Selling a retirement village is about solving
How do we reach that point of understanding? There are two clear strands that need to work together.
The first is data and insight
Meaningful data is vital and at Audley we have the scale, through over 20 years in operation, to inform and adapt our strategy based on sales data and real customer insights. Understanding the customers core factors of decision making and key considerations are critical to sales. We of course know which lead sources convert the best for us but importantly, we know by source – the KPIs which suggest how quickly the lead will convert to sale. Increasing marketing spend does not automatically mean increasing leads which is why database management makes the difference between being reliant on the quality of new leads which isn’t so much in your gift to control vs. advancing the leads you have already qualified to gain a true understanding of what’s stopping the customers decision to move forward.
We can identify the probability of conversion through predictions of key advances within the sales process.
All of which brings me onto the second strand and it’s an important one.
The sales and marketing teams
This may sound obvious, but the knowledge that you are selling a lifestyle means that in many ways you should not be selling at all. We should be helping to solve our customers concerns whether they are concerns in the here and now or concerns for the long term. Our teams go through rigorous sales training and continuous coaching to ensure our sales processes and sales methodology is in place for every customer interaction. We offer our customers reassurance that we understand this is a material decision both emotionally and financially. It’s important we don’t offer solutions too early. There is no such thing as a quick sale. Sales teams need to be comfortable asking more sensitive questions which elicit genuine responses and understanding. Only then can they truly know the customer needs. The continuous touch points are designed and in place to build trust throughout our relationship with the customer. We are available through every step, providing reassurance and building confidence.
We develop and operate our villages. So, it’s a given that the standard of property is high, and everyone moving in should expect that. But that’s not why they come. They come because they want to make a change and Audley and Mayfield villages provide the answer to a question, they sometimes didn’t even know they had. We want to help people make the right choice. Helping people live better for longer is the reason we exist and the way that everyone in the sector should be approaching sales.
I leave the final word to Mrs Sonksen, who together with her husband was one of the first to move into Audley Stanbridge Earls. She says,
A lot of people say you shouldn’t move so early but I think people leave it too late. There’s so much going on here, I’m never bored. There’s always plenty to do and we socialise and see people. One of the benefits of living in a retirement village is you don’t have to be lonely. I’d definitely recommend moving, people younger than me don't regret it."