By Joseph L. Roche, President and CEO of The Roche Associates, Inc.

Without effective management and control of the sales process, all the leads in the world will not turn into the sales you need to achieve the goal of gaining and maintaining 95%+ occupancy of your senior living community.

From a management standpoint, this includes:

Step 1: Consistently tracking and following up on hot and warm leads;

Step 2: Holding weekly sales meetings in which your sales and marketing team can track your progress, and map out next steps for your hot and warm leads;

Step 3: Conducting the move-in of depositors so the actual day of move-in goes smoothly;

Step 4: Ensuring that your chief sales people are converting leads into depositors by utilizing Motivational Interviewing Techniques* which engage the prospect in dialogue of open-ended, effective questions designed to help the sales team overcome any objections to making a commitment to your community.


When you conduct weekly on-site marketing and sales meetings, this marketing oversight can include:

  • Assisting in the planning of marketing and sales initiatives including webinars, webcasts, Facebook events, consumer and referral party sales traffic programs, and digital and direct marketing activities;

•Be sure you are regularly tracking marketing and sales metrics, which can include the followingmeasures:

    • Inquiry to appointment ratios. These appointments would include face-to-face and virtual appointments.
    • Appointment to tour ratios.
    • Tours to conversion to sales and deposits ratios.
    • Numbers of contacts with prospect or their adult children, in-laws or elderly relatives. These contacts would include:
      • Face-to-face and virtual meetings
      • Emails and texts
      • Phone follow up contacts
  • Create month-to-month and quarterly goals and objectives for net sales and move-ins.
  • Conduct periodic role-playing exercises either virtually or in-person when on-site with your on-site marketing and sales team to constructively critique and help them improve their sales methods, techniques, and skills on an ongoing basis;
  • Profile prospects with your on-site sales and marketing team during each weekly conference call and site visit to determine the best approaches, tactics, means and ways to convince as many of these prospects as possible to make a deposit and a commitment to move to your community as soon as possible;
  • Monitor data being collected on prospects to make sure that specific questions are being asked and information is being recorded in writing about each prospect’s situation, needs, wants, expectations, and finances as appropriate;
  • Enhance sales representatives’ presentation, selling and closing skills through

constructive critique and positive reinforcement of their efforts;

  • Conduct on-site marketing and sales review meetings on a quarterly basis
  • in order to constantly monitor marketing and sales progress, discuss specific tactics for gaining commitments from identified prospects, and set specific sales goals and objectives in terms of numbers of appointments, one-on-one presentations, sales calls, gaining of deposits, and move-ins.

At each weekly on-site meeting, your sales and marketing team should provide an updated report on marketing, promotions, and sales since the previous meeting.

If you need help getting started in the sales management process, The Roche Associates, Inc. has helped more our clients fill more than 25,000 units in the past 40 years. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you achieve your occupancy goals! 1-800-596-8183

*Learn more about Motivational Interviewing Techniques here:

Your sales staff and team also need to establish control of the sales process by setting a face-to- face appointment, preferably at your community or in the prospect’s home. In setting this appointment, your sales staff should collect contact information about the prospect’s situation but strongly resist “spilling the beans” about the advantages, benefits, and value your community offers over the phone before they have the opportunity to conduct a “Discovery

Interview” with them.

Too often salespeople make the classic mistake of pitching the amenities, features and services of a community without learning about what the prospect truly needs, wants or expects, and how the benefits of your community can satisfy those needs.

Teach your sales staff to view themselves as “problem solvers” of the issues, problems and situations which the prospects bring to their attention. The more your sales staff can be viewed as helping prospects, the greater the sales results will be.

For these reasons, when a prospect is in front of your sales staff, it’s essential that your staff learn more about their needs, wants, and expectations. Each prospect encounter should be individualized to meet the needs of the future resident and their family members. Learn techniques to help your staff discover what is at the heart of every inquiry for best results.

Two “best practice” sales methods for training your sales staff are “Spin Selling” techniques developed by Neil Rackham1 and the previously referenced “Motivational Interviewing” by

W.R. Miller and S. Rollnick.2 (Note: provide a link to each here!)

Once trained in the proven methods, your sales staff should be periodically “mystery shopped”

to make sure they are effectively applying these best practice sales methods and techniques.

Of course, your weekly marketing and sales meetings to check in about hot, warm and cold leads can help your team to keep advancing leads in the sales process, and to brainstorm new approaches together to help overcome possible obstacles or objections someone may have to committing to moving into your community.

It’s the combination of ongoing management and effective marketing and sales tactics that can help you achieve your occupancy goals.

For more tips and tricks for your Senior Living Community to the next level reach out to Roche Associates! 



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