“The Sales Cycle” is standard practice in any organization and applies to every industry where there are potential products or services to market and prospective consumers to purchase them. Really good sales people are both competent and efficient at their task.
Marketing reps, lifestyle consultants, guest service agents and sales managers will be educated in “The Sales Cycle” which is a sequence of 7 activities that they execute and assess at the completion of each one. This should be a team effort by everyone in your operation and if you’re not familiar with these 7 activities, here they are so you can study up:
- Welcoming (Greeting/Building Rapport) – This is your first opportunity to make a fabulous impression. Be friendly. Be sincere. Don’t be aggressive or lack empathy if required. Are you worth remembering?
- Determine Needs (Qualifying) – How do you assess a person’s interest? How do you determine their ability to purchase with you? What are they looking for in a retirement community? Are they seeking independent living, assisted living or temporary care? How soon do they need to relocate? Are you asking the right questions of the right people in order to move forward in the Cycle?
- Recommend Solutions (Matching Benefits to Needs) – If you have asked the right questions above and received honest answers, then you should know your facility well enough to know what to suggest.
- Address Concerns (Hot Buttons) – You’re ready to call the moving van for them but they’re hesitating…why? What is preventing your senior from signing a contract now or giving you a deposit today? How can you help move them forward?
- Enhancing the Sale (Demonstrate & Up-sell) – Give a private tour and invite your prospective senior in for lunch or dinner with you. Don’t forget to have your sales presentation kit of information ready for them. Is your guest suite ready to show 24/7? Would your senior be simply satisfied with a studio or would they be more comfortable in a one bedroom unit? Practice your negotiation skills before you start this process.
- Closing – Ask for the Sale! Be patient and polite; not pushy or your senior will walk away and across the street to your competitor. Never let them walk away before you ask. Come up with a creative and nice way to request your paperwork with a deposit and move in date.
- Follow Up – This is the most crucial step at every stage of the Cycle. It’s like buying a lottery ticket but if you don’t check the numbers, you won’t know if you’re an instant millionaire and capable of retiring to a senior living community that is dictated by your whim and not your bank account.
In today’s digital economy, there is one other preliminary step undertaken by all serious and senior sales managers – they Pre-Qualify any potential purchaser using their keen powers of observation and the internet. Did you remember to ask for a referral?
Still have questions? I’ve conducted numerous workshops and retreats. Feel free to contact me in person via email to Lydia@millertouch.com or telephone me at 604.984.7445. Follow me on Twitter @TheMillerTouch.