Selling Senior Housing to The Sandwich Generation

 

As a Senior Living executive, your mission is to provide exceptional care for your residents and ensure your communities remain at full occupancy.

The first part is easy. The second is a bit more complicated (or seems that way if you don’t have an effective sales system in place).

Not only does reaching your occupancy objectives involve knowing what residents need and want, but it also requires your marketing and sales teams to clearly express the level of care you provide to the right people.

As you very well know, it’s not always your residents who search for the ideal senior housing option.

It’s their children—the Sandwich Generation who oftentimes cares for both their kids and their parents.

That being said, it’s imperative to have a high-performance sales team that understands how to communicate with those who make healthcare decisions for your future residents.

Do yourself a favor and keep reading to sell to the Sandwich Generation.

The Sandwich Generation as a Customer Avatar

As a customer avatar, a member of this generation falls between 35 and 65, and raises a family. But there’s so much more to it than basic demographics.

She’s the decision-maker—maybe with power of attorney.

He’s busy at work and goes home to raise his children, and later on, drops by to make sure mom got out of bed safely.

They’re caring financially and often medically for their parents.

And, most important, they need your help.

In order for you to provide stellar healthcare for residents, your sales team must understand and communicate effectively with those residents’ children.

In this case, the customer avatar has switched roles. They’ve gone from dependent to caregiver, and needless to say, there is much pressure that comes with that major life transition.

As you think about preparing your sales team to tackle this responsibility, here are a few numbers to chew on:

  • 47% of adults between the ages of 40 to 59 have children who need support and an older parent who requires some form of care. That’s nearly half the population of middle-aged Americans.
  • Only 28% of the Sandwich Generation would classify themselves as “very happy.” If this isn’t the stress talking, what else could it be?
  • 30% of your customer avatars are able to meet basic expenses, but with not much left over.
  • 11% of these individuals are not able to meet basic expenses whatsoever.

(Source: Pew Research Center)

Now that the cold, hard facts are laid out, what can you and your salespeople do to help the Sandwich Generation?

How to Communicate with the Children of Your Future Residents

Pay close attention to how I identified the prospect—this is the child of your future resident. As you care for her parent, you are by extension taking care of her as well.

To have effective sales conversations with the Sandwich Generation, your sales team will succeed with the following techniques.

  • Tap into the true need. Indubitably, that need is love and care. At the end of the day, the child of your future resident wants to give his or her parent the best life possible. The core objective is the resident’s physical wellbeing, mental health, social life, and overall happiness.

Luckily, you and your prospect share that goal.

  • Express the problem. In order for you to fill apartments and streamline revenue, your sales professionals must show empathy and understanding.

The focus needs to be not only on how the senior housing solution will provide care for the resident, but also on how to alleviate pressure in the child’s life.

  • Know the numbersA sales conversation must be backed up with facts. While the emotional element is of the utmost importance, the stats allow a salesperson to dig deep into the issues the prospect faces.

For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports these people are spending approximately $10,000 and 1,350 hours on their parents and children combined per year.

Simply put, the decision-maker is under a lot of pressure—and you wouldn’t have known to what degree without the numbers outlined above.

  • Understand the most common healthcare needs. Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, macular degeneration, and hypertension are a handful of common ailments the elderly suffer from.

And it’s up to your sales force to explain that your staff understands how to give the specialized care these residents need and deserve.

What Does This Sales Conversation Look Like?

No two sales conversations are identical.

However, sales rise and apartments fill up when your sales professionals know whom they are talking with.

They are sons and daughters who are busy at work, busy caring for their children, and busy seeing to their parents.

The Sandwich Generation packs the kids’ lunches, spends 10 hours at the office, and helps their parents with daily functioning, medical decisions, supervision, administering medications, and aiding in financial, legal, and emotional difficulties.

That’s a lot to handle, for sure. But at the end of the sales conversation, a skillful salesperson will show how many of these problems are about to melt away.

Do You Have a Sales Team Trained to Do This?

I’ve helped CEOs, CMOs, and other executives raise occupancy by an average of 10% within 6 months.

I know what training your sales team needs. I’ll help your organization focus on long-term success. Shoot me an email at tbild@bildandco.com or text 813-390-3349 with your name and number, and I’ll get the sales training process started.

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