Q: What’s a typical day like for you?
A: Well, no two days are the same. But more often than not, I get in early, go through emails to follow up with voice messages, and then I walk the community. I interact with residents and make sure everything’s presentable in case there’s a walk-in — setting up a model room, making sure the music is going and refreshments are set out.
Then we have a meeting with our executive director to figure out our strategy for the week — what issues do we see? What are we hearing about competitors?
After that, I either reach out to family members or do business development. I like to walk the community two to three times a day. What you set up in the morning isn’t typically how the day ends — that’s normal, it’s a homelike environment where people live — so I like to make sure everything is presentable for visitors. Then, at the end of the day, I wrap up with my executive director to talk about how the day went.
Q: What two qualities does a successful sales manager need to have?
A: Being able to talk to people, of course. But also being able to listen.
You have to listen, and not just to the words, but to what residents or family members are really trying to tell you. A lot of times, the problem or hesitation a loved one is telling you about is just the surface of what’s really going on. You need to listen closely and dig deep into peoples’ problems in order to help them.
They are family, we’re not just here to get them in the door and move on to the next thing. They trust us, and we want to make sure that throughout the process of moving in and living here, they can continue trusting us. Not only because it makes people comfortable, but also because personal referrals are the best referrals we can get.
Q: Do you need to have a sales background to be a sales manager?
A: I personally do, but I’ve seen people come from many backgrounds — nurses, even people who started as caregivers — and they’ve become very successful sales managers.
Most importantly, you have to care. You have to care about the families and loved ones coming to you, and really listen to their needs. It’s not just a job filling rooms. If you’re not doing what’s right for the resident or family, it’s not a high-quality life for them.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: What’s really special about this job is that you get to know residents and actually see how living at Brookdale positively impacts their lives. The structure and activity here can have a real impact on residents’ lives, and we get to play a part in that.
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