The Sales You Need to Grow Occupancy and Revenue are Right in Front of You
How much money have you spent this year on marketing? Perhaps it was $2,000 per month or if a CCRC $5,000 per month. I’ve seen marketing budgets as high as $60,000 per quarter (and it was for an assisted living in Iowa of all places). What I want you to stop and think about is the end objective. What is the OUTCOME you seek as a result of your investment? Keep in mind that a true investment is supposed to yield a return. Yet many operators I speak with cannot effectively gauge what the ROI of their efforts are. I often wonder why people would spend so much money on marketing when they are not even certain of the return. In my humble opinion, I would rather see you hire an outreach coordinator who can develop relationships with professionals who have the ability to refer than throw money to the wind. Referrals have four times the close rate and send quality referrals that are much easier to work and close. You can measure success quickly and it cost nothing but time. Does marketing work? Yes, of course it does. My concern is that people are so accustomed to spending a specific annual marketing budget that they don’t stop to really contemplate the outcome they desire and the outcome they get. The goal of marketing is to drive qualified traffic to your door. Once that traffic is generated, the next step is to ensure that the sales systems in place are a go. Time after time I see a complete breakdown of the sales process once a lead is attained. Back to the end goal, is it to simply get a lead or is it to close a sale and move in a new resident? You must be very clear of the end result when marketing and spending those dollars, and you must take action when it is not met. I imagine your objective is to get new residents. No matter how much you want new residents, it’s not going to happen without solid sales systems in place that ensure the traffic you are generating is being systematically moved through the sales process: From inquiry to on site visit to follow up, to another on site visit experience or home visit, to the continuous next steps required to move the prospect to close. While you might THINK this is happening, its best to KNOW it is happening. I challenge you to stop immediately upon reading this memo, pull up five leads that have inquired in the last 90 days and see what specific follow up has occurred. Odds are you will find that little to no follow up has happened. If any has been done, you will find it was one call, a week or two after the visit, and that’s it. Don’t get mad at me, I’m just the messenger. Dive into your CRM and get answers today, then take action on what you find. Once looking at the truth, you will thank me. Without follow up, marketing does nothing more than drive people to inquire about your community. While exposure is nice, it’s revenue you need to be a viable, successful business. If you are a Sales Counselor and feel I am attacking you, I’m not. I’m simply stating the facts. I also challenge you to do the same. Pull up five random leads. Not the ones that come immediately to the top of your mind, just five leads from the last 90 days. I am certain you will be surprised by what you find. Thinking about doing follow up and actually doing it are two very different things. To grow sales, revenue, and your commissions, all you have to do is make it a habit to pick up the phone at least one hour a day, if not two. The more contacts you make the more you will sell. It really is that simple. This brings me to the point of this sales memo. Want to immediately grow sales now, still yet this month? 1. Set a goal to dive into your database and reignite your leads. 2. Group them together so you can master your follow up system: Call all leads who have inquired in the last 30 days, then 60 days, 90 days, 120 days and so on. 3. Keep going until you get through your entire database. Whether it takes a month or a year, the people in your database called you for a reason. They have or had a need and were calling to see if your community was a fit. Without follow up from you, consistently over time, most people will take little to no action. You have to move people forward in the sales process, it’s your job. You are the expert, you must counsel them and take the time to ask lots of open ended questions to find their needs and build value in regards to the next step. Closing today is a series of small steps. I am confident that upon taking action you will generate new, unplanned move ins, with the added bonus of a cleaned up database. Do not rely on newsletters, direct mailers, and ads to do your job. PEOPLE BUY PEOPLE. You are the one who has the ability to emotionally connect and who can get people to take action. Trust YOU, not marketing, to make impact and drive occupancy. Or better yet, do both- market and follow up. While I do believe in the benefits of marketing (we clearly market for our clients here at Bild & Company), what I believe in more is the ability of one person to positively influence another to make a decision that will forever impact their life. Marketing is the vehicle designed to get their attention and get them to take the first step. You must take it from there and master the art of follow up and the power of the human connection. Now, go look at those five leads!
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