We see communities all the time with full funnels that are unable to seal the deal. For prospective residents, making the step from inquiring about a community to actually moving in can be a difficult one. Many prospective residents might claim that they are not ready for assisted living, or families may be in denial about the needs of their loved ones. Follow this move-in guide to ensure your prospects understand the urgency in making the right decision about your community.
- Practice empathy. Humans respond to humans, so put away your scripts and your fact-sheets and really engage with your prospects. Whether this engagement is with your potential resident or his or her family, be sure to communicate your feelings about the subject. Let them know that you feel their confusion, their indecision, and that ultimately, you know that they will do what’s best. Ask them open-ended questions that really get to their pain points. For example, “How do you see your life here versus remaining where you are?” “In one year, what do you want your life to look like?” “Why is that important to you?” These questions are designed to get at your prospect’s inner thoughts and feelings. Answer their questions with kindness and empathy.
- Stay in constant communication. In order to stay top-of-mind for your prospects, be sure to stay in constant communication, whether that be calling, emailing or sending mail. It can take up to five points of contact before your prospect may even notice your efforts, so stay vigilant. Each point of contact with your prospect should be different. For example, the first can be marketing information, but make the second an interesting article, or something related to that specific prospect’s lifestyle challenge. Be sure to individualize your calls and emails so the prospect knows that they are a unique and an important individual to you. After five “touches” of communication, add your lead to a dormant drip campaign to ensure they are still receiving content and are aware of your organization and its offerings. This will ensure that when the time does come to make a decision, you will be their go-to solution.
- Create urgency. Instilling a sense of importance or necessity in your prospect will help move them down the funnel and into your community. Consider the rule of scarcity. It suggests that what is scarce is valuable. Share with your lead and their family that you only have a certain amount of rooms left within your community. This generates the thought, “If other people are eager to move in, then I should be, too.”
- Emphasize the competitive advantage. What makes you different from other senior living organizations? Maybe you offer a wider variety of social activities or outings, maybe the food you offer is top-notch. Whatever it is, use it to your advantage and promote everywhere. Advertise this advantage on the website, in blog posts and on social media. When talking to a prospect that seems not ready to take the next step, try communicating this differentiator in a way that highlights how it can change their life for the better. For example, “We offer exercise classes that are free of charge, fun, and social. One of our residents swore they’d never exercise at their age and they’re out there every day with our staff having an amazing experience. Let me send you some information on that.”
- Engage your current residents. Your happy, healthy current residents are your biggest allies. Engage them in conversation and ask them what they love most about your community. Be sure to write down all of their answers and compare them to one another. If the majority of your residents claimed that your staff’s empathy and kindness is what sets you apart, then be sure to keep that top-of-mind for yourself and your staff, from your marketing team to your kitchen staff and beyond.
Getting your prospects to commit can definitely be a long process. Keep in mind that you’re changing lives for the better and that you’re making a real difference. With a mindset of abundance and positivity, you are sure to hit your move-in goals month after