Four Big Lies About Self-Storage Marketing

Derek M. Naylor Comments
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Lie No. 2: To Make More, You Must Spend More

I have yet to find an operator in this industry that doesn’t have at least five underleveraged facets of a marketing system. By this I mean that many have been brainwashed to think that by spending more on a particular facet, you can get more results. For example, by simply changing the words printed on your Yellow Pages ad, you can increase response by 10 percent to 100 percent, without spending another penny.

By answering more of your phone calls and converting them into tenants at a higher rate, you’re leveraging anything that is generating the phone call, without spending another penny! By learning how to up-sell tenants on ancillary products and utilizing marketing strategies to help you do that, you’re leveraging that tenant and making more money and, again, it’s without spending another penny!

Get the drift? Before you buy into a lie that you need a bigger Yellow Pages ad, more radio time or whatever you’re currently being sold, make sure you’re leveraging your existing investments before you dump more money into a never-ending pit.

Lie No. 3: You Must 'Close the Deal' With Prospects

This one drives me absolutely crazy. Think of the last time you were trying to make a buying decision and the salesperson kept pushing you. How did you feel? Did you instantly lose any intelligence or priorities and decide to buy just because they "asked for the sale"?

Better yet, think to the last time you were considering buying something. You weren’t quite sure if it was a good fit for you, but thought you would explore options. How did it make you feel when that salesperson pushed you? If anything, I’ll bet it pushed you away from the sale, not toward it.

It’s awfully pretentious and naive to think that every person who calls or stops in needs to become a customer. The key to a successful closing is to help the person determine if you’re a good fit for each other or not. By assuming the sale, you will not only annoy people but also reduce your chances of ever having a good conversation that will set up a win-win, long-term relationship.

It’s a bit of a paradox, but as soon as you quit pushing people to buy from you and begin trying to determine if you can really help the person, your sales numbers will soar. Yet many people are still teaching old school "push for the sale" tactics that simply don’t work anymore and are an insult to your prospect’s intelligence.

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