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Top 3 Takeaways from the SHN Sales Summit


News & Events Sales & Marketing Strategy


With 2023 right around the corner, yearly planning is on everyone’s minds. At the SHN Sales Summit, senior living leaders from across the country came to the Washington, DC area to discuss strategy for the upcoming year. Read on for the top 3 takeaways from the conference.  

In 2023, focus on engaging with your leads through video  

One of the most notable strategies from operators this year was the importance of using personalized video outreach with leads. Many leaders, like Rick Westermann, SVP, and Chief Marketing Officer for LCS, said his 2023 sales plans include using short video content to engage leads. Others who mentioned the power of video in their panels include Jennifer Sciorce, Corporate Director of Sales for Presbyterian Senior Living, and Christy Van Der Westhuizen, Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Legend Senior Living.  

Here are some quick tips when sending videos to your leads:  

  • Make it personal. If you have someone come in for a tour and mention an upcoming doctor’s appointment for mom, text them a video asking them how the appointment went and let them know you are thinking about them.  
  • It doesn’t need to be perfect. Re-recording a video until perfection comes off stiff and rehearsed. Even if you stumble a little bit, an authentic video is more human and wins every time.  
  • Add some movement. Instead of texting a video of you at your desk, find ways to add movement to your video. Walk around your community. It’s a natural way to highlight the amazing things happening, like saying hi to a resident or showcasing an event or lunch happening in the background.  

With VIA Sales, you can attach videos to emails and text messages to send to prospects. Go here to book 15 minutes to learn how you can connect with your prospects with video personalized in your CRM.  

In 2023, prioritize driving phone leads  

Mike Thompson, Director of Digital Marketing at Brightview Senior Living showcased the power of driving phone calls to increase occupancy. Thompson said that post covid, leads need more tours, and sales directors are doing more handholding than before.  

The problem is that sales and marketing leaders don’t want to drive phone calls because of the leaky phone funnel. According to VIA Contact Center data, only 20-30% of all inbound calls as sales-related. Of those calls, only 35% actually speak with a community sales professional. The other 65% of sales-related calls either leave a message with the front desk or are routed to voicemail, where only 40% leave a voicemail.

Heading into 2023, Senior living operators can’t organize sales operations the same way they did before COVID. Sales teams perform better when they have the time to focus on building relationships and revenue-generating opportunities instead of chasing leads.

Thompson discussed expanding his sales team through the VIA Contact Center. The call center Advocates act on behalf of Brightview’s brand and do all the legwork from first contact to scheduling a tour for Brightview communities. This partnership allows Thompson to drive more phone calls in his marketing efforts.

Here are the results our clients have seen from prioritizing phone calls in marketing and sales efforts:  

Senior Living Call Center Phone call and form lead data
Senior living call center form and phone call lead data

If your yearly planning includes technology services to increase occupancy, schedule a time to learn how the VIA Contact Center can drive more move-ins for your company.  

Understand the adult child perspective for higher occupancy in 2023  

Lou Maranto, Senior Vice President of Sales at Discovery Senior Living talked about the importance of educating adult children in the selling process during his panel with JD Solutions Group.  

He explained the adult child might care the most about the safety and loneliness of their parent, while the prospect cares most about care needs. Both the prospect and the adult child cares about financial concerns and understanding a clear picture of what life in senior living will look like.  

To meet people where they are, Maranto said to go beyond the tangible things in the selling process and focus on showcasing some of the intangibles. For example, explain how the senior won’t be isolated in your community to appeal to the adult child’s concern about loneliness for their parent.  

It’s sometimes a default to talk about the “what” when selling a community, but Maranto says it’s better to focus on the “why” with adult children. He gave the example of telling the adult child, “Instead of mom having dinner alone every night, she can have a movie night with her friends.” 

Talk to the adult daughter about how her life will get better as an adult child. Instead of having to always run errands and take care of mom, she now gets to just be a daughter again.  


If your 2023 sales strategy includes technology and services for high occupancy, schedule a time to talk with us today about how we can help you reach your goals, or call 855-726-5763.  

Expert advice and ideas for the new world of senior living

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