In 2003, nearly 95% of American homes had a landline.1 Up until then, not having a home phone was unthinkable. But then, smartphones arrived on the scene and changed everything. Now, only 40% of homes have a landline and 97% own a cell phone of some kind.2 The demand for landlines is so low that, unless it’s required by law, many new homes aren’t even equipped with a phone jack!
You might not be surprised to learn that the changeover from landlines to mobile phones has been accompanied by a shift in communication preferences from phone calls to text messages. For every minute Americans spend talking on the phone, they spend five minutes texting.3 And those texts add up! Most people send five times as many texts as they do calls.
Are Phone Calls Dead?
Despite these declines in landlines and phone calls, every good senior living marketer knows there’s still a place for the phone in their business. While 75% of seniors begin their journey to find a senior living community online, only 23% of web leads convert.4 Choosing the right community is a major decision for your prospective residents and their loved ones. After meeting you online via your digital presence, your prospective residents will often follow-up with a phone call to gather more information about how your community matches their unique needs and circumstances.
In fact, seven out of ten senior living leads will call your community at some point during their new resident journey.4 When they do, are you prepared? You should be. Inbound calls convert as much as 10 to 15 times more than leads generated online. But only if you’re engaging specific, proven conversion tactics.
Not sure what those are? You’ve come to the right place.
How to Convert Inbound Calls
Effectively converting seniors who call your community is more important than ever. But this doesn’t happen without work. You can hire the friendliest, most persuasive salesperson around, but if they don’t know how to handle an inbound call, they might as well be speaking a different language. Here’s what they need to do to succeed.
Pick the Right People to Answer the Phones
Discussing who answers the phone may seem a bit elementary, but the impact of getting this right can’t be overstated. Unfortunately, getting this wrong is much too easy.
Employees talking to your inbound leads should be sales professionals but not so sales-motivated that they come off as pushy. Instead, make sure they keep conversations helpful yet warm, all while collecting the crucial personal information about the caller.
Salespeople should be cordial and knowledgeable. They need to establish a good rapport with each prospective resident to schedule the all-important next step: an in-person meeting. A great way to set your team up for success is by creating a script that addresses frequently asked questions, common objections, and solutions. If the salesperson answering the phone doesn’t know the answer to a caller’s question, it’s okay to say so! Being honest when you don’t know the answer-and committing to finding out the information and following-up with the correct information-is better than guessing and creating false expectations.
Schedule a Tour
Three out of five tours at senior living communities are direct results of inbound calls.4 Making the most of every call and convincing prospective residents to visit can be a turning point in their new resident journey. Don’t forget, most seniors take 4 to 24 months to choose a senior living community so getting them through the door for a visit is a huge win.
If you have a prospective resident who isn’t comfortable with an in-person tour, you should have the technology available to offer them a virtual one instead. Encourage the team to make the tour as personal as possible by scheduling a Zoom call and going through the tour together. They’ll be able to address any questions, concerns, or opportunities right in the moment.
Integrate your Data
To really make the most of your inbound calls, you need a complete picture of those leads’ new resident journeys. Use a marketing automation system to sync your calls with your online activity. If you can, integrate this data with your CRM system so salespeople can quickly see which callers have been on your website or social media before calling.
Understanding who is following which sales path reveals the marketing tactics that are most effective for a specific resident profile. And what’s not working will stand out even more.
Need to step up your game with inbound calls? Dreamscape can help. Contact us at 888.307.7304 to schedule a strategy call.