Self-Storage Learns Sales Lessons From the Military

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Giving Command

If you can’t get your staff members to ask 100 percent of the people walking into the store if they need to buy any boxes or supplies today, how do you expect to get them to make a major shift in sales strategy? The answer: training ... and more training.

But sometimes even changes of minor proportions are difficult to implement. What then? One strategy that leans toward success is to have someone other than you own the project. Pick a responsible staff member and give him ownership.

This is the person who should be responsible for moving the project forward from concept to completion, as if raising a puppy. It’s necessary to start small and go through all the steps needed to house train the puppy, get basic obedience in place and then develop it into a great family member. In the same way, a new project needs to be nurtured and raised to become just another part of standard day-to-day operating procedures, routines and habits.

Make sure to assign the task to someone who can rally the troops. The person is charged with shepherding the project from concept to completion, providing scheduled updates and progress reports, getting the whole team to pitch in.

Allow your commander significant time to train his troops and follow through with the plan of action. When the battle is won, congratulate your commander and troops, and give yourself a pat on the back for turning another sales strategy into success.

Tron Jordheim is the director of PhoneSmart, an offsite sales force that helps storage owners rent to more people through its call center, secret-shopping service, sales-training and Internet-lead-generation services. Mr. Jordheim is also a member of the National Speakers Association. You can read what he is up to at www.selfstorageblog.com; e-mail tron@phone-smart.net.

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