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Bored With Basics?

Tron Jordheim Comments
Posted in Articles, Archive

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 don’t, you may get soft. It’s no different than getting physical exercise. You always do your warm-ups and simple routines first, even if you’re trying to build strength and endurance.

But if you’re getting bored with the basics, let’s take things to the next level. You may not be too impressed. You might think I’m cheating you or just blowing smoke. But here’s the secret, just as it was in the children’s fairy tales we all love: Everything you need, you already possess—the 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. You’ll 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, it’s 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 opponent’s 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 musician’s 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 don’t know what sort of a prospect you’re dealing with until you start to ask some good questions. You don’t know where the advantage in your offering lies until you listen to the customer’s answers. You won’t know how to help him talk himself into the sale unless you can address his concerns. You won’t know if you can seal the deal until you ask for a decision.

For all these reasons, you can’t jump into a sale willy-nilly. Without a firm grasp of the fundamentals, you could be a detriment to your business. So don’t 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

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