Unqualified Or Just Need An Environment That Leads To Success
Many senior care companies face occupancy levels that are not as high as they would like. This if due to a variety of factors.
In many cases, I have often found that staff members responsible for new business started as care providers and are still developing marketing and selling skills. In addition, no matter how experienced, staff members are often stressed by work and time pressures, insufficient tools and budgets, a lack of systems, and daily interruptions associated with providing great care.
Sometimes personnel changes are necessary, a tough decision that has to be made. However, when there is an able, loyal, caring staff member in place who has good communication skills, I believe the solution is for corporate management to ask “how can we help you?”
Accountability Without Authority Or Support
I have found that many companies do not trust their local marketing staff enough to have them spent $200 without permission. Yet they are made accountable for making $36,000+/yr. sales.
In addition, managements and corporate marketing departments oversee the marketing of their facilities and homes – meetings, trainings, reports, goal setting. This is essential. However, they do not offer support services that provide expertise, technology and labor when and where needed.
So a single marketing director or community relations person loses respect when they cannot make necessary spending decisions, and gets bogged down with technology issues, data entry, lack of resources, and/or reporting responsibilities. Plus, I have even seen success squash momentum when a high amount of move-ins in one month overwhelms a marketing director, leading to poor numbers the following month.
Centralized Systems Can Make Local Personnel More Effective & Efficient
One person cannot be expected to develop relationships in the community, conduct tours, place ads, do follow-up and keep-in-touch, create content, build contact lists, handle move-ins, etc. And their hard work should not be thrown out the window when they are not available and a tour is conducted by a loyal, but unguided staff member.
Any company with more than one medium to large senior care facility should have centralized marketing support services. These may include:
- Website update systems and social network posting.
- Sending keep-in-touch e-mails/texts.
- Helping with follow-up programs – fill in where needed.
- Create new content and an ad library.
- Data entry assistance.
- “Tour stops” creation and updates.
- Provide move-in support services.
These additions to your marketing infrastructure free local staff to dedicate more time and effort into building and nurturing relationships with prospects and with referral sources.
Subcontract To Specialists
Of course, this adds cost. When done well, these costs will be easily offset by increased occupancy rates. For companies who have a VP of Marketing (or someone similar), I would consider subcontracting functions to specialists. This allows for proper oversight, while bringing in specialized talents, and allowing for flexibility in time and work volume. And you may want to start with one location to refine your systems and work out the bugs.
The Big Change May Be In Your Mindset
This may take a change in mindset, and even management style. “The boss” is taking on more of a support role.
You may think you are giving up your control. Well, you are putting more trust in your marketing staffs. At the same time, you are adding consistencies and continuity of efforts across your company, and developing systems that guide the selling and buying processes. At the same time, you are better utilizing their strengths of frontline staff and building confidence in the less experienced.
Your goal is to help your frontline staff to be as successful as possible. Be aware, the local staff may not know what they really need or be afraid to ask. So you may have to explain how you can help make their occupancy rates higher, their jobs more rewarding and their lives less stressful.
Our Services & Systems Increase Your Move-Ins & Clients
Would you like us to take an active role in providing corporate support to your facilities? We have services and systems that are ready to go, make your local staff more effective and efficient, and increase occupancy rates. Just give us a call at (888) 213-5026.