Through a narrow window: Opportunities to attract real prospects can be slim. (Assisted Living).MAJOR TRADE ASSOCIATIONS, LARGE PUBLIC COMPANIES, AND individual sponsors have been touting touting
the making of personal representations by a veterinarian to persons who are not clients in an attempt to solicit their business. the benefits of assisted living as·sist·ed living
A living arrangement in which people with special needs, especially older people with disabilities, reside in a facility that provides help with everyday tasks such as bathing, dressing, and taking medication. for the past 10 years. Literally millions of dollars have been spent attempting to communicate with seniors and their adult Children.
Now, the industry is asking the question "Why don't they get it?" Well, when you think about it, the answer is very simple. Families don't preplan" for assisted living any more than they would plan for a heart attack, stroke, or cancer. Life circumstances happen, some of us eventually get in a crisis situation, and only then do we start becoming sensitized sensitized /sen·si·tized/ (sen´si-tizd) rendered sensitive.
see sensitization (2). to available options.
It turns out that the window of opportunity to get a senior and his or her family to focus on your community is really very narrow--about 60 days or up to six months. (See "Time line for attracting senior consumers," below.) This means that, although we may have hundreds of leads and prospects, only a very small number of them are real prospects within that narrow window. Simply stated, the consumer is not generally sensitive to the cumulative effects of months and years of marketing communications Marketing communications (or marcom) are messages and related media used to communicate with a market. Those who practice advertising, branding, direct marketing, graphic design, marketing, packaging, promotion, publicity, sponsorship, public relations, sales, sales .
We have to execute some new sales and marketing strategies. First, recognize that trying to educate the market is a marathon, but hitting the hot buttons of a specific family in crisis is a sprint toward an elusive, moving target! Converting a marathon to a sprint involves an understanding of the typical sequence of events. Regardless of our age, our health patterns are constantly undergoing subtle changes. But with seniors, some changes are quite significant and frequently first observed by their children. The children express growing concern as they witness procrastination, confusion, and, frequently, denial by their parent. Eventually a family crisis emerges and, for many, a most difficult decision for alternative, sheltered living needs to be made rapidly. Your objective is to be at the right place at the right time with an appropriate strategy for those prospects on our radar screen.
This implies a fresh approach to sales and marketing communication coupled with detailed and sophisticated lead tracking. When the time is right for the concerned senior and his or her immediate family, there are four market-positioning statements to communicate. The first is, "Assisted lying is a surprisingly affordable living alternative offering ambience am·bi·ence
Variant of ambiance.
ambience or ambiance
the atmosphere of a place
Noun 1. , dignity, and maximum independence for seniors in the later stages of life." Second, point out that "Our assisted living community has a strong, but largely invisible, medical basis as the foundation for our operating philosophy." Third, "Although achieving high scores on resident satisfaction surveys and third-party facility inspections is very important, our primary concerns are quality of life for our residents and peace of mind for their care-givers." The fourth is, "Assisted living is a sound, practical, and necessary 21st-century personal-planning imperative--just like health insurance, life insurance, investments, and estate planning Estate Planning
The overall planning of a person's wealth, including the preparation of a will and the planning of taxes after the individual's death.
Contrary to popular belief, estate planning involves much more than preparing a will, and it is not only for the ."
What's also needed is an honest and effective counter to three classical, but deadly misconceptions Misconceptions is an American sitcom television series for The WB Network for the 2005-2006 season that never aired. It features Jane Leeves, formerly of Frasier, and French Stewart, formerly of 3rd Rock From the Sun. : "Assisted living is too expensive," "I can't afford it," and "They'll probably raise the rates beyond my future ability to pay." Increased focus must now be placed on a six-step approach to effectively positioning your community from a financial perspective. The six steps are: (1) Openly discuss and clearly establish the senior consumer's true affordability, (2) identify the senior's probable cost for various options and future level of care, (3) introduce advanced financial-planning benefits such as the medical tax deduction Tax deduction
An expense that a taxpayer is allowed to deduct from taxable income.
See deduction. (see "When are fees deductible That which may be taken away or subtracted. In taxation, an item that may be subtracted from gross income or adjusted gross income in determining taxable income (e.g., interest expenses, charitable contributions, certain taxes). ?" November 2000 CLTC CLTC Certified in Long-Term Care
CLTC Community Long Term Care
CLTC Chapter Leadership Training Conference , page 28), (4) conduct a customized and detailed personal comparative cost-of-living analysis, (5) address the three classical financial misconceptions, (6) put it all together in a customized financial and estate-planning summary. This six-step program will be covered in more detail in a future column.
It takes about 25-30 leads to realize one move-in, net of turnover. In any given week, you've got to keep an eye on to watch.
See also: Eye your narrow window of opportunity and conduct the marketing equivalent of medical triage--sharply focusing primarily on those prospects that must make a difficult assisted living decision.
Jim Moore is president of Moore Diversified diversified (di·verˑ·s Services, a Fort Worth, Texas-based national senior housing and health care consulting firm Noun 1. consulting firm - a firm of experts providing professional advice to an organization for a fee
business firm, firm, house - the members of a business organization that owns or operates one or more establishments; "he worked for a . He is author of Assisted Living 2000 and, most recently, Assisted Living Strategies for Changing Markets.
RELATED ARTICLE: Time line for attracting senior consumers
Window of opportunity for individual prospects is very narrow--usually 60 days to six months (approx. 10 years)
Typical sequence of events
* Changing health patterns
* Growing concern (at least by adult children)
* Procrastination and confusion
* A family crisis
* Family or senior makes most difficult life decision