In this post you’ll learn invaluable techniques and strategies to turn prospects in to clients as you show them around your care home. But first a quick question.
Have you ever had a nightmare holiday journey?
You’ve been looking forward to getting away for a well deserved rest for months. The great day finally dawns, you’re in a wonderful mood and set of with a light step and a song in your heart.
Then disaster strikes and you spend the next 100 hours (well it seemed like a 100 hours!) in a succession of queues and painfully slow moving vehicles until you finally reach your destination utterly exhausted and wanting nothing more than to lay your head on a soft pillow and let sleep mercifully take you.
Well this happen to me recently on our annual trip to the beautiful and empty coast of South West Scotland where we stayed in the lodge of a luxury hotel.
After the aforementioned journey from hell all I wanted to do was rest, but had to stop off at the hotel first to collect the lodge keys. At reception I was greeted by the owner who introduced himself and immediately insisted I follow him into the hotel. Here he informed me that lodge guests are welcome to dine in the hotel for the princely sum of £35 per person or £15 per person for breakfast.
Next he asked how many were in my party (3) and immediately offered to discount a £105 meal down to £85 if I wanted to book. I gave him a very steely eyed stare and said I’d think about it.
But let me tell you this. There was no way on Gods earth I was going to be dining in his restaurant, even if he paid me to do it.
Well he showed absolutely no consideration for me or my situation whatsoever. His only interest was in extracting more cash out of me for a meal in his overpriced restaurant and I could see the cash register chalking up pound signs in his eyes as he talked to me.
Unfortunately this is how many businesses treat their clients and customers.
Let’s look at what he should have done and how you can use the same strategies when showing prospective clients around your care home.
Firstly he should have realised I’d had a long journey and that all I’d want to do was unpack and get settled in. A simple ‘Here’s your keys Mr Beck. Would you like me to show you around the lodge and help with your bags or would you prefer to get settled in yourself?’ would have been perfect.
Next, when I got to the lodge I should have found a lovely bunch of flowers or similar gift with a note welcoming me, wishing me a pleasant stay and explaining everything I needed to know about the lodge.
With that note should have been a sales letter or brochure for the hotel dining room. This would have sample menus and explain how they have a top chef who prepares delicious local produce into mouth watering gastronomic delights. These are consumed in the dining room where I could enjoy an enchanting view of the bay with lights from the distant shore twinkling out of the dark night like diamonds.
In short they should have sold me on their services..... and that’s what you need to do when people come to look round your care home.
This is where the rubber meets the road, your big chance to convert that prospect you’ve worked so hard to get into a profitable client. Mess this up and you’ve ruined all that effort and wasted all of your hard earned cash in getting to this point.
So how should you handle it?
Here are my top 10 tips
1. Measure your conversion ratios.
That is the number of visits that turn into paying clients. If you double the conversion from 1 out of 4 show arounds turning in to clients to 2 out of every 4, that means you only need to find half as many enquiries. How much easier would it be to keep your home full if you only had to generate half as many enquiries?
2. How do you increase your conversion ratio?
Make sure the person who does the show around is good with people and knows how to sell. If they don’t know how to sell either find someone who does or get them some training – there are loads of books out there or you can get personal tuition (This is a service we offer, so please give me call if you need help).
3. When someone arrives take them to a quiet place
Somewhere you can have a proper, undisturbed and confidential chat.
4. Find out what their requirements are before you do anything else.
Ask lots of questions to discover the needs of the resident to be and exactly why the person is enquiring right now. What crisis/problem will you be solving in their family? What are their emotions about the situation?
Only after you have a complete picture can you take them around the home.
5. Show them the features that are of interest and explain the benefits to them.
For example, if their elderly loved one values their privacy and prefers their own company don’t go on about how you all get together for a sing song every day, they’d hate it. Just show the quiet private areas of the home where they can enjoy the solitude without feeling confined to their room.
6. Talk to residents who will tell your visitor how much they enjoy living in the home.
Testimonials like this are great as they come straight from the horse’s mouth and no one can claim you’re making them up.
7. Make sure you find out any potential objections
Then make sure you answer them before the visitor leaves.
8. DO NOT under any circumstances let the visitor leave without asking them if they want to go ahead.
Once they are out of the door your chances of ever getting them back again drop drastically.
9. If they don’t want to go ahead right now, try at least to get a firm agreement for the next step.
For example, if they want their loved one to see the home before committing, get a firm date booked in the calendar for the visit.
Ideally when they leave you want either
1. An agreement that they want the room
2. A firm commitment to the next step
3. Them to tell you that they are just not interested. (Better to know now than wasting valuable time chasing them later).
10. Make them an offer they can’t refuse.
Have a great deal to offer them and offer it to them during your chat at the end of the show around. This gets negotiations underway and makes it harder for them to leave without you gaining one of the 3 steps above.
If you follow these 10 tips you’ll have a very good chance of turning show around visitors into profitable clients almost every time.
Finally, remember the old selling adage ‘No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care’. There’s wisdom in these words.
Care Home Marketing Expert
PS. Don’t forget, if you’re struggling to convert visitors into clients or lack confidence in your selling ability we can help. Our on site training will transform your confidence and arm you with all the skills necessary to get those beds filled fast. Call me on 01977 232 233 or email me
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