Alexandra Johnson, Sales and Marketing Director for Adlington Retirement Living, on their approach to independent living with care.
Adlington Retirement Living is a growing collection of independent living communities across the UK, typically well connected to towns and cities versus rural locations. Homeowners have access to care and amenities, yet Adlington’s sales focus is more tuned in to the intangible benefits of retirement living – making friends, having choices and being comfortable in a happy, welcoming environment.
“It’s very much about creating communities,” says Alexandra Johnson, Adlington’s Sales and Marketing Director. “Even though the company originated from the world of construction, we’re flipping it on its head now. For us, the most important thing is that it’s not ‘apartment first’ but instead creating that sense of community first and foremost. It was this defining change to position the business so that it would resonate with more consumers. My job, with my marketing hat on, is really to see the world from the consumer’s point of view.”
It was this mindset that led to a partnership with Sherpa in 2021. Despite the challenges of the COVID pandemic, Adlington’s approach remained customer-focused. They wanted to build stronger relationships with the prospective homeowners for a more personal, supportive sales experience.
Their interactions were geared towards listening and understanding, rather than convincing. But what made this selling time most effective was that there was always a clear objective: support a prospect’s readiness to make a decision.
“Make a call with purpose,” Alexandra says. “What’s the purpose of this call? What’s the purpose of this visit? They’ve come in, they’ve had lunch. They’ve met the GM. What’s the purpose of the next visit? Unless you can access a lot of information quickly, then your next interaction is going to lack purpose.”
Sales teams at Adlington use Sherpa to document life stories, motivators and the meaningful details that help to support each sales journey. They engage with people as a trusted advisor, not a pushy salesperson. By putting the prospective homeowner first, Adlington’s communities have benefited from high occupancies, happy residents, and business growth with new locations across the country.
Alexandra speaks with Sherpa Chief Customer Officer Matt Jesperson on formalising their customer-centric approach with Sherpa CRM.
Aligning a company-wide sales strategy
With sales teams across the UK, Adlington wanted a way to formalise the “Adlington way of selling.” Since their philosophy and Sherpa’s were so closely matched, it made perfect sense for Alexandra to use not just the CRM but align their sales teams with the Prospect-Centred Selling methodology.
“With our more experienced members of the team, it’s really just popped,” she says. “And then with our less experienced, or new-to-company people, this is a way of working that we will get to across everywhere.”
“We love Sherpa because it formalised a lot of the things we were doing. It’s given us that real benchmark to go, this is the methodology and the platform and the strategy.”