We’re continuing to count down our 100 Best Senior Living Marketing Tips. In case you missed Tips 81-100, click here.
80. Offer staff as speakers to civic organizations, Chambers of Commerce, schools/universities, churches and other local organizations. Find a unique topic you can speak to, such as aging services available in your community, or dealing with dementia as a family, and use this to gain interest. Start with organizations where you or staff are members.
79. Reach out to community leaders through announcement and update letters. For example, communicate with the city council, Chambers of Commerce, pastors, fraternal organizations, etc.
78. Host events with no-cost speakers. Coffee with the mayor, local historians and even your own staff. Highlight the expertise of your staff members in cooking demonstrations, Medicare 101, senior living options, active living, fitness classes, or continuing education.
77. Work ahead for cost savings in printing. This allows for alternatives ─ type of press, paper stock and when it’s printed. Bid the job with multiple printers. Find a good partner, and print in bulk if possible.
76. Consider multiple uses for your community newsletter. Have your newsletter double as an event invitation. Overprint and distribute it within the community, including churches and civic groups. Consider using it as an insert in your local newspaper.
75. If you’re a Marketing Director, consider changing your title to Senior Living Counselor. It may be subtle, but titles matter. Yes, prospects know you’re the salesperson, but when you’re successful, haven’t you counseled more than sold?
74. Use cost-effective mailing formats. Are you getting the best mailing rates? Pay attention to design details – weight, size, aspect ratio, corners, paper stock and tabs/closure. There’s a lot of good information at www.usps.com.
73. Ask your media partner for added value. When placing any media, ask for something extra such as additional spots, a free ad or on-air sponsorships.
72. Ask about not-for-profit media rates. Not all media have these, but some do and it can save you a few dollars.
71. Avoid common words with negative connotations – facility, nursing home, institution, etc. The choice of words will change the perception.
70. Consider everyone a qualified lead. Just because a prospect pulls up in an old car or their ZIP code isn’t in a high-home-value area doesn’t mean they can’t afford to move in. Begin by establishing interest in making a move, and then pursue their ability to afford it.
69. Understand that one senior doesn’t speak for all seniors. Don’t get too worried about one or two complaints…but don’t ignore complaints, either.
68. Re-think your Yellow Pages budget. Yellow Pages ads aren’t returning much value. Ask if you’re truly influencing prospects or if they’re just looking for your number. A listing may be all you need.
67. Make sure your offer is relevant and appropriate. A $25 gift card may not mean much to higher net-worth prospects. Know your community audience.
66. Your conduct on a tour speaks volumes. When touring a prospect, speak to every employee or resident that you meet.
65. Don’t always follow the competition. Senior sections, for example. Be unique. Stand out on your own. And don’t forget direct mail is the most effective way to get your message to the right audience.
64. Follow up an appointment with a thank-you call in a timely manner. They may never be more interested in moving ahead than right after an appointment. Don’t assume they need time to consider their situation. Follow up and let them tell you how they would like to proceed.
63. Get to know your local media. Build a relationship with key editors and reporters, be a resource and understand what’s really relevant. Solid relationships get your news releases read and could be helpful in a crisis situation.
62. Become a master of discovery. The more you know, the easier it is to position your community as the right solution. Have different questions for different types of individuals, and create an environment, such as a model apartment, that helps put people at ease. Find your own style rather than “learn” a process. If you aren’t effective at discovery, you won’t be effective.
61. Use telemarketing to support events. Try calling leads in addition to mailing invitations. It costs less per attendee. It’s a reason to call. You’ll see strong acceptance rates.