#43: Why small adjustments are so important for massive result
(Part 1)

In his book Atomic Habits, James Clear says, “Improving by 1 percent isn’t particularly notable — sometimes it isn’t even noticeable — but it can be far more meaningful, especially in the long run.”

Dallas and Luke talk about the results you can see if you just improve each step of the sales funnel a little at a time.

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Luke Adams: So today, what we want to talk about is really just the idea of improving different areas of your senior living sales cycle by just 1%, and that came from a book that Dallas and I both read recently. I highly, highly recommend it. It’s called Atomic Habits by James Clear. It was probably one of my favorite books that I read in 2022. If you feel the same, Dallas, but it’s just such a good book.

Dallas Shipp: Yeah. So I’m actually reading it right now. I’ve listened to it before, but when I’ve listened to books, it goes in one ear and out the other for me. I can’t listen to books. So anyway, I decided to pick up the book. I went to a conference a few weeks ago and they were talking about it. And I was like, you know what? I really need to improve my habits. And so I’m reading it again. And when I was reading this a few weeks ago, I was like, man, we need to do a podcast on that because for those of you that have never read the book or those, it’s been a while since you read the book. So the British cycling team was awful. They were like the Pittsburgh Pirates of cycling, right? Just had not done anything in centuries actually, or decades or I don’t, I mean, I don’t even know how long cycling has been around, but they really struggled for a long time. And so they hired a new coach and he went and looked at every single thing that went into cycling. Like they redesigned the bike seats. They rubbed alcohol on the tires to get a better grip. They asked the riders to wear heated over shorts so they can maintain ideal muscle temperature. They used biofeedback sensors to monitor how each athlete responded to different workouts. They tested various fabrics in a wind tunnel so they could pick up just marginal improvements everywhere. They even looked at different types of massage gels to see if one helped the muscle recover faster. They hired a surgeon to teach each rider the best way to wash their hands so it reduced the chances of them catching a cold, which would sideline them for a week or two. All these different things that when you really sit down and analyze the minutiae of whatever you’re trying to accomplish. When you pick up these incremental improvements at each area, it can make a massive, massive impact. And we actually have a spreadsheet that I used to use it in sales calls because it’s just such a great illustration that this immediately made me think about that. And so we’re going to share that here with you today as well. So you can see in senior living sales, what would this look like in real numbers, every step of the sales process sales funnel. But just a quick spoiler alert as well. Five years after this coach took over the British cycling team. They dominated the Olympics games. They won the British cycler won the Tour de France. And they won five, five Tour de France victories in six years. Right. And this was a team that had been terrible. So for those of you that are like, oh man, our team really struggles. Right. Like we’re, we’re really struggling. We’re not getting leads. We’re not getting tours. We’re not closing tours. Wherever it is, I would highly, highly encourage you. Number one, just read these two pages of Atomic Habits. It’s page 13, 14, 15. A few more pages, but read the first chapter. It will get you going, right? And you think about, okay, in the traffic, how do we get more traffic? How can we get 5% or 10% more traffic to our website? How can we get 5% or 2% more of that traffic to turn into a lead? How can we get 2% more of those leads to turn into a tour, right? What can you do incrementally at every step along the way that is going to make massive, massive, massive improvements for you and your team?

Luke Adams: Yeah. Yeah, so we want to start right at the top and just kind of talk about getting more traffic.

Dallas Shipp: And by the way, guys, real fast, like. There’s probably more to this and I actually would love for you to reach out to us and let’s let’s build this out. Let’s you know tell us what we missed. But where are where are the areas? We’ve got we’ve mapped out a pretty good one I think right. So anyway Luke start at the top. How can how can people get more traffic and again we’re not trying to double your traffic. We’re gonna say okay five ten percent right. How can we get 10% more traffic to the website?

