Seth Godin, author of The Purple Cow, has a great post on his blog today. He talks about the bad idea of trying to market to "everybody." He says "The problem with "everyone" is that in order to reach everyone or teach everyone or sell to everyone, you need to so water down what you've got you end up with almost nothing."
He reminds us: "You don't want everyone. You want the right someone....Someone who cares about what you do. Someone who will make a contribution that matters. Someone who will spread the word."
When it comes to senior living, this is an interesting idea. In so many selling situations, we're so desperate for the next sale that we do try to market and sell to everyone--or at least everyone who's a certain age and has a certain income.
Our marketing folks often remind us that we need to target our message, and focus on the "right" prospects, but what happens when we sell to the wrong someone, like the prospect who can be convinced to "sign here" because they've just had a life-changing event scare them into action? In many cases, they spend the next few months re-thinking their big decision and too often call you to request a refund of their deposit.
Or worse, if that "wrong" person moves in, they may be the miserable complainer who's never happy, no matter how good your care, services or amenities are. Do you really want someone like that infecting other residents with his or her negativity? Is it really worth the uptick in your numbers for that one month?
Selling to the right person--the person who will talk to his friends about how wonderful your community is and who really values the service you provide--is harder than selling to everybody. There are fewer of these people, and they may throw you for a loop with their objections. But finding these people and nurturing the relationship will serve you exponentially over the years as they turn into happy residents.
11/11/09 Update: Seth's post today is about choosing the customers that you want, in order to secure the future you want. He says: "It takes vision and guts to turn someone down and focus on a different segment, on people who might be more difficult to sell at first, but will lead you where you want to go over time."