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How your small senior living organization can compete with the big dogs

Focus on differentiation, digital marketing, and employee development

Small ball out balance

Competition in the senior housing space is fierce. If you’re a smaller senior living organization, you might start to get nervous when you see a shiny new complex from a mammoth corporation open down the street — but you don’t need to be. With a focus on differentiation, digital marketing, and employee development, your small senior living organization will have no problem competing with the big dogs.

Do What You Do Best

Most senior living organizations have made the move toward lifestyle-based services and amenities. Communities feature extravagant chandeliers in the entryway and outdoor dining spaces where five-star chefs serve restaurant-style meals.

If you have a focus on lifestyle-enhancing services and amenities, great! It helps boost your image. If you don’t, no worries. New facilities are just that — new facilities. To many of your customers, they all start to look the same.

That’s why it’s critical that you identify what makes you different. What do you offer that your competitors don’t? Are you a family-owned business? Do you have a focus on holistic health care? Do you offer flexible pricing?

If you don’t know what differentiates your small senior living organization from your competitors, how will your potential residents and their families? To really home in on what sets you apart from the rest, ask your current customers:

  • What do residents — and their families — especially like about what you offer? Is it your amenities, programs, staff members, value?
  • Why did they choose your community over the others in the area?
  • What words would they use to describe your community’s personality if it were a person?

To compete with the biggest corporate senior living and senior care providers, find — and market — what you do best.

Boost Your Online Presence

You don’t have to remodel your facilities so they are up to par with the competition — but your website needs to be. Without a strong online presence, it can be hard to compete with the countless other senior living organizations in your area. If you haven’t effectively strategized and implemented digital marketing campaigns, you’re missing out on high-quality leads.

Your community’s first impression often happens online, so try walking through your website as a customer might:

  • Is your website easy to navigate, even for someone who is not tech savvy?
  • Does the content on your website position your senior living organization as a go-to resource for all things related to senior care and senior living?
  • Are there call-to-actions that move visitors forward a step in the buyer’s journey?

Along with digital marketing comes marketing automation. With a customer relationship management (CRM) system, you can nurture potential customers with highly personalized, useful content that helps them in customers.

For instance, if someone recently downloaded a guide you created that talks about the signs it might be time to start the search for assisted living, they probably aren’t ready to receive an email from you asking them to schedule a tour.

Marketing automation allows you to make your prospect identification, engagement, and nurturing processes much more timely, efficient, and targeted.

Set Your Sales Team Up for Success

Few senior living organizations have an integrated approach that supplies sales reps with both the ideal steps for progressing a lead as well as the tools to overcome obstacles and barriers. With buyer behavior rapidly evolving — and an increasingly complex selling environment — it’s time to rethink and reshape how sales operates.

Sales training programs offer the opportunity for senior living organizations to revisit their sales process and rethink the education needed to be a top-performing sales professional. Your community’s second impression comes from what your customers experience with your sales team.

If they don’t have formal training on sales etiquette and strategy, it’s easy to assume all families are the same. Your sales staff needs to be trained on how to get to know perspective residents and learn their needs.

That way, if a timid and reluctant senior comes in for a tour, the salesperson knows to emphasize the quiet, private spaces while also extending a no-pressure invitation to join in community gatherings. Training also empowers your staff to be willing and comfortable asking why someone may be reluctant to move so they can work with the senior and their family through any insecurities.

Sales process maps that incorporate if/then processes, sales email templates, sales training playbooks, and ongoing sales coaching are key to competing with the new senior living organization down the street.

Not sure where to start? Schedule a complimentary deep-dive call with Michelle.

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