Luke Adams: Yeah. So I think when most people think about hey we need to get more traffic to the website. They think you know usually two things one would be SEO and we all know SEO can pay big benefits but it’s it’s a long-term game. You’ve got to wait for SEO to happen and then the second one would be ads right. The anti SEO you just pay big you know you pay upfront but then you also get results pretty quickly. But I think there’s another area that is really neglected and we see this all the time and that’s your Google business profile. And if you don’t know what I mean when I say Google business profile, if you just go to google.com and search for your community name, you’ll see kind of like a little profile show up of your community on the Google search result and it’s going to have the hours that you’re open. It’s going to have photos. It’ll probably have your logo links to your website and it will have your Google review rating. Your Google review rating is I think probably the most neglected part of a senior living community’s presence online. And I sometimes it blows my mind that we’ll spend thousands and thousands of dollars to get people to see us. And then when they, I mean, when they go research us, when they research your community, they’re going to look at your Google review and then it says it’s a 3.7, you know, with nine ratings. What kind of message does that send to someone is thinking, you know, I’m trying to find a place for my mom or dad where they can go live and be cared for and loved and nourished. And I see this place as a 3.7. I’m not going to spend any more time looking into that place.

Dallas Shipp: The senior living industry is already not trusted very highly. Right. Like if you look at the trust score index across different industries, senior living is already before they even know you exist. They already have a trust issue with the industry. So then if you have a 2.5 or 3.5 or whatever, Luke is absolutely right. You’re off the list. They’re not even coming to your website.

Luke Adams: Yeah. And the challenging part about having a good review rating, whether it’s Google. Amazon doesn’t matter is that once you get a negative rating, it gets harder and harder and harder to get that up to a positive rating. So if you’re at a 3.7 with nine reviews, that’s going to be a lot easier than trying to, you know, take a 3.7 with 40 reviews and get that over, you know, maybe a four and a half. So if you’re thinking, okay, I hear you. Our community’s Google rating is clearly a problem. How do I increase it? Let me give you two ways to increase your Google review rating. One would be is to ask for reviews after a tour. So you ask for for a review after a tour. So someone comes in your building, they have a great tour with them. Maybe they even put down a deposit. Well, then you send an automated text message later saying, you know, hey, Dallas, thanks so much for touring our community. Would you like to leave a Google review? And. Oftentimes people will go in there and say, hey, you know, Luke gave us a great tour. He was super nice. I think this could be a really great place for my dad. If you’re thinking about senior living, I highly recommend that you come in at least just tour this community. So that’s one area. The second area is when someone actually moves in 30 days after they move in. Send a message saying, hey, would you like to leave us a Google review? And if they’ve already left one, they can just update the review they sent previously.

Dallas Shipp: And by the way, not just occasionally doing that, but making this part of your SOPs. When they move in, something’s going to automatically reach out to the resident if they are, you know, especially independent living. It’s going to reach out to the resident. If it’s a city living in our memory care, skilled nurse, or whatever. You know, it’s going to automatically reach out to the adult child. Or whoever is the point of contact. And I’ll tell you what else is interesting about. this loop is we’ve seen communities that that act of reaching out in 30 days. They uncover some issues that aren’t going well and it gives them a chance to correct it before the family pulls the member pulls their family member out of the community and before they go blast you on Google. Right. So having this is actually is a double benefit because number one, the people that love you, yes, you know, sure, 20%, 30% will go and leave a review. But the people that are not satisfied, you uncover it before it escalates. So having this be part of your process really is critical.

Luke Adams: Yep. And the last thing I’ll say about reviews and this is, I know it’s very common, there’s people that will still encourage you to do this and I would discourage you from doing this. Do not review gate. And what I mean by review gate is you can set it up to where you send someone to a link and it says, hey, write your experience from one to five. And if they click three stars or below, then it just sends them to a form that says, hey, sorry, you had a bad experience. But if they select four or above, then it sends them to Google. That’s review gating. And definitely, you do not do that because there have been companies who were found out, and they were financially penalized. And so it’s just a really, really bad situation. So I highly recommend that you do not review gate when someone has an experience with your community, whether it’s a tour or they’ve moved in, just ask them for the review and take away completely that option of being called out for review gating.

