By Heather Lynch of Love & Company
At Love & Company, our senior Sales Advisors are frequently asked to help sales teams close more sales, or to identify salespeople with “closing” skills when it comes time to add a new member to the team. It seems that in the senior living field everyone is looking for the one silver bullet that will allow the sales team to increase their closing ratios. The truth is, 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 involves communicating with the prospect in a way that makes asking for the close logical and comfortable. When your sales team uses 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 in the process.
Discovery is key
Before we ask for the sale, we first have to have a clear understanding of the prospects motivation for researching their retirement living options in the first place, their current situation, timing, who else is involved in the decision, if your community works for their budget (financial qualification) and any potential obstacles to their proposed move. In short, all sales teams need discovery in order to help the prospect move towards the decision to buy. Discovery tells the prospect’s story and allows the sales team to collaborate with the prospect as they make decisions about their future.
Leveraging Your CRM
Once discovery is gathered, it is critically important that it be documented in the CRM so the sales team can capture all aspects of the prospect’s situation and work with them to resolve objections and overcome obstacles that might be slowing down the sales cycle. If discovery notes are not documented in your community’s CRM, then your sales team does not possess the level of understanding about the prospects situation that they need in order to help them arrive at a purchasing decision.
Weekly Hot Board
Remember the saying “two heads are better than one?” When it comes to sales strategy, think about harnessing your sales teams collective experience to help close more sales by scheduling a Weekly Hot Board meeting. Hot Board sessions are a very effective way to advance sales because they provide your sales team with a forum to review their hot leads and brainstorm ideas for how to move the prospect forward in the sale process. Sales team members share their top 3-5 leads on the Hot Board and talk through 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 chime in with fresh ideas that can be used to close to the next stage, and ultimately, result in a move in. This effective best practice is proven to increase occupancy.
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.