The secret to securing RSVPs: Three calls with a smile

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Lara Moga
Lara Moga

Congratulations on booking and securing that exciting event at your senior living community!

Much thought and strategy goes into planning an event that draws the most promising prospects without breaking the budget. Aside from using direct mail, what can a sales team do to secure RSVPs from prospects and have them arrive at the community on the day of the event?

Today's technology has added a bit of polish and creativity to how we market our events. Some business practices don't change, however. Effective event promotion begins before the event flyer or invitation even hits the prospect's mailbox. It starts with old-fashioned phone calls and depends on personal interaction and relationship building.

Phone call #1

A pre-event phone call to your prospects alerts them to the event and suggests they watch their mailboxes for the invitation or flyer that is coming soon. Providing this heads-up is important. It lowers the chances of your prospects tossing your material into the junk pile because they don't recognize it.  

Sample phone script #1: “Good morning, Mr. and Mrs. Smith. This is Lara from Covenant Village of Turlock. I want you to be the first to know you will be receiving a personal invitation to attend an exciting event on campus on May 5. Please look for it in your mailbox. You should receive it in a couple of days. I would love it if you could attend, so please save the date!” 

Phone call #2

Life is busy, and we receive an enormous amount of mail. It's easy to see how a prospect may toss the invitation or pass over it if they don't know they're supposed to be looking for it. Step up and serve as their personal reminder.

One to two weeks before the event date, call your prospects to confirm that they received your invitation. Share a few more exciting details about the event to pique their interest, and then secure their RSVP. 

Sample phone script #2: "Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Smith. This is Lara from Covenant Village of Turlock. I am calling to confirm that you received my invitation to our May 5 Cinco De Mayo event on campus. I am so excited about this event. Our chef will prepare a cooking demonstration called ‘Taste of Fiesta,' and we will have delicious Mexican food for you to enjoy as well as a live mariachi performance. May I add your names to our RSVP list? Great. Thank you!”

Phone call #3

A day or two before the event, call your prospects to confirm the date and time of the event and review any important details that will be helpful to them on the day of the event. 

Sample phone script #3: “Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Smith. This is Lara at Covenant Village of Turlock calling to remind you to please come about a half-hour early tomorrow. I will be outside the front entrance to greet you, and we will have a complimentary valet service taking care of parking your car. I look forward to seeing you both tomorrow! Thank you so much!”

By the way, can you hear the smile on my face? You should. And so should your prospects. Your voice needs to sound pleasant and to exude positive energy every time you talk to your prospects on the phone. By the time they arrive for the event, you'll be greeting them like old friends.

Remember, you're not just securing RSVPs; you're establishing relationships with your prospects, which brings you one step closer to closing your sales.

Lara Moga is national sales manager for Covenant Retirement Communities, one of the nation's largest not-for-profit senior services providers. It serves 5,000 residents at 15 retirement communities nationwide and is a ministry of the Evangelical Covenant Church.

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