crisis and have to make a quick decision. Each stage requires different content based on where they are in their journey.
  • Schedule two to four blogs per month for best results and remember that you cannot reuse or copy content or you will be flagged for duplicate content!

DO NOT blog about your residents, employees, or daily happenings.

Prospects are not searching for your internal news and events. Blogs are not about you – they are for and about your prospects. You can use your social channels, such as Facebook, to promote content about your residents and employees, or you can create a News section on your website for these updates.

Need more blogging guidance? Senior Living SMART is here to help →

MORE HELPFUL TOPICS:

11 Strategies for Promoting Content & Measuring Results

11 Strategies for Promoting Content & Measuring Results

11 Strategies for Promoting Content & Measuring Results

So, you’ve got your content teed up, whether it’s a guest post, a hot take, or a summary of a survey you conducted. You’re done, right? Not so fast!

Producing quality content is the first step. But now it’s time to share your content and to understand which pieces help bring leads—and ultimately customers—to your senior living community.

Here are 11 strategies that will help you promote and measure your content like a pro.

1. Write irresistible headlines.
Your content could be the best in the world, but it’s worthless unless you’re grabbing people’s attention and getting them to read it. Headlines are crucial for this very reason, and there are several rules for creating good ones:

  • Make them explicit and concise.
  • Don’t give away the whole article, but don’t hide what it’s about, either.
  • Trigger curiosity. Appeal to emotions.
  • Use numbers or percentages when possible.

2. Put your content in front of targeted eyeballs.
Share your content in an email to targeted prospects(hint:segment your database according to buyer personas, and only share content that will interest that particular persona). Share your content on social media as well. Putting your content directly in someone’s inbox is a simple way to reach them, while posting content on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn makes it easy for people to share.

3. Add tools to your promotions arsenal.
Use tools like Buffer to share content efficiently. Buffer allows you to queue up content you want to share on social media and then spaces out when that content is released throughout the day.

Want to learn more?

Get our FREE eBook

A blog is a long-term marketing asset that will bring traffic and new leads to your senior living website. In this eBook, we will walk you step-by-step through the blogging fundamentals and show you how to start reaping the benefits of this valuable marketing and awareness channel.

 

4. Embrace being a big fish in a small pond.
Don’t view the fractionalized senior living market as a threat. View it as a marketing opportunity to specialize in a niche.

5. Don’t date yourself.
When publishing articles that aren’t news-oriented,don’t include the date. With information that’s useful no matter when it’s posted, including the date may discourage someone from reading it as time passes.

6. Connect with everyone on social media.
Create a separate account if necessary on Facebook or Instagram for consumer-facing marketing and make sure to do the same on LinkedIn for referral contacts. It’s a content sharing platform—treat it as such. Content marketers benefit from connecting with each other.

7. Be a fount of information.
Content marketing is a test of generosity. It costs nothing to give away your best advice and knowledge, and that’s how you’ll win the relationships that give you the links, the authority, the rank—all leading to getting qualified visitors on your website.

8. Use data to your advantage.
How much authority does your page have? Find out with tools like Google Analytics. Make use of available data and adjust your content accordingly.

9. Focus on what matters.
There’s a very long road between getting a “like” and making money. A very low number of social media interactions convert into leads. Your website is much more likely to get a visit from a Google search, so put the bulk of your energy into where you get the best results.

10. Share content that people want to see.
Look at what’s getting shared and clicked the most. Use Google Analytics to find the articles that will get people to subscribe to your newsletter. Put these items on your sharing list.

11. Know when to share.
Track your web traffic and email click-through performance to find out when people click on your content. So if you find your Facebook audience engages around noon on Fridays, but LinkedIn folks seem to get into your stuff on Wednesdays between one and four, schedule your posts accordingly. For further insights, check out this industry research regarding the best times to post on social media.

What tips do you have for promoting content and measuring results? Share in the comments!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Andy Crestodina

Andy Crestodina is the author of Content Chemistry: The Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing. Andy will be sharing his wisdom in two presentations at the 2018 Senior Care Marketing Sales(SMASH)Summit taking place Oct 1 – 3 in Chicago: Content Marketing Micro-moments: Turning Traffic into Leads and Leads into Conversions and Content Marketing 2.0. Drive your Content Engine in 2019.

Sign up for our free webinarContent, Conversions and Lead Generation” on Thursday September 6th at 1:30PM EST.

Using Data to Uncover New Possibilities in Senior Living

Using Data to Uncover New Possibilities in Senior Living Webinar

Using Incidence Analytics to Identify Market Need

Improving Senior Housing Performance with Precision Market Analytics

We are a data driven world. It can be good or it can be overwhelming. This webinar will highlight three scenarios where data is used to make intelligent business decisions, improve current assets and increase referrals to your communities. Learn how to use incidence data and medication data to improve your business results.

What to schedule a demo or learn more? Click here for more information on VisionLTC services →

customer journey

Have You Mapped Your Customer Journey After They Say “Yes”?

As an industry, we spend a significant amount of time and money attracting prospects to our communities, touring potential residents and families, and hoping that they will become our next move-in. What happens once they sign on the dotted line?

When considering customer journey mapping for a new senior living resident and family, keep the following in mind:

  • There’s a lot going on. There’s a move that has to be coordinated, downsizing that needs to happen, financial matters to figure out, and paperwork to sign—lots of paperwork with lots of legalese.
  • It’s a significant change. The decision to move to a senior living residence is right up there with saying yes to a marriage proposal, choosing a college, and getting a new job. There’s stress and uncertainty.
    • It’s a reminder that they are aging and need more help.
    • They are giving up their home.
    • They are giving up their familiar routines.
    • They are afraid of losing personal control.
    • They have to leave their friends and community and become a stranger in their new environment.
  • They may be moving in after a crisis. Some residents are facing challenging situations, such as the following:
    • Severe health issue
    • Loss of spouse or caregiver
    • A decline in physical or mental health
  • It’s exhausting. Going through the decision process, planning the move, and then doing the actual move-in day can be physically and emotionally exhausting for both the resident and family.

How can you create a customer journey that supports your residents and families and provides an empathetic, positive experience? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Do your research! Talk with residents and families and learn from their move-in experience.
  • Look at your touchpoints and channels. What interactions do you have with residents and families during the move-in process? What are the methods by which these touchpoints happen: in-person, emails, phone conversations?
  • Think about how the customer feels during each touchpoint. Go through each touchpoint and think about how the customer may feel. Are they scared? Are they emotional? Are they confused? Are they disappointed?
  • How can you make that experience better? Look at opportunities to make the process easier. How can you reduce some of the stress and uncertainty? How can you make the process consistent and scalable? Are there best practices in your organization?
  • Get ongoing feedback and commit to ongoing improvement! There’s always room for improvement. Build on what’s working and fix what’s broken.

Interested in learning more strategies for exceeding prospects’ expectations?

Let’s chat! We’ll spend 30 minutes brainstorming with you.

senior living marketing

[WEBINAR] Senior Living Websites: Attract, Engage & Nurture Prospects

Senior Living Websites Should Attract, Engage, and Nurture Prospects

Lead nurturing is the purposeful process of engaging prospects by providing relevant information at each stage of the buyer’s journey. You want to actively move the prospects through your marketing and lead generation efforts, to the point where they become leads. In this webinar, we discuss how to nurture leads. Strategies include targeted content, multi-channel nurturing,  timely follow-ups, and personalization.

Interested in learning more strategies for exceeding prospects’ expectations?

Let’s chat! We’ll spend 30 minutes brainstorming with you.