When we sell something, anything, we may often have to depend upon someone else to deliver that product we just sold. Whether its senior living, real estate, office equipment or financial services you may not ultimately be in charge of delivering the product you sold to your customer. The distance between the sale and the delivery to the customer can be enormous.
Many years ago, early in my career I worked for a woman who was possibly the most savvy business person I have ever encountered. She was full of wisdom. Her management style was simple and powerful. Her mantra: Treat your clients like gold and honor your sales team as the life blood of your business. During my training she said the most valuable thing I have ever learned. "If you want to be successful, just show up for your appointments and return your calls."
As a marketing consultant and sales trainer I often meet with clients who tell me that they “just can’t sell enough…” or “Can you teach my people how to close?” It never fails that after a bit of research and investigation we find that many of the customers we try to sell aren’t really viable users of our products. So once again we need to go back to marketing. Who are your perfect clients, where are they and how can you get more of them?
When is the last time you "walked" your place of business to see what it looked like? Start with the front door. I recently went to see a client and it was clear that someone had spent the night drinking in front of his office. There were empty beer bottles and cigarette butts in his beautiful planters! Working in the same place every day, we often lose sight of how we look to people visiting us for the first time.
In senior housing or home care we often sell a product that is used for a very long time. Unlike any other big ticket or extended use products, we will be present with the customer during the entire time she uses it. Think about it. Imagine if you sold someone a car and then had to drive around with them in the car the whole time they owned it. We promise an experience, results, or an outcome and then hope it will happen the way we presented it. We must take an active part in seeing that this service is delivered.
When is the last time you evaluated your collateral? What does it say about your business? How recent is it? What's the quality of the photography? Are you using stock images that may appear on someone else's website? Think hard before you create your materials.
I was meeting with a client recently to talk about training their front line staff. You know, the people who operate the front desk, answer the phone, serve in the dining room or park cars in the garage. The mood in the community was a bit sullen. The staff had become relaxed in their appearance. The calls and visitors coming in to inquire were not being greeted graciously or with sufficient or accurate information.
When you get an internet inquiry for your community or your business, how is it answered? Recently, I was in a community and discovered that fifty percent of the people who had received electronic replies had no memory of receiving them. 50%! How can you ensure that you're not wasting 50% of your efforts?
One of the aspects that makes the of Retirement Community business unique is that the pre and post sale client is almost always completely different individuals. We all know that adult children are the ones that drive the decision for moving their aging parents into a Retirement Community but are you consciously aware that the profile for that client is dramatically changing?
My insights for your success.