"If you make listening and observation your occupation, you will gain much more than you can by talk.” – Robert Baden-Powell
Today’s blog begins with a quote about listening because listening and observation are important skills in determining your unique sales proposition (USP). If you desire to be accurate, insightful and effective in appealing to the hearts and minds of your customer, you must NOT rely on your perceptions only. Instead, you must garner information from several sources, including multiple audiences. Perceptions should be gathered from:
- competitive analysis of your community;
- interviews with your owners regarding your community and its competitors;
- interviews and listening to your prospects in regards to your community and its competitors; and
- interviews with your wait list about what made them choose your community amidst the myriad of other choices, including staying at home.
Begin with your personal responsibility as a marketing professional. Both Socrates and Thomas Szasz stated “Know thyself,” and this is an important function in identification of your USP.
First and foremost, know your own product, soup to nuts. Know what services are offered to your residents to enrich their lives – from maintenance, housekeeping, valet, inclement weather services, and enrichment and wellness programming, to any special touches. Be able to identify the culture of your community. Perhaps it distinguishes itself by being philanthropic, cultural, boutique-sized and personal. Perhaps it is part of a larger corporation and has the advantages of maximizing resources through economies-of-scale. Whatever the culture is, be able to identify and articulate it.
If your community offers multiple levels of care, go beyond knowing and selling independent or retirement living. Are you renowned for excellence in a certain level of care such as superior outcomes in rehab, innovative approaches in memory care, or zero deficiencies in skilled care? Whatever the strengths, be sure you are familiar with all of your community’s talents in independent living as well as higher levels of care.
Most importantly, can you articulate the advantages of your community in a clear and concise manner? Communicating a culture or feeling can be difficult, so it may take contemplation and exploration. This leads to utilizing others to further hone and test your message, which will be covered in subsequent blogs.
Next week, we will explore the responsibility you have to know your competition as a NEXT STEP in differentiating your community.
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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.