The senior living industry continues to become more competitive year after year. Seniors have more options in the marketplace, and your competitor often is less than a few miles away from your community.

Due to this environment, the typical sales calls in the field are not yielding the results they have in the past. Sales teams need to differentiate themselves. Sales leaders need to become creative in their tactics to generate leads and convert new customers.

Here are a few tips to support your sales efforts in your service area.

1. Engage the local neighborhood

We all have attended the local chamber of commerce meeting looking to create new relationships or touch base with current contacts.

For some, these events may be beneficial. For long-term success within a service area, however, a sales leader must invest time within the local community.

Volunteering with nonprofit organizations as a board member or in an advisory role offers you the opportunity to build relationships with key executive stakeholders within your primary service area. More often than not, cohorts within these boards are well connected throughout the area.

Building your executive network and enhancing your reputation will support meeting your long-term objectives in generating leads. Although these activities do require a time commitment outside of your normal business hours, they also will be invaluable experiences for your career.

2. Analytics

Are you using analytics to support your sales efforts? Data are captured throughout the care continuum to make important decisions on quality, operations and sales within the healthcare industry.

The “resident experience” is a crucial factor for prospective customers when deciding on a community. Creating a detailed survey emphasizing the benefits of your community can be a differentiator for your referral sources. Areas of significance include social and physical activities, dining, housekeeping and others.

Another area to review is clinical metrics that pertain to hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. There may be an opportunity to quantify the reduction in hospital readmissions, decrease in number of falls or resident’s health in your community.

And you can add value to your sales calls by providing analytics.

Engage your referral sources with metrics that matter to them and your prospective customer.

3. Sales extension

Numerous vendors are connecting with your community on a daily basis. Are you using these contacts to your advantage?

A sales leader cannot be everywhere at all times. It is time to use your relationships to generate referrals and conversions for your community.

Having a sales extension throughout your primary service area is essential to maintaining your lead list and maximize the potential of your relationships. Areas of opportunity include your contacts within home health, durable medical equipment, real estate agents and more.

An example is engaging a prospective resident with your local real estate agent on a home visit. Moving often is the main obstacle in converting a new resident to a senior living community. The real estate agency can be a “sales extension” or advocate of your community, which allows for consistent engagement and communication throughout the process.

Sales productivity is essential today. Use your partners to support your goals and objectives.

The sales leader is a vital role for the success of the community. Be innovative with your approach and make an impact.