At a recent senior living conference I attended, “The 2015 Advanced Sales’ & Marketing Summit”, many of the speakers stressed spending more time in the selling zone.
David Smith, a partner in Sherpa, a new CRM program geared to the senior housing industry, recommended more planning and follow-up time should be spent with prospects. Among his tips were asking discovery questions over the phone which are non-medical and non-financially related to build rapport. Getting to know the customer is the focus. This is counter to the findings of our mystery telephone shops when many sales people immediately want to know mom’s medications and health situation without establishing any kind of connection with the customer.
He also recommended finding the time to visit prospects at their home. When the audience looked aghast at this suggestion, David told them to delegate non-sales activities.
I heard this loud and clear. Recently, I have been talking to several sales directors and described some of the services our company provides. I was rebuffed and told using the services of The Ehlers Group would put them out of their jobs.
It’s interesting to me that there is confusion in the differentiation between marketing and public relations from what a director of sales may perceive are their job responsibilities and what a specialist brings to the table. While their job also involves public relations, this may encompass attending networking events and public speaking.
A good sales person spending time in the selling zone should not be also writing weekly blogs, frequently posting to Facebook, designing event flyers, and trying to get articles in a local newspaper. There are specialists for these marketing and public relations functions who don’t spend time with customers and families.
There should be pride in being a sales person. If you truly believe in your product and that you are sincerely helping families and their loved ones, at the end of day that is very fulfilling.
Being in the selling zone means investing time in sales. Every customer is different and every call must have a strategy.
I recently was called by a sales person at a real estate community I visited several years ago when I was considering a second home. He had prepared for the call by studying the files to learn about me. He wasn’t simply working a list and checking off the number of calls he had made that day. He engaged me in a comfortable conversation and updated me on some of the new things that had taken place in the community since I last visited. He whetted my appetite by mentioning some things that were particularly appealing to me which he learned from my file. He was able to answer some questions I had, illustrating he was prepared. All in all it was a pleasant conversation. He didn’t try to sell me but wanted to see if possibly I was interested in coming back to visit. Needless to say, I was impressed by his sincerity and interest.
This is what a talented sales person should do prior to every call.
Is your day spent in the selling zone or carving out time for the selling zone while you handle many other things on your plate?
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