Why You Should Use Creative Follow-Up With All Your Senior-Living Prospects

Why You Should Use Creative Follow-Up With All Your Senior-Living Prospects

The following is adapted from It’s About Time!

When it comes to senior living sales, there are a myriad of sales tactics at your disposal: emails, home visits, Zoom calls, community tours, and so on. Of course, given the complexity of this type of sale, chances are high you’ll need to employ a variety of tools to close a prospect.

That being said, there’s no doubt that some tactics are more effective than others—and creative follow-up, or CFU, is probably the most underutilized yet most impactful sales conversion tool we have. Except for face-to-face interactions, this is the most critical and effective (and least expensive) way to bond with prospects. Done right, it builds familiarity, trust, and intimacy.

CFU refers to a myriad of relentless, personalized, provocative selling initiatives to connect with prospects, gain their trust, and motivate their willingness to engage. If you’re not sure how to start implementing CFU into your sales strategy, I’ll share some things that will help you get started. Bottom line, though, each personalized follow-up initiative should be an intimate, one-of-a-kind gesture that communicates, “I see you and accept you just as you are, and I want to take the time to celebrate that.”

CFUs Must be Individualized

Why are CFUs so effective? Because instead of standardized sales tactics, they are individualized and surprising. There is no one-size-fits-all. They are a means to follow up with prospects who “aren’t ready yet.” CFUs are an important tactic to motivate readiness for change in higher-functioning prospects. 

CFUs can be physical objects or something extraordinary that you do, like joining them on a visit to a competitor community, cooking one of their favorite recipes, writing a crossword puzzle or poem, sending a heartfelt letter with radical candor, or solving problems for them that exceed your expected role as a salesperson.

Because you have complete control over their timing, format, and costs, CFUs are cost-effective and proactive. Not only that, but sending something (or doing something unexpected for your prospect) helps further the selling process. Your prospect can react and interact in their own time frame and in their own setting. Personalized follow-up has a persuasive selling power or “ghost” effect that works even when you are not physically present. 

Reflect Your Prospect’s Unique Values

If something interesting or important comes up during a phone call or visit, take note or ask for details. The more that your CFU reflects the prospect’s unique values, the more the materials will be evocative and impactful. 

CFUs are appropriate at any time. It should be on your mind as soon you’ve finished your first phone conversation or any meaningful interaction. Continue building up CFU ideas throughout the entire selling process. To help create more prospect urgency, follow up urgently yourself. 

Deliver CFUs while you’re on the way to work. Call a courier. Use overnight delivery. Send the community limo to bring brochures to your prospects. Whatever you do for follow-up, do it today instead of tomorrow. Acting urgently sends a message to the prospect: “I care about your quality of life. This is serious business!” 

Your goal should be to send or do something for each of your top 10 leads at least several times per week. To be effective, CFUs need to be continuous. Do something before and/or after every face-to-face visit. Respond whenever something special, interesting, or unusual comes up in a visit or phone call. Initiate some kind of CFU whenever the sales scenario seems to have lost direction, focus, or energy.

How to Plan Your CFUs

When planning CFUs, it can sometimes be hard to decide how intimate you should be. To help determine that, identify these factors first:

  • Level of knowledge and trust
  • Prospect’s stage of readiness to make a move
  • Prospect’s personality or sense of humor
  • Whether you are reaching out to an adult child
  • Whether you are reaching out for professional referrals

If there is a low level of knowledge and trust, err on the side of doing something that comes across as fun but is also tied to something special about the person. It should be inspirational. Avoid sending things with your company/community logo. Don’t give information relating to the product unless they have requested it. 

Flowers, books, personal notes, or something inspired by a conversation you had with them are always great places to start. Play to the prospect’s personality, style, and life story. The impact of any CFU is improved if you use the CFU to acknowledge who they are. Start with the message you want to send them. Then craft the CFU to speak directly to them personally. 

Build Familiarity and Intimacy

Personalized creative follow-up is the most critical and effective, and least expensive, way to connect and build trust with prospects. It builds familiarity and intimacy. Used consistently and creatively, CFUs will significantly increase conversion rates. 

Not only that, but personalized follow-up isolates the real selling issues, fosters more of a sense of urgency, and often leads to additional face-to-face and voice-to-voice engagements. So, if you don’t already use this tool, or if you’re only using it sporadically, I want to challenge you to start using it consistently. If you do, I know you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.

For more advice on how to use CFUs effectively, you can find It’s About Time! on Amazon.