As a senior living sales manager, you know your sales team faces a unique challenge when it comes to turning leads into residents. 

The move to a senior living community is among the most important and difficult decisions older adults and their families make. You might recognize the need to demonstrate empathy, patience, curiosity, and understanding when you interact with prospects to help them navigate the emotions and fear surrounding this significant life change. 

Data from Sherpa users shows that the quality of sales activities—not necessarily the quantity—drives conversion.

Yet, as an industry, we are taught that high numbers of new leads, call-outs, and tours are predictive indicators of conversion. The pressure to fulfill activity quotas dilutes the quality of time spent with each lead. For many sales counselors, reconciling the two opposing priorities is difficult, if not impossible. 

Truly impactful sales metrics reinforce behaviors proven to work in the senior living industry. The following metrics are key leading indicators of this success. 

1. Time in The Selling Zone®

The Selling Zone®—activities tied directly to prospect engagement—includes time spent face to face or voice to voice with a prospect, as well as time spent planning advances and creating personalized follow-ups. This is the leading indicator of conversion because it measures all behaviors—including the next four covered in this article—that are effective for converting leads in senior living sales. 

2. Time per lead

Making an emotional connection with prospects in order to build trust and help them overcome the fear of this significant lifestyle change takes time. Spending more time with fewer leads improves conversion—not just more sales, but better sales.

Top sellers focus on slowing down and building deeper relationships with the most qualified prospective customers rather than casting a wide net that results in shallow engagements. More time with fewer leads drives better results—in other words, depth trumps breadth.

3. Planning  

Planning helps a sales counselor develop an effective strategy for a next step based on what you know about the particular prospect and, more importantly, what you would like to learn. This metric represents your time spent preparing these next steps to move individual prospects toward a buying decision. 

4. Creative follow-up

Creative follow-up demonstrates to prospects that they have been seen and heard by the sales counselor. True creative follow-up springs from the sales counselor’s intention to honor prospects and their uniqueness and show how much the counselor valued the interaction. 

These gestures build trust and make prospects feel more connected to the sales counselor and the community. This leads to more meaningful interactions that make a prospect feel truly valued.

5. Home visits

A personal visit to your prospect’s home can be one of the best ways to establish trust and develop a genuine connection. A prospect’s home tells an important part of their life story. It is a repository of most of their memories. It is a piece of their identity. It is an important component of their life they are not ready to give up.

Many older adults receive a well-intentioned request to visit their home with delight—they see it as refreshing that someone cares enough to go to their home. 

Strong analytics aligned with a prospect-centered strategy take senior living sales to the next level. For more information on key metrics that predict conversion and show the quality of human connections made with prospects, download Sherpa’s free white paper on the science behind senior living sales

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