In the ever-evolving landscape of senior living sales, the ability to convert organic leads into occupancy for your community is a vital skill. The process of lead conversion is a delicate blend of art and science, requiring a deep understanding of consumer behavior, a strategic approach to sales, and the effective use of digital tools.
Our CEO, Terri Sullivan, recently teamed up with a panel of industry experts to present a Masterclass on converting organic leads in senior living sales. In this article, we will recap some of what they discussed to provide valuable insights and actionable strategies to help you optimize your digital marketing spend, leverage your online real estate, convert traffic into leads, and convert those leads into satisfied residents of your senior living community.
1. Get to Know Today’s Older Adults & Their Families
The digital revolution has fundamentally altered the way consumers make purchasing decisions, and the senior living industry is no exception. According to NielsenIQ, a staggering 67% of consumers are now buying online. Forrester/LinkedIn also reports that buyers may be ⅔ to 90% down the buying process before speaking to a salesperson for the first time. This shift towards digital platforms for research, comparison, and purchase of products and services has significant implications for senior living sales.
Another study by Statistica reveals that 52.6% of all consumers are accessing your website on mobile devices. This underlines the importance of having a mobile-friendly website that provides a seamless and user-friendly experience. In this digital age, consumers drive their experience and want to be educated, not sold. They are primarily looking for two things: product fit and pricing. As sales and marketing executives for senior living providers, it’s our job to provide clear, concise, and relevant information that addresses these needs. To understand more about the digital journey of consumers, you can read this article.
2. Understand The Role of Buyer Touchpoints
in Senior Living Sales
“Let’s get back to the basics post-Covid. This means grass-roots marketing, building relationships….”—Tamara Sunderland, VP of Sales & Marketing, Charter Senior Living
Every interaction that a consumer has with your brand, from the first point of contact to the final purchase decision, is a touchpoint. McKinsey & Co. suggest that there are between 22 to 28 touchpoints for a senior living purchase. These touchpoints represent opportunities to engage with potential residents and their families, provide valuable information, and guide them toward a purchase decision.
Understanding and optimizing these touchpoints is a crucial part of the sales process. It allows you to create consistent and positive experiences for everyone who encounters your brand, build strong relationships with your future residents, and ultimately drive sales and increase occupancy.
3. Strive to Serve Your Market
“If you feel like you’re selling, you’ve lost the customer. Stop selling! Inform, educate, empower, explain….” —Dean Tendrich, VP of Sales & Marketing, Alta Senior Living.
To effectively serve today’s buyers in the market for senior living, we need to shift our sales mindset. The traditional sales approach, which focuses on pushing products or services onto consumers, is no longer effective. Instead, we need to adopt a service-oriented approach, which focuses on understanding and meeting the needs and expectations of older adults and their families.
This means asking, “How can I serve them?” instead of “What can I sell them?”. It means listening to our prospects, understanding their needs and challenges, and providing solutions that add value to their lives. It means being empathetic, responsive, and customer-centric in all our interactions. Read this blog to understand more about the importance of your value proposition.
4. Power Up Your CTAs
Effective Call-To-Actions (CTAs) are crucial in guiding prospects through the buyer’s journey. They provide relevant and timely prompts that guide prospects toward the next step in their journey. Whether it’s downloading a guide, scheduling a consultation, or requesting a quote, CTAs play a pivotal role in converting prospects into customers. However, to create effective CTAs, we need to meet prospects where they are in their buyer’s journey. This means understanding their needs, motivations, and concerns at each stage of the journey and tailoring our CTAs accordingly. It means providing the right information, at the right time, in the right way.
CTAs also play a crucial role in informing sales strategies and improving efficiency. By analyzing the performance of your CTAs, you can gain valuable insights into your prospects’ behavior and preferences. You can understand what resonates with them, what prompts them to take action, and what obstacles they face in their buyer’s journey. These insights can help you refine your sales strategies, improve your communication, and enhance your customer experience.
5. Create a Pull, Not a Push
In today’s consumer-driven market, it’s more effective to create a pull rather than a push. This means attracting and engaging prospects with valuable content and experiences rather than pushing products or services onto them. Creating a pull involves understanding your prospects’ needs and interests and providing content that addresses these needs and sparks their interest. It involves creating a compelling value proposition that makes your prospects want to learn more about your services. And it involves building strong relationships with your prospects, nurturing them through the sales funnel, and turning them into loyal customers.
6. Optimize Your Digital Marketing Spend
Digital marketing is a powerful tool for reaching and engaging your target audience. However, to maximize its potential, it’s important to make every dollar you spend on digital marketing count. This means your marketing efforts need to be targeted, relevant, and effective.
As mentioned above, a surefire way to get the most out of your digital marketing spend is by optimizing your website CTAs. By creating compelling and effective CTAs, you can increase your conversion rates and get more value from your website traffic. This involves testing different CTA designs, placements, and messages and refining them based on performance. Waypoint’s Navigator tool serves as a CTA hub, allowing website visitors to take virtual tours, ask questions over live chat, download brochures, and more.
7. Leverage Your Online Real Estate
“Today’s senior living communities have a different look and feel than those of the past….”—Seth Lawson, Sales Director, Threshold 360 Virtual Tours
Your website is your most valuable online real estate. It’s the first point of contact for many of your prospects, and it plays a crucial role in shaping their perception of your brand. Therefore, it’s important to leverage this space effectively to engage and convert prospects.
This includes designing appealing community home pages, creating engaging and informative content, and providing a seamless and user-friendly experience. It also includes utilizing tools that engage, convert, and inform your sales teams, allowing them to respond to leads more effectively and efficiently.
Mastering the art of converting organic leads in senior living sales is a complex process that requires a deep understanding of today’s buyers, a shift in sales mindset, and the effective use of digital tools and strategies. However, with the right approach and resources, it’s a skill that can significantly enhance your sales performance and business growth.
In this digital age, the key to success lies in understanding and serving the needs of our customers. It lies in providing valuable and relevant information, building strong relationships, and creating a seamless and enjoyable customer experience. And most importantly, it lies in continuously learning, adapting, and improving our strategies to meet the changing needs and expectations of our customers.