SPEAKING OF SALES ...

One of the most common ways people avoid making a decision to store with you is to tell you they have to shop around some more. The problem is you dont know what this means. Are they shopping around for a better location, price or a set of features?

Unless you know exactly what theyre saying, you have no way of encouraging a rental. Many times the person is just blowing you off without telling you the real reason. Or perhaps you didnt address the issue or question most important to your prospect.

An ounce of prevention goes a long way here. Do as much listening and as little talking as you can. The more your prospects talk, the more youll know about their situations, wants, needs, concerns and fears. Make sure youre informed enough to present your property in a favorable light, tailored to their desires. Its better to ask questions than to give information. Ask thoughtful questions and listen to what people tell you. Then you can respond with your features and solutions. Prospective tenants appreciate a listening ear and will more likely trust your suggestions if they feel theyve been heard.

If you know whats on a prospects mind, you will also be able to correct misconceptions or provide valuable information. People prefer a real conversationnot a sales pitch.

Ask Again

Some will still say they have to shop around. Ask them what your site might be lacking and what theyre hoping to find elsewhere. You may discover the persons concern can still be met by your facility. If youre able to further educate them on how your place is the right choice, they might say yes to storing with you when you ask the second time.

Dont just accept shopping around as a legitimate reason to not rent with you. It really isnt. Its a sign the potential customer isnt ready to trust you or your place. Why not? If you can find out, then you might get the rental.

If the person just isnt ready, you can do a pre-lease, a reservation or a hold to make sure that when the time is right, he can get moved right in without spending any more time in the office than necessary.

Be on the look out for still shopping. Its a sales killer only if you allow yourself to be the victim. 

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 Want2Store.com facility locator. You can read what hes up to at www.selfstorageblog.com. For more information, e-mail [email protected]

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