Inside Self-Storage

APR 2019

Inside Self-Storage (ISS) is an information source for industry owners, managers, developers and investors covering news, trends, facility operation, finance, real estate, construction, development, marketing, technology, insurance and legality.

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You'll be so glad you too advantage of this extra time! Let's look at which unit size will suit your needs." From here, you can make recommendations and close the deal. 4. How long will you need storage? This question allows you to limit the term of the discount, if you need one to close the sale. For example, let's say a customer asks you to match prices with a competitor. You might say, "If I match the rate for the two months you think you'll need storage, and then raise it to regular price thereafter, will you move in with me today?" This is much better than an open-ended discount that robs your property of value. 5. What's the dollar value you'd put on your belongings? Make a note and write up a contract for the correct amount of tenant-insurance coverage. No other discussion is necessary. Asking these questions shows prospects you're customer-focused. Not asking means you're not selling, you're just quoting prices. Don't fall into the trap of price-selling; you can't win this game. Using What You Know The more questions you ask your customers on the phone, the better you're able to determine what they need. It also clues you into special programs you might extend to each caller, such as free use of the company's moving truck, key release for package delivery or business-center services. Once you learn what brings your customers through the door, you can emphasize the benefits of your products or services and how you can exceed their expectations. This might include packing materials for residential customers or extended business hours for commercial tenants. As the call winds down, ask your caller if he'd like to make a reservation or an appointment to tour the facility. Promise shopping assistance via your competition-survey book, accompanied by coffee and cookies. The goal is to get the customer to the next step in the rental process. If you're just quoting prices, you're only giving the caller a tiny percentage of the information he needs to make an informed decision. Hopefully, this article has provided you with a few ideas on how to improve your phone-sales skills. Remember to always track your closing rate. This should include how many calls you receive as well as your conversion ratios. This simple task can do wonders to improve your ability to convert leads to leases. M. Anne Ballard is president of training, marketing and developmental services for Universal Storage Group and the founder of Universal Management Co. She's past president of the Georgia Self Storage Association and has served on the national Self Storage Association's board of directors. She's also participated in the planning, design and operation of numerous storage facilities. For more information, call 770.801.1888; visit www.universalstoragegroup.com. COUNT • Will the phone be answered promptly? • Will the manager or phone-center representative do his best at creating value in your facility? • Do you have what the customer needs? • Can your sales rep or manager overcome any potential objections, including pricing? • What kind of attitude will the customer have, and what kind of attitude will your manager/sales rep have? It only takes one call for a customer to determine if he'll visit your facility and rent a unit. He could easily choose your competitor instead. Here are some factors to consider when the phone rings: It only takes one call for a customer to determine if he'll visit your facility and rent a unit. He could easily choose your competitor instead. Here are some factors to consider when the phone rings: EACH CALL Source: insideselfstorage.com, "Better Self-Storage Phone Sales: Making Each Call Count," by Joel Little MAKE April 2019 I ISS 55

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