Things are looking up in occupancy, according to NIC’s latest wave of Executive Survey Insights.
According to the data, roughly one-half of communities in assisted living and/or memory care units reported an acceleration in the paces of move-ins. But even with move-ins increasing, only one third of organizations reported lead volume had returned to pre-pandemic levels.
Leads are precious, and with occupancy still teetering, how can senior living communities make the most out of their lead nurturing process?
1. Use empathy as your driver
The dictionary defines empathy as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
Leaders know empathy is good for business. Empathy moves a business forward, and is even tied to job performance, according to the Center for Creative Leadership.
When sales professionals know how to “walk a mile in their prospects shoes” they can close more deals. LinkedIn found that 40 percent of buyers describe a salesperson as “trustworthy,” however, when they do business with a salesperson, 88 percent of buyers describe the salesperson as a “trusted advisor.” The lesson is trust doubles in sales when you add the element of empathy.
How is trust and empathy built? The answer may be found in listening.
After surveying thousands of B2B buyers on LinkedIn, the data showed listening was what buyers wanted most from salespeople. The same lesson could be learned in the B2C space as well.
LinkedIn asked Business Strategist Meridith Powell how to listen well. In part, she said,
“When we listen to our prospects fully, two amazing things happen,” Powell said. “First, they will tell us exactly what they need, which tells us exactly what we need to sell, when to sell it, and how to sell it.” (“Buyers Most Want a Salesperson who Listens Well. Here’s …”)
“But secondly, and more importantly, when we listen, we send a strong message to our prospect that says, ‘this relationship will always be more about you than about me’,” she added.
You can read the full article on LinkedIn here.
What comes after listening? Thoughtful questions.
According to Forbes reporting on the neuroscience of selling, asking purposeful questions can drive neural activity, emotional connections and positive buying decisions. When talking with a potential prospect, be sure to ask meaningful questions to help them better understand how your senior living community can improve their, or their loved ones’, current situation.
Hear from SeniorVu’s Contact Center Manager, Katie Pautler, on the importance of empathy when talking with a prospect.
2. Utilize a contact center
Occupancy and staffing are like the age-old chicken and egg question. One cannot be talked about without the other.
NIC found that nearly all senior living communities have been paying staff overtime since July and the use of expensive agency and temporary staff is at 89%. While many communities are happy to pay their staff overtime fees, paying expensive agency fees is another story.
Utilizing a contact center is a great solution for nurturing your leads and your applicants to drive more move-ins and have a full staff.
When a prospect calls but a salesperson doesn’t pick up, that’s money left on the table. Understandably, Sales and Marketing Directors are maxed out, and missed calls happen. When you have a contact center, you have an army of individuals nurturing your leads, instead of just one person.
With a contact center, your lead engagement rate goes up significantly. With SeniorVu’s contact center, 100 percent of leads are engaged and followed up.
The same thing can happen with your applicants. A candidate fills out an application, but it can be weeks before they hear back. A contact center can connect with applicants in 10 minutes instead of 10 days.
Another cause of missed conversions is that many inquiries are happening on the weekend or after hours. In a case study done by SeniorVu, 37 percent of all inquiries came in after hours. The study also found that families expect to talk to a live person from 7pm –10pm. With a contact center, you can rest assured your leads aren’t being missed when your sales and marketing professionals aren’t on the clock.
Utilizing a contact center will help your team work smarter, not harder, when it comes to lead nurturing and applicant nurturing. If you’d like to learn more about SeniorVu’s contact center, schedule a demo by clicking the button below.
3. Focus on speed to lead
The last tip to drive better conversions when nurturing leads is to focus on speed to lead.
Ask yourself, what would happen if your Amazon Prime suddenly stopped working? What about if your Netflix was down and you couldn’t binge your favorite show?
We live in a culture of instant gratification. We want it, and we want it now, but sometimes we forget to remember this mentality when it comes to connecting with prospects searching for a community.
Choosing to move a loved one can already be highly emotional, and sometimes decisions need to be made quickly. If a senior living community can reach out fast with a solution, the prospect is likely to go with that community.
Leads go cold when there is a slow response time to their inquiry, often turning to another community.
Imagine that you are about to buy a new car. It’s a big decision that you have thought about and feels like a big life change. You go to the dealership and the car salesman says, “hey, fill out this form and I’ll get back to you in 10 business days.”
Doesn’t feel great, right?
This is what many senior living communities are currently doing with their leads. That’s why speed to lead is so important when converting leads to move-ins.
Just like you would probably go to the next car dealership that would be willing to answer your questions, and sell you the car you were looking for, prospects are doing the same when searching for senior living communities.
SeniorVu’s speed to lead time is 10 minutes or less and connects to 100 percent of qualified leads. Prospects are pre-qualified based on your community’s criteria, and tours are scheduled directly in your CRM of choice.
Whether or not you use SeniorVu’s services, putting these tips into place today will help you practice lead nurturing that converts.