Close sales in senior living

By: Heather Lynch

At Love & Company, our senior sales advisors are frequently asked to help sales teams close more sales, as well as identify salespeople with “closing skills” when adding a new team member. Everyone in the senior living field seems to look for the one silver bullet that will allow the sales team members to increase their closing ratios. Truthfully, closing is more than just knowing how and when to ask for the check. Closing is a process that requires expert listening and reflecting skills, and it involves communicating with the prospect in a way that makes asking for the close logical and comfortable. When your sales team members use these skills in an optimal way, the sales cycle is shortened, the needs of the prospect are met and revenue to your organization is increased.

1. Discovery: It’s Key

Before we ask for the sale, we first need to have a clear understanding of the prospect’s motivation for researching retirement living options. Some key pieces of intel we aim to understand in the discovery process include:

  • What is the prospect’s current situation?
  • What is the timing of the prospect’s planned move?
  • Who else is involved in the decision-making process? 
  • Does the community fit the prospect’s budget?
  • Are there any potential obstacles or reservations we need to address? 

In short, all sales teams need to do discovery to help move the prospect toward the purchasing decision. Discovery tells the prospect’s story and allows the sales team to collaborate with the prospect as he or she makes decisions about the future.

2. Leverage Your CRM

Once discovery is gathered, it is critical to document it in the CRM so the sales team can capture all aspects of the prospect’s story and work with him or her to resolve objections and overcome obstacles that may hinder the sales cycle. If discovery notes are not documented in your community’s CRM, then your sales team members do not fully understand the prospect’s situation that is needed to help him or her reach a purchasing decision.

3. Create a Weekly Hotboard

Remember the saying “two heads are better than one?” When it comes to sales strategy, think about harnessing your sales team’s collective experience to help close more sales by scheduling a weekly hot board meeting. Hot board sessions are very effective in advancing sales because they provide a forum for your sales team members to review their hot leads and brainstorm ideas for moving prospects forward in the sale process. Sales team members share their top three to five leads on the hot board and discuss their motivation, needs and obstacles to the sale with the group. Team members and your director of sales and marketing act as a sounding board and propose fresh ideas that can be used to close to the next stage and ultimately result in a move-in.

If you think your sales team members would benefit from a deeper understanding of their opportunities, we’d love to talk about it. Reach out to Tim Bracken at 410-207-0013, or click here to contact us.

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