You get off the phone with an excited prospect and feel confident they will immediately come in for a tour. They never come.
You finish a tour with a prospective family and it is highly engaging – you’re sharing laughs, and the excitement is tangible. But then they go quiet. They no longer answer or return your phone calls, or respond to your emails.
What happened? How can this be avoided in the future? The following are strategies backed by real research, to avoid having a prospect go quiet.
- Have a plan. Ensure there is a process in place for following up with prospects and make sure it is well known and documented by the sales team. Documentation should be understandable and easily accessible so if someone is covering in your absence, they can pick right up where you left off.
- Time is of the essence. After a tour, whether walk-in or scheduled, call a few hours later or the next morning if the tour was late. Thank them for taking the time to visit your community and offer to answer any questions they may have.
- Create value. Many of your prospects are visiting a dozen communities in the area to find their perfect home. Make sure you stand out among the competition by prospect planning. Ask the prospect a few discovery questions prior to the tour to identify what is most important to them. If you have a walk-in tour, ask questions throughout the tour process to get to know them a bit more. A little personalization goes a long way.
- More leads are coming from web-based programs than ever before. It is essential to follow up immediately with an online web lead to avoid losing them to the competition. Utilize a nurture campaign with your CRM system to automate the process and always follow up with a phone call. Web leads should never be treated as lower quality, especially with more and more individuals utilizing technology. Standard processes for online web leads are essential for higher conversion rates.
- Quality over quantity. Long gone are the days of hoping for an influx of tours and calls – communities need to be looking out for qualified leads. A recent study published by Promatura and Sherpa CRM identified the best way to convert prospects after analyzing over 300,000 encounters. The study found the more time the sales team spent with a prospect, the more likely they were to convert to residents. Sales teams who focused on calling as many prospects as possible and spending time on dozens of tours each day were more likely to have a lower conversion rate. Just how much time should the sales team spend on prospects? The most successful sales teams spent an average of 120 minutes with an independent living prospect and 118 hours with an assisted living prospect. The prospects that ended up moving into communities spent an average of 18-20 hours utilizing face-to-face interactions, phone calls, tours, and creative follow-up.
Prospect follow-up can be time-consuming and easily overlooked on hectic days. Make sure your processes and priorities are in place, and the appropriate actions will become second nature to your sales team.
Is your community visible to prospects? Contact Bloom today for a complimentary online marketing assessment.