Often when we’re too close to something we’re heavily invested in, its challenging to objectively figure out ways to improve. This is certainly true when it comes to increasing occupancy at many senior living communities. Is it a sales’ process? Is it misaligned, or even incorrect, marketing messaging? Has the positioning of the community changed subtly or drastically? Is the general public’s perception of the community at odds with what we perceive to be the brand essence? Or is it something else?
If these disconcerting thoughts are giving you restless sleep, anxiety or feelings of self-doubt, or all of the above, you owe it to yourself, your community and its stakeholders to solicit a third-party sales and marketing assessment. Being willing to share metrics, materials and feedback on what is happening at your community can be the first step towards increased occupancy.
Outside looking in
One of the primary reasons to engage third-party providers for sales and marketing assessments is to remove the inherent bias and subjectiveness that may arise from internal audits. Once this subjectivity is removed, an organization can realize many benefits, including:
- Valuation of sales team members for training purposes
- Improvement of hiring process to procure future talented sales team members
- Development of more effective processes and adherence to best practices
- Fine tuning of the sales philosophy and tactics used to support it
- An objective view of what makes your community better, different and special for marketing purposes
As a senior-living industry leader in sales consulting, strategic marketing, operations consulting and digital marketing, Solutions Advisors Group (SAG) provides sales and marketing assessments as a core capability. For communities looking for reasons why their occupancy is being held back, or are planning an expansion of services, or simply looking to reengage their sales process, engagement with SAG for a sales and marketing assessment is the catalyst senior living leaders lean on for moving forward. Here’s how we do it…
Step 1: Tour the community. It is important for SAG to see and feel what prospects would experience during a tour. With years of experience and an objective eye, it is easy for our consulting team to spot potential issues. “This is probably THE most important part of the assessment process,” explains Lauren Messmer, President of SAG. “If there is a disconnect between what the community is really like and what is being presented online and in collateral, that will always impact the sales and marketing process.”
Step 2: Meet with sales. By sitting with the sales team together and individually, we are able to review processes, sales techniques and more while looking for ways to improve detail and increase occupancy.
Step 3: Review the database. One place that is often teeming with untapped leads is a community’s database. By reviewing your active and lost leads, we can help identify opportunities to reconnect with the most qualified prospects.
Step 4: Conduct a review of digital assets. As we are on-site, our digital marketing consultants will be analyzing your website, social media accounts, SEM efforts and online reputation with an eye out for potential improvements and upgrades.
Step 5: Review marketing collateral. To ensure your community’s branding and messaging is consistent across all platforms, we will also conduct a review of your brochures, flyers and invitations.
Step 6: Conduct a competitive analysis. This could include a review of pricing and positioning in the market for competitors nearby.
Step 7: Facilitate a SOAR session. Once the research and review has taken place, a SOAR (Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations and Results) session will be conducted with the SAG team and key stakeholders from your community.
Step 8: Put it all together. Once all the discovery is complete, the SAG team works to create a comprehensive assessment document that includes findings and recommendations. “It is exciting and challenging to be straightforward with community leaders when we suggest changes that should be made – often outside of the sales and marketing departments,” Messmer continued. “Some of our hardest conversations, however, have turned into long-term relationships we have to this day!”
After the sales and marketing assessment, if you feel your community would like to implement the recommendations outlined, SAG can work with your team to formulate a strategic sales and marketing plan with measurable goals. Connect with SAG today to schedule an introductory call!