Bored With Basics?

In-this column, I write a lot about the basics of self-storage sales. This is because you need to constantly practice the fundamentals. If you dont, you may get soft. Its no different than getting physical exercise. You always do your warm-ups and simple routines first, even if youre trying to build strength and endurance.

But if youre getting bored with the basics, lets take things to the next level. You may not be too impressed. You might think Im cheating you or just blowing smoke. But heres the secret, just as it was in the childrens fairy tales we all love: Everything you need, you already possessthe knowledge and the skills are within you. You just have to be trained to use these advantages and be prepared to use them.

Just Do It

Look at the masters of any pursuit. Youll see the advanced work is in the doing, not the knowing. That is to say, you can study and train all you like, but success is the result of how you act in the moment.

  • Lance Armstrong may do a lot of training and have a lot of skill. But when it comes to race day, victory is about peddling and pacing himself.
  • I doubt Tiger Woods begins a tournament without playing lots of practice rounds and working on all the aspects of his game. But on the green, its every stroke that counts.
  • Some of you may like martial-arts flicks, like the old Bruce Lee movies. Lee studied several disciplines and perfected their basics. But when it came time to fight, he improvised based on his opponents approach.
  • Most jazz musicians have years of training in theory and performance. Some go through classical study and could perform with any orchestra. But when it comes to a solo or spontaneous piece, it all boils down to the musicians mood and the performance of his peers.

So it is in selling self-storage. Once you know the essentials, you can throw yourself into the sales arena with abandon. Your goal is to make a new friend, anticipate obstacles that might prohibit the sale, and politely, professionally and persistently make the deal.

Because You Never Know

You dont know what sort of a prospect youre dealing with until you start to ask some good questions. You dont know where the advantage in your offering lies until you listen to the customers answers. You wont know how to help him talk himself into the sale unless you can address his concerns. You wont know if you can seal the deal until you ask for a decision.

For all these reasons, you cant jump into a sale willy-nilly. Without a firm grasp of the fundamentals, you could be a detriment to your business. So dont forget to warm up before you go selling. Stretch your sales muscle and review your best strategies. Then you can yell Whoaaa! and jump into the fracas.

Tron Jordheim is the director of PhoneSmart, an off-site sales force that helps storage owners rent to more people through its call center, secret-shopping service, sales-training programs and facility locator. You can read what he is up to at For more information, e-mail [email protected].

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.