Never Give Up! Pursue Prospects Like You Mean It
In senior living sales and marketing it’s easy to get beat down with no’s, maybes, I’m just not ready, or I found another community. The reasons seem endless and can be very discouraging. But what makes the difference between a mediocre and an outstanding sales professional assuming both have the basics like a friendly, outgoing personality, knowledge of the industry, and communication skills is persistence. For senior housing professionals; never give up on receptive prospects until they are comfortably settled into another community and even beyond. And please note I am talking about professional follow up, not being a nuisance.
False Starts Don’t Last
Personal experience of this philosophy in action, while in another industry, translates well to sales and marketing teams in senior living.
When I recently decided to put my home on the market. I interviewed several residential real estate agents to sell my house. It came down to two agents that I felt could do a good job. Agent 1 and Agent 2. I made the decision to go with Agent 1.
Things started out very well, the house was showing great and eventually after a month, even with bad weather and the holidays, I got a reasonable offer. So we began the process on the road to closing.
Now during this time Agent 2 was consistently sending me a combination of both real estate and personal information. She would send me market reports of my neighborhood and my city but she would also mix in holiday recipes and other such items. Agent 2 kept up this flow of information for well over three months. While I never used any of the information she sent, she accomplished her goal of staying fresh in my mind.
Unfortunately the original deal fell through. I didn’t feel like I got the support I needed from Agent 1 so we decided to part ways and I began my search for another agent. The day that my house was delisted on the multiple listing service Agent 2 sent me a postcard and then later followed up with a phone call asking about relisting the house with her. After I talked to four or five more agents, it finally dawned on me that Agent 2 had provided me with an example of her great marketing skills.
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Never Give Up
Even though it initially looked like she had lost a client, she never gave up and continued to build a relationship with me. Because of this I decided to put her marketing prowess, her communication skills, and her tenacity to work for me. The good news is that after only two weeks with her, we already have a sales contract and things are proceeding very smooth.
While it sounds like such a cliché, I think the take away from this is that persistence pays. Agent 2 knew her industry enough to know that things sometimes fall apart and she wanted to be there when they did.
The same things can happen in senior living. Seniors typically want to stay in their own home and sometimes that doesn’t work out. Sadly there are unexpected life-changing events, and those that thought they were not ready change their mind and become ready. Also residents can move into another community and after living there for a few months decide that it is not the place for them. If you have been able to maintain some contact with them over this period of time you may find that you are the one thats called when they are looking to make a change.
So make a point in 2018 to stay on top of your follow-ups, even if you think it’s fruitless. The relationship you build could be your next sale and who knows, you might just make a friend.