Companies and organizations hold their monthly, weekly, quarterly sales calls and sales conferences.  About 80% of the content has nothing to do with sales.  Put simply, sales is the actual engagement with the prospect, the relationship, the human exchange.  Sales requires risk and vulnerability, and most organizational leaders choose to stay a mile from any of that mess.  Yep, it can be a mess.  Sometimes you come home dirty.

I don’t think I have ever been so wrung out as my years sitting in the sales seat in an upstart senior housing community.  I left it all on the court every day, daring to get close to people, to hear their fears, longings, losses, dreams, struggle to make the single largest change in their lives – moving to a senior community.

But “sales calls” are usually quite different.  The topics covered are reports, events, direct mail lists, census count, census goals, conversion ratios, budget management, ad nauseum.  Most companies have the marketing and operations parts down pat.

But not the sales part, which the is #1 reason the senior housing industry is stuck at a pathetic 89% occupancy.  In one prominent senior housing provider I know this means that they have the equivalent of 15 completely empty communities in their portfolio.

And the “sales” calls march on.

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