Why strategic approaches to lead nurturing are as important as lead generation in today’s climate.
Imagine. You’re back to your senior year in high school and thinking through your next step in adulthood. You are likely considering the following — is college the right path for me? And if so, what career should I choose? Do I want to stay close to family or explore new surroundings?
When you look back on how your decision was made, I’m guessing it was based on two aspects. One of which was how educated you made yourself about your options. Likely a lot of research went into your decision. Then, once you narrowed down your choices based on logic, you still had to choose. And that’s where the second aspect of your decision-making process comes in. Inspiration. What spoke to you — what got you excited to wake up in the morning? Because that … that is what sealed the deal with making your decision.
It isn’t news to anyone that making the decision to move into a senior living community is huge. HUGE. Even larger than selecting a college. This is partially why the gestation from new lead to move-in is so long — there’s just so much to consider. So as subject matter experts, your job is to help your customers graduate! Fortunately for our industry, we’re in charge of the curriculum and schedule. How organized and robust the lesson plans are, and how well the material resonates in lecture, will ultimately influence the student’s — I mean senior’s — ability to confidently pass the test.
As sales experts, it’s critical to leverage the many digital resources at your fingertips. Consider them your associate professors in senior living, supporting you in actively educating your leads. These resources include:
- A well-designed, well-contented website, including objective material promoting the senior living industry as well as distinct content focuses that outline differentiators of your community compared to your competitors. This will not only help leads understand the value of residing in a senior living community, but also begin to understand why your community fits their desired lifestyle.
- Time-sensitive SEO blogs that help elevate your expertise as a community, instilling confidence in leads that you’re present and care to be relevant during this phase of their life.
- High-touch social media posts that portray the true heartbeat of the community.
- Targeted automated email and SMS programs deployed via a marketing automation platform that reach leads with the right message, at the right time. Nurture programs encourage engagement with all the aforementioned channels, informing you with valuable data that helps prioritize your efforts and personalize your conversations, accelerating your customers through the buyer journey.
What’s next? Inspiration. In today’s senior living environment, the role of the sales counselor is to both educate and inspire their customers. They must be both an educator and cultivate experiences that inspire the customer to want to engage further with the community. Authentic and genuine conversations rooted in deep discovery, stellar listening skills, and meaningful follow-up move customers through the buyer journey faster. Sales counselors should focus on key tactics such as:
- Thoroughly walking customers through your unique product and contract options, available health and wellness offerings, specialty services and amenities, rightsizing and moving resources, and more that match the needs and wants of the individual customer.
- Address specific, personal questions with reassuring answers that help ease any concern or angst.
- Invite customers to experience the community for themselves, whether that be lunch during a personal visit, happy hour plus dinner followed by a complimentary overnight stay, inviting them to join a fitness class virtually from the comfort of their own home, or hosting a virtual tour tailored just for them — especially during this climate.
- Introduce them to resident ambassadors who will share their positive experiences living at your community.
Knowledge, truly, is power. And as stewards of senior living, the passionate and positive spreading of knowledge will create more educated, qualified, decision-forward customers — customers who can make an informed decision more quickly and confidently. And your inspiration … will make them residents.