Most sales people will tell you that the key to hitting your quota is to generate as many leads as possible.
Not Reed Davis.
The director of sales and marketing at Dial Retirement Communities knew something needed to change after the company’s flagship property lost 10 percentage points of occupancy. Using what he’d learned about Prospect-Centered Selling®, Davis started by cutting 90 percent of his lead base.
“Like most operators, we had far too many leads—some 1,200 for this property—and this caused us to spread our valuable time over way too many prospects, which actually hurts your move-in results,” says Davis.
Changing the Culture
Davis’ team removed more than 1,000 people from its lead base and changed the sales culture to focus on spending more time with fewer prospective residents. Making such a substantial cut wasn’t easy, but “you get much better at this with practice,” Davis says.
“You will still get the normal, small number of prospects in the action stage, but it’s the prospects in the ‘thinking’ and ‘planning’ stages who will move if you spend time building relationships,” Davis says.
Changing the sales culture doesn’t mean turning away easy sales, Davis says. “You don’t ignore walk-ins or other prospects ready to move. You simply add them and move them to the top of your Top 10 prospect board if they show buying signals.”
Dial saw its flagship property regain all its lost occupancy once the sales team started to focus on a much smaller portion of the lead base. Davis says his team increased occupancy by 30 percent after changing their sales culture.
“The key is to focus on and tap into a prospect’s own motivation to achieve the benefits of living in your community. This is a skill that can be learned,” Davis says.
Update, Aug. 21, 2017:
Months after this post was published, Reed Davis crunched the numbers again and shared an exciting conclusion. One year after his company adopted Sherpa as its CRM, “our Time in the Selling Zone has increased by 34 percent, and guess what? Our deposits increased by 57 percent!”
“This just goes to show that when we slow down the selling process and we focus more time with our wonderful leads, we have more success,” Davis said.
In His Own Words
Watch the video below to hear Davis talk about the benefits of changing sales culture: