Sales are fundamental to the success and survival of senior living facilities to increase occupancy and improve profitability. However, in the current era, sales and salespersons are changing gradually. In the past, salespersons were the gatekeepers of information. A prospect had to speak to the salesperson to access information about a product or service. Consumers had limited options and the first salesperson to approach a buyer won the deal. Mechanisms for independent research were not available. Nevertheless, this scenario has changed substantially.

A Changing Landscape

Salespeople are no longer gatekeepers, and the sales process can occur without them. Information on services is readily available, and consumers have unlimited options for services. Relationships and trust are fundamental in the current sales landscape. Buyers are soliciting for business advisers they can trust to design unique solutions for their problems. The sales process is shifting from personality-based to trust-based.

In line with all these changes, senior living facilities’ sales departments and salespeople should revamp their sales strategies to accommodate the changes. They should aim at delivering value and building trust so that people choose their facility over competitors. To develop effective and proficient salespersons, senior living community owners need to create and implement a sales training strategy. If your sales training strategy is broken, it’s not too late to fix it.

Why You Should Move Past Mini-Me Tactics

Many senior living community’s sales managers use mini-me sales tactics. They aim to develop a team of salespeople –mini-me- who sell the way they do. These managers think that by transferring their sales tactics and scripts to their team, their team will become as effective as they are. They assume that if the sales strategy worked for them, it will definitely work for their team. However, such as assumption is flawed and the mini-me sales strategy does not work to a large extent.

Individualized Approach

The best strategy is coaching salespeople, offering them individualized attention, and helping them develop their own tactics based on their strengths. Let them find something that works for them and not for you. A salesperson, for example, can capitalize on strengths such as listening, problem-solving, and empathy to develop effective sales tactics for the facility. In a senior living community, a sales manager is like a sports coach. He may not be the best player, but he knows how to coach the team to get the best outcomes.

In sales, there’s no one-size-fits-all tactic. Every sales process is unique, and salespersons should adjust their tactics to suit it. Buyers vary in their complexity, phase in the sales cycle, problems being solved, and goals being achieved. Therefore, a salesperson cannot afford to approach a buyer with a few rote memorization and sales scripts that are common in the mini-me approach.

A sales manager should help salespeople to tailor their message to the sales situation in which they find themselves. For example, a salesperson is struggling to convince a client to choose his senior living community as opposed to the competitors. A sales manager should help the salesperson resonate on his strengths to sell the benefits of the facility. Importantly, a sales manager should train salespeople to be authentic when establishing rapport.

How to Develop a Sales Training Strategy

Senior living sales managers can use two ways to teach their sales team: training by inquiry and training by example. In training by inquiry, a sales manager helps a salesperson perfect his selling style. In training by example, managers offer salespeople authentic scripts and techniques to apply in their sales process. A manager should conduct three types of training, namely: systems and operations, process, and solution.

sales-team-discussing-sales-training-at-table-with-documents-and-tablet

Systems and Operations

This is the type of training a new salesperson receives before they start their job. It covers everything from accessing the lead views to understanding how the sales stuck work. This information helps the salesperson conduct his duties well.  

Process

Process training includes qualification training and methodologies training. Qualification training aims to help salespersons identify prospects and determine how to qualify good-fit buyers. Approximately 40% of sales representatives struggle with prospecting. This makes qualification training fundamental to help sales teams overcome the challenge. In a senior living facility, prospects can be the adult children of seniors who are looking for a home away from home for their aging parents. Sales methodologies training increases the efficiency of salespersons in the sales process. They provide frameworks for salespeople to refer to in a plethora of sales scenarios.

Solution

Solution training consists of two parts: product training and solution training. Product training increases salespersons’ knowledge about a company’s offerings. Salespersons in a senior living community should be soup-to-nuts experts in the services your facility offers. They should explain the services to potential residents clearly and extensively. Many potential residents have many questions to ask before they decide to move in. Sales teams should be ready to answer them. Solution training should help the sales team handle different buyer problems. It teaches business acumen to help salespeople win deals.

Implementation of Your New Sales Training

After developing a sales training strategy, it’s time to implement it. The medium you use to implement the strategy will affect the outcomes significantly. Therefore, choose the medium that brings the best results. You can use one-to-one, one-to-many and peer-to-peer coaching. At times, combining one or two coaching mechanisms is ideal. One-to-many coaching, for example, involves the sales team coming together to receive an update on the facility’s services. Peer-to-peer coaching occurs when sales teams help each other on the ground.

Salespeople require constant training and coaching to perfect their sales strategy. With a sales training strategy, you prepare your sales team to surpass the goals you have set for them and grow your senior living facility. The secret to sales training success is to coach your team to deliver value to clients, be authentic, and build personal relationships.

Whether you want to develop a new sales training strategy or fix a broken one, this article will be a valuable asset. 408 Marketing is the ultimate senior living sales partner to increase occupancy and improve profitability. For more information on what we do or for a free consultation, give us a call at (844) 408-4081.