Kurt Kline, Sales Executive
Kurt joined SeniorVu in December of 2021 and brings with him over 20 years of sales and leadership experience in the Healthcare software space. Kurt currently lives in Ohio with his wife and two girls. When he’s not working, he is involved with watching his daughters play field hockey and tennis.
1. The Staffing Crisis Is Not Going Away
The senior living industry has a staffing crisis, but we also have a retention crisis. In the educational session lead by Pam Engle, SVP People & Administration for New Perspective, leaders talked about how great people come in, but sometimes we treat them like they are coming into a fraternity. Senior employees ignore the new people, and it isn’t a good strategy for retention. Leaders need to set the stage for new caregivers to make sure they know they are important.
Overall, I saw a theme of sales teams taking on more responsibility, of not only leads, but also recruiting applicants.
If you need help with staffing, here’s our list of Top 3 Predictors For Turnover And What Leaders Can Do About It
2. If We Want to Disrupt the Industry, We Need to Practice Non-Obvious Thinking
In SLEC 2022’s Keynote session, Rohit Bhargava makes a case that the future is in non-obvious thinking. Our industry knows we need to change, but what does that mean really? To be a disrupter, we need to cut through the noise. Consuming more is not the answer.
For example, sales teams can cut through the noise by “going retro” to build trust. Sometimes building trust looks like a phone call or home visit instead of relying on PPC or Google ads for converting leads.
Bhargava said the key to non-obvious thinking is learning to understand people and themes in life. For example, Bhargava mentioned the quote by Isaac Asimov, “I am not a speed reader, but a speed understander.” It got me thinking through ways SeniorVu practices “speed understanding.”
You probably already know we take speed-to-lead time seriously, (Our current time is around 5 minutes) but how do we practice speed understanding?
- Omotenashi. It’s one of our core values at SeniorVu and it means anticipating the needs of others before they know they need it themselves. Our contact center agents do this on their calls every day. They read between the lines, unpack emotions, and ask important questions to truly get to know a lead’s unique needs. This empathetic approach allows them to book more tours for our clients.
- As an extension of your sales team, we need to be “speed understanders” of our clients and their brands. We know each sales culture is different, and it’s up to us to be world class in how we represent ourselves to our clients’ future residents.
- Bhargava said, “People who understand people always win.” Our mission is to be in service to the transformation of how America cares for seniors. As our team thinks of ways to better our industry at conferences like SLEC, we remember to always put people and relationships first. It’s why we’re all here and passionate about what we do.
3. Lead From the Front, Lead by Example, and Sacrifice for the Team.
This was my first Argentum conference, and I’m reminded of how it is to be together and meet face-to-face and learn how to be better leaders for our industry.
One of the most moving stories of leadership was from the closing Keynote with Jeff Evans. He talked about how Eric, who was blind, asked Evans to help him climb mountains. Evans said yes to being his guide, and Eric put 100 percent trust in him to get him up the mountain.
Eventually, he and the rest of his team set out to climb Mount Everest. Evans said there was a point where he was two hours ahead of the team up the mountain. Even though it slowed him down, he made sure the rope was visible to his team. This gave the rest of the team a clear path, but it meant he might not reach his goal of making it to the top of Everest.
He knew he had to clear the ropes for the team below him. Even though this would probably take all of his remaining energy, not to mention oxygen, and would probably result in Evans not being able to summit. His teams well-being and mission over his, with the ropes being necessary for his team to summit.
The big lesson here? This is what a leadership looks like. Doing the right thing for the overall team mission. To raise the tide of the industry, we need to work together and help each other. There’s an African Proverb I love that illustrates this point, “If you want to go fast, go alone; If you want to go far, go together.”
Evan’s group was the only team to get 19 people up the mountain, and the reason that he was able to do it was because of true leadership and teamwork. As I get back to the day to day, I am inspired to lead from the front, lead by example, and always sacrifice for the team.
At SeniorVu, we help senior living communities manage their top of funnels for leads and applicants. I’d love to talk more with you about your company and how we can inspire each other to move mountains in the industry.