The first step in planning for success is to perform an effective review of the prospect who is scheduled to visit or that you plan to call. Each time you interact with a prospect, it is wise to have a commitment objective as suggested in Action Selling.
Discovering the Individual
Some sales-driven sales professionals think that their objective is to convert to a sale; however, there are often many steps between a first meeting/phone call and receipt of a deposit. Each prospect is just that: an individual, with his own approach and pace to decision-making. One of the first duties of discovery is to ascertain:
- A prospect’s dominant values
- The prospect’s potential objections
- Typical style of decision-making.
To plan your initial approach with prospective new residents, be sure to conduct discovery before you talk to them. Look through your CRM database to review any previous history they have with your community. Have their family members used any of your services? Have they used any of your amenities or temporary services? Do they have a history of communications with anyone at your community? If the answer is “yes” to any of these questions, be sure to consult with the previous point of contact to find out details about the interaction or the prospect. Look up the home location and home value of your prospects. With today’s social media accounts, you may get a glimpse into their personality and characteristics.
Have a Commitment Objective in Mind
Commitment objectives should be a direct response to the style and pace of decision-making of the prospect while keeping in mind time imperatives that may be driven by the recent sale of their home, a health concern, or desire to change their living situation. The ultimate goal of the sales counselor IS the receipt of the deposit; however, each contact with a prospect should have a Commitment Objection that achieves the next step toward decision-making after the phone call or tour. This step could be:
CO’S for Phone Calls
- Accepting receipt of additional information
- Accepting a time for a follow-up phone call
- Asking for more information
- Making an appointment
CO’S for Tours
- Returning with their key influencer
- Buying into the concepts of a CCRC
- Buying into the concepts of your contract
- Making an application
All of the above are steps toward the ultimate objective of receiving a deposit; however, you may reach your final goal sooner if you have a pre-planned pathway to get there. So, do your homework by studying your prospects, their history, and their decision-making tendencies.Then, think of your path to success by creating steps forward through commitment objectives.
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About the Author
Patty Scotten is a consultant with Retirement DYNAMICS® and serves as their marketing manager. Patty has over twenty five years’ experience in the senior living industry and has led several communities in preselling expansions or increasing occupancy levels. She graduated from Elon University and holds a Masters Degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Patty is licensed as both an assisted living and nursing home administrator.