A lot of self-storage managers need help understanding their goal when speaking with prospects on the phone. Few follow an outline or a script, even though it can mean the difference between a sale and lost business. Some feel that because they have worked in their position for years and done a great job, there is no need to improve their phone presentation. Others respond negatively to any suggestion of change, thinking their supervisor is just looking for a way to make their lives miserable if asked to participate in training, particularly if it involves role-playing or being recorded.
Ownership or the management company is partially to blame for failing to recognize the need for and importance of a scripted sales presentation. Such an outline is designed to fulfill the goal of turning walk-in customers or callers into renters. It provides consistency in your message from call to call and store to store, and serves as a reminder of points that should be covered. It also keeps managers on track during each call while allowing them to inject their own personality to the conversation.
Every call your store receives has value, as you have likely spent advertising dollars to make the phone ring. That value depends on how much you have spent and how many calls it generates. On average, facility managers are successful in turning callers into rentals less than 35 percent of the time. But 90 percent of callers who actually visit your store will rent with you and stay for an average of seven months. With this in mind, isn’t it worth investing time and money to develop an effective sales presentation and train your managers to use it productively?
When it comes to the phone presentation, it is important to stress confidence, competence and consistency with your staff. Provide training that will enable managers to present the product clearly and successfully. Teach them to inquire, educate and build value with each prospect, to differentiate themselves and the store from the competition. In essence, they should learn to be effective communicators of your “sales story.”
Role-playing with managers and using mystery-shopping services can help you refine your presentation script, identify areas for improvement, and increase your ability to convert callers to renters. This will generate more opportunities to close sales and, as a result, add “value dollars” to your bottom line. Significant value dollars are those generated above your current level of success. Consistency in the sales presentation will help earn them.
Are you sitting on an untapped opportunity to bring significant value to your company’s bottom line? Are your managers effective in their goal of turning walk-ins or callers into renters? Even if your answer is a resounding “yes,” you owe it to yourself and your business to have your staff well-trained, well-scripted and mystery-shopped on a regular basis. In the end, the prize is worth the price.
Paul Weston is a partner and business manager of A TelePro LLC, a Brad North company that provides mystery-shopping services to the self-storage industry, assisting in the education, evaluation and improvement of managers in their phone-sales performance. Mr. Weston has more than 25 years of sales and sales-management experience. For more information, call 513.492.5010; visit www.atelepro.com.