When it comes to sales leads, the more the better, right? Maybe not. Definitely not, if you’re caught in the unqualified lead trap.

Actually, a smaller set of more highly qualified leads is a better bet. And yet, when it comes to measuring potential for future move-ins, there is a tendency to revert back to the numbers game mentality – throw as many leads into the top of the sales funnel as possible, and see what comes out the other end.

Here’s why we call it the unqualified lead trap

Occupancy is at an all-time low, reports McKnight’s Senior Living.

That means sales time is more valuable than ever. The more time sales reps spend qualifying hundreds of cold leads, the less time they can spend developing truly qualified prospects.

In other words, unqualified leads are a waste of time and effort.

Here’s how you can break free

The good news is, you can avoid the unqualified lead trap. We have ways to cultivate a much deeper set of data about prospective residents than we had even five years ago. So, instead of burdening sales professionals with hundreds of unqualified leads, you can provide them with a smaller, steadier flow of highly qualified leads.  

Here is a sample of the kinds of data you should be incorporating in your campaigns:

  • Demographic data: We can now dig much deeper than a name and address! It is now possible to access information about things like familial relations. Are they living near or with an adult child? Are they living alone? Yet another area is “ailment” data. Do they have dementia or perhaps Parkinson’s?  Are they living with CHF or COPD? 
  • Financial data: We often hear stories about sales reps who spend months to get a new prospect moved in, only to find that they only have sufficient funds for 9 to 12 months. That is why having solid financial data on each prospect is so important. It is possible to know their net worth as well as their annual income earnings and if they have additional financial resources available, such as income producing assets (IPA). This will help steer you away from unqualified leads.
  • COVID impact data: We recently conducted a survey of prospective residents and adult children relating to how COVID has affected their decisions to make a move to a senior living community. It is important to understand this new dynamic when approaching prospects; and ways you can address and mitigate their concerns.

With this level of information, you can achieve two key objectives:

  • Remove leads with no return on investment. Along with saving time for your sales team, it will also reduce frustration and stress. That means they’ll perform better and advance more prospects.
  • Tailor your messaging to fit each prospect’s unique situation and needs. Think of how much more effective your ads, emails and direct mail pieces will be if they include calls to action that resonate with the audience.

To summarize, it’s totally possible to avoid falling into the unqualified lead trap. You can acquire data that helps you narrow your focus. And that means you can (and should) be generating more qualified leads for your sales teams.

Not only will their time be spent more productively, but your community will also reap the benefits in the form of more efficient lead management and a shorter move-in cycle.

LeadingResponse works with senior living community operators and marketers across the country. Learn more about how we help them boost occupancy.