Dallas Shipp: 100%. So you get more traffic, right? Let’s just say that this helps you get 5, 10, 15% more traffic. Maybe more. If you increase ads, you can quickly grow that traffic. Ninjorson 100% whatever. So how do you get more of that traffic to turn into a lead? Right? Well, number one, what do your calls to action look like on your website? Do you have the Buy Now button of senior living, which is schedule visits, schedule tour, or book a tour? What have you want to say that doesn’t matter? But that’s the Buy Now button. And a lot of senior living communities, I mean, we’ve missed reached out to 2,500 communities last fall. A lot of them don’t even have that button. Right? So make it easy for them to take the next step. First of all, number two, what does your website, how does it come across? Is it just you talking about your amenities and your features and your floor plans and your dining and your activities? Or is it touching a nerve? Is it resonating with the family or the senior who’s on it? I always tell people, you know, when they look at the website, if you had the ability to see into their webcam, they should be like kind of nodding their heads or like, oh, like deep in thought, right? The Elonzo morning, Jeff, I’m like, oh man, that’s a good point. You know, or is it just spewing amenities and dining and activities and floor plans? You know, the infamous drone photo of the building from 500 feet up and you know what? What does the website convey? Is it all about you or is it all about them? Because guess what? People don’t like to hear other people talk about themselves. It’s no different on a website, right? You need to engage them in that story. If you’ve never read the Donald Miller StoryBrand books, fantastic. Can you have any questions about that? I’m happy to chat with you sometime about that as well. I used to be a StoryBrand certified guide and coach. But what is the website conveying, right? Is it resonating with them on an emotional level? Sure, you’ve got to have information on there, absolutely. But if you want a website to convert, it has to hit them emotionally so that they want to take the next action, right? Like we all make decisions based on emotion. And then we take action based on facts. So you do have to have it all in there, but you have to have the emotion. And this is one of the most emotional decisions people are ever going to make, right? Like deciding what to do with mom and dad. You know, I’ve got family members that are dealing with this right now. And so what does that look like? So, again, the call to action, make them easy, make them simple. The language, also the photos, right? So show real photos of your community, people happy in your community. Yeah, I’ve said this before on podcasts, but like, you know, if all I see are stock images, my first question is, what are you trying to hide? Right? Like what do you not want me to see? And again, the fact that this is already an industry that people don’t have a high level of trust in. Everything you can do to build that trust, include also testimonial videos. We’ve seen this, we’ve seen this help many of our partners really, really increase the number of people that engage with them on their website. It’s not you doing the talking about your community, but your residents, your adult children of the residents, letting them share their stories, which guess what, are just like the people’s stories that are on the website. It’s the same story. So the more you can incorporate, especially video testimonials, the more powerful they are. And so again, so if you do all of these things, if you improve your language, you improve your photos, you improve your call to actions, you increase the number of video testimonials, I guarantee you, guarantee you that you will have at least a five to 10 percent increase in engagement.

Luke Adams: So absolutely, absolutely. And if you have a community or multiple communities that are struggling occupancy-wise and you’re trying to think, what can I do immediately to see results the fastest in terms of getting more tours in my community? I would say in this step that we’re talking about just getting the calls to action right on your homepage is going to make an immediate impact right away because we’ve seen that happen with our own partners. We don’t have them change anything about their design even though there’s areas where they could definitely improve it. Definitely add photos of their residents and we’ve just had them add in the right calls to action and within hours they’re seeing the positive results of that. So I would say if you’ve got a community that’s like the occupancy is really struggling. I’m having, you know, the board, the C-suite just kind of breathing down my neck on, hey, we need to increase occupancy. That’s where I would make a change today. Get the calls to action right on your website.

Dallas Shipp: And you know, I’m going to show the first part if you’re watching this on YouTube, you can see this easily, right? I’m going to go and share my screen and just see, okay, if you do these two things, what does that look like in terms of growth? Let me share my screen. If you’re listening to this on a podcast, don’t worry, I will try to explain this as best I can. But if you get a chance, go to our YouTube channel and watch this, you can see this screen share here. But let’s just say these are kind of some average numbers. Let’s just say that your average rent is $4,500, which is the national average.

Luke Adams: And let’s say you’re in a little bit down.

Dallas Shipp: Sure. Is that better? Yeah. There we go. So let’s say that your traffic is averaging about 700 visitors a month. From that, you’re getting about 55 leads. And from that, you’re getting about seven tours booked. Six of them show up. And on average, you’re closing about 20%, which is one out of six, right? So let’s just say that we increase traffic by, what do you think, Luke? 5%, 10%, let’s just say 5%. Let’s say you increase traffic by 5%, so obviously everything else plays out the same, you have 5% growth. Well, let’s say that we also turn more of those leads into a booked tour. How do we do that?

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