We find many senior living communities, in trying to control marketing costs, assign a variety of marketing and communications tasks to their sales and marketing team members.
Sales people of life plan and assisted living communities can be found designing E-blasts for a database, planning events, posting to Facebook and trying to find resources for a variety of marketing tasks including decorating model apartments.
What they aren’t doing when they are working is selling. What they aren’t doing is outreach. What they aren’t doing is making telephone calls to follow up inquiries.
The result? Sales and leasing of life plan and assisted living communities flounder and while their leasing numbers lag, the sales people seem so busy. When The Ehlers Group is conducting a marketing assessment, we often find a director of sales or a sales person handling the many aspects required in marketing event planning. They’re trying to find a speaker for a Lunch & Learn or surface a company to mail an invitation.
The basic law of selling is selling. A true sales person should be proud to be a sales person and want to connect with customers helping them select a senior community that is the right fit.
Burdening them by assigning marketing responsibilities that may not be their expertise requires much more of their time than the task may actually require, thus taking them away from selling.
Certainly, it is more fun to plan a party but why not turn to specialists to handle the details and let your sales people excel at sales.
They weren’t hired to be party planners, social media writers or graphic artists.
At the end of the day, a marketing specialist brings a wealth of knowledge, contacts, and experience to the table.
For example, The Ehlers Group has handled a wide variety of events from ribbon cuttings and topping off celebrations to Lunch and Learns and other activities to solidify sales.
What takes a sales person more time to ferret out appropriate resources can take a specialist much less time as well as offers the assurance that all the bases are covered.
For example, let’s take a community event. There are initial questions that a marketing communications specialist asks in planning an event such as event intent, scope, audience and proposed theme. They’ll check day and time to make sure there aren’t conflicts in a city. You don’t want a ribbon cutting inviting the local mayor to take place on the afternoon of a city council meeting. Early on a proposed budget will be planned.
They’ll think about how to get the word out about the event and whether invitations, email, press releases, etc. will be used. The invitation list will be developed as well as an appropriate invitation.
The best event ideas take resources. Someone brainstorms the idea to have food trucks at an event. Sounds great! Someone needs to contact food trucks, learn their requirements to make appearances and if there are a minimum guarantee, liability issues, and more details. They need to be confirmed too and someone coordinating where they will be located once they are on site. Consider seating, tables, trash as well.
An experienced marketing communications specialist has handled the details. They easily can conceptualize an event and its myriad of details while working with a senior living community on assigning various tasks.
In their wealth of experience, they have weathered the successes as well as the mistakes. Trust me, there always are problems. I remember a clubhouse grand opening and the catering company canceling several hours before the guests were scheduled to arrive.