I recently completed a series of mystery shops for a client looking to explore the impact of their on-line presence. Though the surge in their popularity is undeniable, we often debate about the value of Internet inquiries. But the truth is we are not selling dog food, or patio furniture or school supplies. We are selling a promise for the last chapter of someone's life. It is possibly one of the only things you cannot purchase on line.
So what can be done? No matter what it takes, stop your sales team from spewing data about your business, in person, on line or on the phone. It's not that it doesn't matter. It just doesn't matter yet.
A wise and successful colleague once told me “Everything communicates!” The quality of your website, your brochure, the envelope in which it arrives, and the paper you print on, all represent your end product or service. If your first impression says “I didn’t take the time,” or “I didn’t want to spend the money,” then that message is transmitted to the product you offer.
Looking for good dependable sales professionals for your organization? Go to the mall and buy something this holiday. You’re likely to find your next great team member.
Unless you sell sunglasses or barbeques, you may think the summer is a sleepy time to do business. I recently had a client call me to help her with some training in a community that had been in a census decline since January. She was in a hurry to get me in front of her sales team because soon “it would be summer and there would be no traffic.” Somehow inquiries would come to a screeching halt and if they didn’t “close” everyone in May, they would surely have no business again until fall.
I am always anxious to hear what’s new, what’s different and who is driving innovation in our field. Recently I attended what I anticipated would be a very special networking breakfast. It was a local provider group, smaller than usual with about 20 people, a great atmosphere for learning about my senior industry colleagues, their products, and their services.
There is nothing more exciting than starting a new job. Especially if its one that you have earned with shrewd networking, endless interviews and a stockpile of unique qualifications that made you a perfect fit for the position. Next time you have a new hire remember what you felt like on your first day.
I get many calls from business owners who want to correct a problem they are having usually related to a lack of revenue, a sales slump, or an under performing sales team. In all cases, changes need to take place - usually sooner rather than later. It might be better training, product improvement, increased marketing effort or sometimes a personnel change. All this takes some hard thought, some thorough investigation and often additional funding to retain an outside professional to help with the process and make the changes.
Did you get the deposit? Did they sign? Did you get the check? Questions we hear everyday in Senior Living. Some days our work is narrowed down to how many move ins will we have, how many hot leads are we working, who can we "close"? If we imagined we got up every morning with the sole aim of collecting checks from would-be residents, none of us would still be in this rewarding, but challenging, business of changing people's lives.
Years ago when I worked for the retail giant Federated, I was privileged to hear a great man speak about the impending demise of the Specialty Store. You remember, those stores where people knew your name, where goods were shipped to your home on approval and where sales ladies in black dresses, and men in suits, showed you to a fitting room or wrapped your gifts.
In my business there is great disagreement about whether anyone can be trained to sell. But in any business where personal lives or great sums of money are at stake, training is essential. If a person has natural talent to connect with others, that is a gift. But the skill to discover what someone really needs or wants can most definitely be taught.
My insights for your success.