The COVID-19 crisis changed everything in 2020. While the health crisis has been everyone’s top priority, just the simple act of navigating the world and maintaining business operations during the shutdown has been a challenge. How do you connect with people when you can’t see them face to face? This can be especially challenging for older adults who may be learning technology as they go.
At The Village at Providence Point—A National Lutheran Community, the sales team has been adjusting their processes to keep up the momentum they were experiencing at the beginning of the year. For the past few months, in addition to connecting with each other virtually, they’ve been hosting virtual meetings and webinars with interested parties as well as Priority Club members—all in an effort to maintain the sense of connection they are building for the community.
“We always want to go above and beyond in everything we do,” said Chill Hotchkiss, sales director for The Village at Providence Point. “When we first started hosting online webinars, we looked at what other people were doing and asked, ‘How can we make it better?’ We want the online connection to have as much of that personal feel as possible.”
What does better look like? One example is simply the invitation itself. A standard Zoom video call invitation has a confusing sequence of phone numbers and passcodes, as well as the link to join, which can be hard even for a digital native to know how to join the meeting. Wanting to be more user friendly, the sales team designed a special invitation with a clear link to join the event, ensuring anyone could access the webinar without having to hunt through complicated code.
“We’re all about making things as simplistic as possible,” said Chill, whose easy demeanor and vivacious personality make him an ideal spokesperson for The Village at Providence Point.
Another thing the team did was re-structure the webinars themselves to make them more interactive. Some presenters may have an instinct to try to convey all the information someone may want, but you only have to sit through one such hour-long presentation before you realize how torturous it can be. That’s why Chill and his colleagues shortened their online presentations and engage the attendees with interactive poll questions throughout the event.
“We’re still learning what works best,” said Lisa Wells, Sales Counselor. We want to make these webinars as similar as possible to our in-person events. Right now, we have a chat function which enables participants to submit questions which we answer both during and at the end of the presentation. We are investigating the idea of opening a separate ‘virtual room’ after the presentation enabling those who would like to have a one-on-one discussion to be able to do so, right away. We continue to look for ways to create a sense of community with our webinars.”