In this podcast episode, Michael Marlow, sales expert and consultant, shares his perspective on effective sales strategies in senior living.
In this episode, we have invited Michael Marlow, Vice President of Sales Education at Watercrest Senior Living Group, with over twenty years of successfully leading a team of sales managers and representatives in the senior living industry. Today, Michael guides entrepreneurs to increase their lead conversion rates in the senior living services industry by focusing on personalized and fast follow-up strategies, optimizing the number of leads managed, and harnessing referrals from existing residents and their families.
Senior Living Amidst Pandemic [3:34]
Michael believes that improving the sales behaviors rather than the sales processes is the key to addressing the concerns of their customers, such as fear and distrust.
[5:53] Michael stresses the necessity of viewing customers as individuals, not as a collective group. He argues that a one-size-fits-all approach won't work, and instead, the industry needs to adopt a "one-size-fits-one" approach.
Team Selling [11:35]
Michael recounts his mother's experience when looking for a senior living community. At the seventh community they visited, they were given a personalized experience rather than a generic tour.
[15:56] Michael also outlines the four groups of people that should be involved in team selling. He believes involving all these people in the sales process creates a holistic and personalized experience, which will more likely resonate with prospective residents.
Effective Sales Approach [22:00]
Michael presents a key strategy he highly values - the daily strategy meeting, based on research conducted by Dr Margaret Wylde. These meetings, held every day, aim to strategically discuss the top 10 families most likely to move into the community next. Dr. Wylde’s research suggests that communities that use this strategy can expect up to a 45% sales conversion rate.
[24:33] He asserts that this approach - focusing on fewer leads but giving them more attention - aligns with what the customers deserve and simultaneously benefits the business. Michael expresses disappointment that the industry has largely ignored this valuable approach.
Capturing The Needs of Adult Children [26:48]
Michael's motivation for these efforts stems from his desire to provide the best care for residents. This desire is personal, as his mother lived in a senior living community for four years, giving him firsthand knowledge of the importance of giving residents the time and attention they need and deserve.
[31:09] Michael provides insight into how he believes adult children can still be actively involved in the decision-making process for their senior parents, even when they're not local. He dismisses the geographical distance as a significant hurdle, arguing that technology has made it less of an issue.
Lead Management [33:17]
In his view, an approach focusing on converting the leads already in hand rather than creating more leads is more beneficial and cost-effective. His perspective is grounded in his personal experience and the research he cites, which together challenge conventional wisdom in the industry.
[38:11] Michael shares his experience, recalling when he visited 11 communities with his mother, only three of which followed up with his mom and family. Among those, only one followed up effectively, and it ended up being their choice, emphasizing the power of a good follow-up.
[42:27] In his previous role as Vice President of Sales for a large senior living community, he was surprised by the need for responses when he inquired about industry standards for conversion rates. He decided to piece together his guidelines, starting with the understanding that only about 10% of leads are currently being converted—a statistic he considers unacceptable.
Go to https://watercrestseniorliving.com/leadership/michael-marlow/ to learn more about senior living and servant leadership.
You can also email Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow Michael on his socials: LinkedIn
About Our Guest:
Michael Marlow has an impressive 28-year track record in the Senior Living industry. He started his career with Hillhaven and has held senior sales management and training roles with Brookdale Senior Living, Atria Senior Living, and LCS. These roles have ranged from Regional Sales Director to National Vice President of Sales. He currently serves as the Vice President of Sales Education at Watercrest Senior Living Group. Michael also serves as the President of The Marlow Group, Inc., a sales training and consulting company.
As a nationally published author and frequent national and international lecturer, Michael has delivered over two hundred presentations to diverse senior living groups, including Leading Age, state Argentum affiliates, and various healthcare conferences. He is also the author of an Argentum Best of the Best award sales training program in 2014. Michael is a proud graduate of the University of Kentucky and resides in Louisville, KY.
Watercrest Senior Living Group is a senior living provider, based in Vero Beach, Florida, dedicated to honoring mothers and fathers. They believe that each resident, prospective resident and family member is unique and they are dedicated to providing meaningful, memorable and unique experiences to each. Their focus is to begin that experience well before they choose to live at a Watercrest community to assist them in making an informed decision.
About the Show:
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