In today's competitive world of assisted living potential residents have more and more options. Those doing the research (especially on the internet), are usually aware of multiple local communities and will often contact and schedule on-site tours with more than one. To compete and thrive in today's environment of instant information your first person to person phone interactions need to be as seamless and efficient as possible. Converting phone leads can vary hugely from community to community and often times if you're not prepared the business will go to your competitors who are.
For this reason we've put together a list of 3 simple actions you can implement today to start converting more phone leads into on-site visits and ultimately residents.
1) Choose the Right Person to Answer Your Phones
The receptionist at your community is your first line of defense when it comes to converting phone leads. Hiring right for this position is crucial to converting well on your phone leads and can have a major impact on your bottom line. An ideal receptionist should be bright, knowledgeable, friendly, and have somewhat of a sales mentality when it comes to handling phone calls. They need to understand that the point of the initial call is to move the prospect to the next stage of your particular sales funnel, which in many cases for assisted living is setting up an on-site visit. Undervaluing the importance of this person or trying to outsource this position in order to save money could have a huge impact on your community financially in the future.
"On the phone, tone is 86% of our communication. Words we actually use are only 14% of our communication."
- Contact Point
2) Know the Questions & Objections Ahead of Time
Have your answers ready ‐ In the majority of cases almost 90% of phone questions or objections will revolved around the same issues. It's important to have the answers and rebuttals ready before your call occur. Common topics that you might hear over and over typically revolve around pricing, availability, insurance, and financing options. It's good practice to have a sheet of common questions as well as appropriate responses ready in front your receptionist when the phone rings. It's also almost always the case that the potential customer has already done thorough research on your and your community online before ever picking up the phone. If your receptionist hears a good question they've never heard before this is actually very interesting data for your marketing and sales efforts. If your receptionist hears a good question that's not currently being answered on the site it's a good sign that you should add it! Use your receptionist as a source for content marketing ideas! They'll be able to to tell you what people are looking to find out and therefor give you more information on what to use in your website and content marketing efforts.
3) Ask & Schedule a Time for An On-Site Visit
Too often receptionists wait too long to ask the potential resident to schedule an on-site visit, or they never ask at all! Once any questions are handled cut to the chase by assuming they want to setup an on-site visit. Make sure your receptionist has their calendar in front of them, along with available hours for tours. Make sure to plan out multiple time slots so that they can give the person on the phone a few different options. Remember that each phone interaction should have an end-goal in mind. Typically with assisted living communities this is an on-site visit. Make sure that your staff has all the tools they need in order to make scheduling that visit as easy as possible. If you don't have a senior living CRM this could be a good chance to look into one. Pro tip: When evaluating a CRM for senior living make sure you choose an integration-friendly option. And, at the very least, when you're on the phone with a prospect make sure you don't forget to ask about booking a tour!
If you're looking to increase lead generation and convert more sales we have numerous programs that can help you. Each of our inbound marketing programs is specifically tailored to the goals of each community. Depending on your size, existing occupancy rates, and goals we can custom tailor a road map to help you get there.