A senior-sales counselor might want to know who the ideal prospect is. A short-term answer, one that is tied to a fast and easy signup, is often someone facing a crisis that is compelling them to move. Instead of a decision, the person on the other end of the call is making arrangements. All the counselor needs to do is to match the level of care with the health services needed, and they’ve got a filled apartment. There’s no real need to sell, so it sounds like a win, right? But how are these residents going to affect the community, especially for independent living, and what impact will they have on the way a sales team can market their services down the line?

Across the board, communities are building better facilities and offering more choices for activities and programming which has shown to increase lengths of stay and help marketing to the community. Yet needs-driven, low-functioning residents aren’t typically the people we see exercising in fitness centers or attending social events. Instead these residents, I’ll call them the “have-to’s,” are individuals who wouldn’t have chosen to move if they had their way about it, and probably aren’t getting the most out of what’s around them. From the perspective of the community, what’s the point of having great services and facilities if nobody is using them?

To really show the potential of a community, sales teams will want more active, motivated prospects–the “want-to’s.” It might take months or even years to get these prospects to move, but once they do, they are usually say they’re glad they did. These are people who still have active lifestyles, so as residents they use facilities and tout the benefits of senior living to others. These are same benefits that sales counselors keep referring to. And after all, these residents could have stayed at home another couple of years, but if they chose to live at your community. This it says a lot about the services you offer to other potential want-to’s who are considering a move.

Sure, it is a harder and likely much more time consuming effort on the part of the sales team, but don’t give up on the potential want-to’s. The have-to’s are going to end up moving whether you try to “sell” to them or not. If sales counselors acted more like recruiters for professional sports teams (in this case their IL communities), they would end up with the best “players” to represent them and to make the most out of the resources at their communities. It seems like the best way to keep prospects, residents and communities at the top of their game, and make the industry more appealing as a whole.

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