This is an article I wrote for Retirementhomes.com. Full article here http://www.retirementhomes.com/library/how-to-nurture-new-residents-from-a-website-that-runs-itself/
Have you ever had to tell someone they have something stuck between their teeth? It’s embarrassing right?
I have that similar feeling in the pit of my stomach. I’m about to tell you the equivalent of having a poppy seed between your teeth in a crowded restaurant. What I’m about to say is a little controversial, and may offend you. But I truly care about your success. So, I’m going to come right out and say it.
A fancy website from a marketing company is nothing more than a digital brochure. I know you might be mad and upset. You’ve paid good money for your website.
The company that sold it to you said it would grow your business. You need it to “brand” your community. You believed it, feeling the site would generate new leads and business.
I’m sorry to break the news, but flashy websites do not produce effectively. Here’s why. In reality, your website is a direct extension of your sales team.
Does your sales team talk to prospects in warm, vague language? Does your sales team use short little tag lines? Does your sales team only flash pictures of smiling staff during a presentation? I think you get the picture.
Of course not. Neither should your website. If your website isn’t increasing business then you’re wasting money and resources. Your site needs to generate leads, educate prospects, form relationships and further people in the sales process.
This is why it’s crucial your website generates a response. A response that converts prospects into leads, automatically follows up, and builds strong relationships.
Online prospects are in research mode. They intend to visit the websites of multiple communities. When someone visits your website from a search engine, it has less than 10 seconds to show who you are, what you do, and how you can help.
While searching online, prospects are using the same part of their brain a professional baseball player uses to hit a 95 mph fastball. Don’t give them what they want, and they click the back button and move on to your competition.
How to have a website that converts visitors into leads and tours.
It’s a farfetched fantasy to think all online visitors will immediately request a tour. It could, but this rarely happens. Prospects are researching you and 5-6 of your closest competitors. What you need to do is help them make an informed decision and capture their information so you can follow up through more exposures. Even if you get someone to call or fill out a form, prospects are doing this with all your competitors, so you need to stand out.
The best way to capture their information is to offer some sort of teaser or give away a free report. You can have a form right online, or when they call, have your sales team offer the report in exchange for their email address.
Then you can follow up overtime through a drip email marketing campaign that both educates and differentiates your community from the competition. Each email should have a call to action for a tour.
You’ll get many more opportunities to build trust and ultimately sign up for a tour. Best part is, your relationship building can all happen automatically while you’re out doing the rest of your job.
Follow up like this is a standard practice of ours and it should be for you too. It’s much more effective than trying to go straight for the lead to tour.
Think of all the friendships you’ve developed throughout your life. The first meeting, you know very little about this person. Overtime and through multiple meetings, you get to know them better. Your trust and opinion of them developed overtime. It was a process. Treat a lead the same, by nurturing them, and you’ll form a bond that’s hard for your competition to break.