Did you know that 5% of salespeople close 80% of the deals?
One of the main reasons we are not closing more deals can be narrowed down to what I call “the other f-word” – follow up. Instant gratification is part of our genetic makeup, so after just a few follow up attempts, we move on to the new leads. We become so focused on lead generation that we forget that the lead is a real person. Our focus is on quantity when it should be on quality.
I don’t have to tell you that people’s situation can change on a dime, especially in the senior living industry. New leads are great, but we are missing out on a tremendous amount of opportunities because of our follow up. Studies have shown that 80% of deals are closed after a minimum of 5 calls. However, the average salesperson gives up after three attempts. Only 5% make 5 or more attempts. What does that mean to you? It means that 5% of salespeople are getting 80% of the business. That leaves the other 95% of salespeople competing for the remainder 20%. If you are not cringing right now, you should be. This statistic alone should send shivers up and down your spine.
I have conducted a number of Sales and Marketing Audits at the community level. Regardless of the type of community or where it is located, the common challenge is the follow up. Most communities do a good job in getting a hand written note sent to the prospect within the first 24-48 hours of the tour. This kind of personal touch is a necessity. The challenges occur after the note goes out. We make a couple calls and send a couple emails. If we do not get a response, we list them as a “cold” lead in our CRM.
Now that the cold lead has gone to the abyss, we send them the occasional email and invite them to our monthly community events. We might even call and ask how the selling of their home is going. However, this is where we drop the ball. The little follow up that we do revolves around business – not building the relationship. We need to be more creative with our follow up. Instead of making the follow up about business, send something that has nothing to do with the community but everything to do with being remembered. Send a card. Personalize it and add a simple message like, “I just wanted to send you a hug.” We should be reaching out and making contact on a monthly basis with every prospect in our CRM. This is especially important when working with Independent Living prospects. As a result, when their situation changes and they do need to make that decision, you will be on the top of their list.
This kind of follow up takes time, right? However, what would you say if you could automate the entire process and send a personalized card to every prospect for less than $1 per prospect per month? Would it be worth the investment? If you consider the cost of a qualified lead is $400-$600, it’s worth it. When you consider the amount you invest in marketing collateral, it’s worth it. The greeting card can contain a personalized message and images. So, you could insert a picture of yourself or the community in the card. Imagine the smiles when your prospects open the card just to find a nice message and know that someone was thinking about them.
There are countless ways to use this service. Here are just a few ideas:
- Monthly contact with prospects
- Celebrate special dates (birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, get well, etc.)
- When the resident moves in, let them send a card to their family member and friends. You could insert an image of the community and another image of the resident in their new room or doing activities with other residents. Not only are you assisting your new resident with the change of address duties, but you are also marketing your community at the same time.
- Send cards to the family members. Remember, most of the time, at least one family member is involved in the decision making process.
- Set up an automated campaign for the entire year. Once you set it, you can forget it because the program takes care of the rest.
You are only limited by your own creativity. The service will print your card, put it in the envelope, place the postage on it, and then send it to the recipient. All of this for around $1 per card! Did you know that people are 11 times more likely to open a greeting card than any other piece of mail? Once the campaign gets rolling, you can periodically invite them to an event in the message of your card. By this time, they are excited to get your cards and will open them every time. Instead of your marketing material going in “the pile” or in the trash, your card goes on the counter or mantle for all to see. You become the kind of person that sends cards just to make someone’s day. You become the kind of person that people want to do business with.
This kind of marketing is called Relationship Marketing. It probably seems like a foreign concept because not many people are doing it. However, it is a concept that I am recommending to all of my clients. We all know that people buy on emotion and back it up with facts and logic. However, most of us sell to the logic. Guess what, we do the same with our follow up. It’s the small things done consistently that make the largest impact.
Ok, so I guess you are ready to hear how you can take your marketing to the next level. The company is called Send Out Cards. Perhaps some of you have heard of it. If so, I hope you are using it. If you want to learn more about it, go to www.sendoutcards.com. The next step is critical. I would encourage you to go to our personal Send Out Card website: www.lmcardshop.com. Watch the three-minute video, and then take advantage of the offer to send a free card so you can see how easy it is. I would recommend sending a card to yourself or a family member so you can see the awesome quality.
If this is something that you are interested in implementing in in your organization, shoot me an email ([email protected]) and we can set up a time to discuss it. We can even manage your entire annual campaign for you so you do not have to ever worry about it. I can’t imagine my life without Send Out Cards. I use it in our business as well as our personal lives. We are all about changing lives one smile at a time!