There are many titles to describe the salesperson who works to fill your communities, such as, marketing representative, sales manager, and the most recent descriptor is lifestyle consultant. What do these terms really mean to the senior who is considering sharing the rest of their happy, healthy life with you?
Is your facility ready to greet these future residents? Are your marketing reps and lifestyle consultants armed with the skills to speak on the seniors level and relate to senior issues? Do they understand the multitude of challenges facing the elderly? Do your sales managers look credible? And more importantly, do they know what questions to ask and how to ask them?
Many senior residences require their on-site managers to also give tours and ˜sell in addition to running the daily operations. This multi-tasking obligation can be very difficult to handle especially when the first priority must be given to your current residents issues whether it be a plugged drain or broken coffee pot. But if you dont take care of the prospective new resident standing in the doorway, you wont have too many resident issues to deal with, will you?
It must be a little uncomfortable and disconcerting for a potential new resident to meet and chat with someone who looks under 55, dresses like theyre 40 and talks like their 20-something. This is not a personal bias but a generational hurdle that can be overcome. As we all know, there are very specific and identifying qualities and characteristics of each generation that defines who they are, what they value and respect, how they want to live, earn, play and most importantly, talked to.
Seniors want to feel included and need to be acknowledged for their years of accomplishments and acquisitions, no matter how big or small. Have you seen some of the more recent television ads where specific seniors are sharing their lifetime dreams and noteworthy achievements with everyone in a 30-second commercial? These are meant to speak to other seniors with similar stories and entice them to come share their story and lives at their preferred community.
It is very important for your sales managers and lifestyle consultants to understand these concepts and challenges. If they dont already have that experience of a mature lifestyle, then it could be near to impossible for them to communicate and relate on a level that will be fully understood by a potential new resident. Mentoring and lifestyle training are two examples of how you can help your current marketing reps get and stay on the road to successful sales and to filling your unoccupied suites. Bottom line message here is for General Managers and Owner/Operators to ensure they are hiring the right person and personality to represent your community.
Still have questions? Feel free to contact me in person via email to Lydia@millertouch.com or telephone me at 604.984.7445 and Ill help fill in the blanks.