It’s safe to say that in most industries, trends are fluid and continuously change over the course of time.  However, there always seems to be an exception to the rule.  The senior living industry is that exception.  Narrowing it down even more, the sales process and skill sets have pretty much remained status quo over the past decade.  Our Mystery Shopping statistics are the proof in the pudding.

In the past decade, our company, Primo Solutions, LLC has conducted well over 100,000 mystery shops in the senior living space.  From standalone communities to the largest companies in the industry, we have observed how many of the trends have not really made any major changes.  What is disturbing about this information is that most communities could realistically maintain occupancy in the range of 95-100%, yet many of us settle for the industry average (which lingers around 90%).  Why is this such a big deal?  The main reason is that any occupancy over 90% goes straight to the bottom line – pure profit!

I could probably write a thesis on this, but let’s get to the point of this article – Mystery Shopping results.  The numbers below are not only mind-blowing, but they should at least get you thinking about your own communities (independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, long term care, CCRC, etc.  So, let’s dive into it.  Here are some of the trends we have discovered.

  • 15% of the time, it took 10+ calls to speak to the salesperson.
  • 90% of questions asked by the Sales Counselors are closed-ended questions. It is impossible to build rapport without asking several open-ended questions.
  • 98% of Sales Counselors talked more than 70% during the entire call.
  • 45% of the time, the shopper was asked to visit the community in the first two minutes of the call. I believe in asking for the close, but this is a little extreme.
  • 35% of the time, shoppers did not get answers to their questions on the first call.
  • 60% of the Sales Counselors used the brochure as the close.
  • Only 38% of the Sales Counselors invited the prospect to visit the community.

So, do you fall into one of these statistics?  Do you know if you fall into any of these statistics.  Mystery Shopping is the most cost-effective way to determine the strengths and areas of opportunity for your sales teams.  You have heard the saying that “Practice makes perfect.”  Well, this is only partially true – Perfect practice makes perfect.”  If you continue to coach and train in the areas that are not making an impact, you will remain part of the status quo.

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