Winds of Change

Have you ever attended a dynamic training program, seminar or conference that left you inspired and energized? Maybe you picked up a few great ideas and couldnt wait to return to apply some new principles into your own operations. Positive change can be exciting, but implementation is usually a challenge.

Shifting Gears

In my experience, sales-training workshops with self-storage managers create a great synergy and atmosphere that is ripe for learning and embracing new ideas. When the workshop is interactive with hands-on activities, people become creatively involved, and leave with new resolveto get the gears of change turning toward more successful self-storage operations.

Seminar attendees may stay excited for a week or two but get so busy running the business as usual they postpone putting their new ideas into practice. Unfortunately, if changes arent implemented within two weeks of learning them, theyll most likely never be made at all.

Out With the Old

Breaking old habits is difficult and uncomfortable. For example, a self-storage manager may feel awkward changing a sales presentation hes been doing the same way for five years. To make positive change, we must believe in our new plan and create a sound system to make it a reality.

For example, if you want to refresh your sales pitch, learn a new way of conducting your presentation; believe in it, and write down your goals and objectives to make the change happen. Documenting your objectives increases your commitment and likelihood of following through.

One objective may be to create a script and role-play a better presentation a specific number of times each day to break old habits and become more familiar with the new. Perhaps you could arrange to work with another manager over the phone, critiquing each others pitches. After a few weeks, your delivery will become more natural, and the script will be used only as a guideline to ensure everything is covered.

Another way of measuring your performance is to hire a mystery shopping service to evaluate your customer-service skills on the phone and in person. The results should indicate your strengths and weakness, and be used to further improve your presentation. Consistent monitoring helps drive tremendous change by providing a measuring stick of how well you are doing.

Mindset

The first step to improvement is realizing change is necessary. If we do what weve always done, we will stay where weve always been. To increase sales, a training program must be developed and implemented, but its an ongoing process. Done properly with regular reinforcement of principles, sales education can maximize the profitability of your self-storage operation. 

Brad North is founder of Advantage Business Consulting, which specializes in on-site sales, marketing, feasibility and operational training for the self-storage industry. He has produced two live videos and a workbook, Maximizing Your Sales and Marketing Program, designed for managers. Mr. North most recently launched A TelePro, a mystery shopping service that assists in educating, evaluating and improving the phone-sales performance of self-storage professionals. For more information, call 513.229.0400; visit www.advantagebusinessconsulting.com.

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