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Hiring Mr. (or Ms.) Right: Marketing Success Begins With a Professional Salesperson

Derek M. Naylor Comments
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Hiring a manager with marketing experience is a must in today’s competitive marketplace. In fact, I don’t think there’s a better focus for managers than sales and marketing. We’ve consistently seen managers with little-to-no self-storage experience wildly outperform an industry veteran because they have marketing expertise in the bank.

I speculate that some managers who have been in this industry for a long time have old, passive habits that are hard to break. If they still operate under the assumption that self-storage tenants will find their services no matter what, they’ll be left in the dust. In some competitive markets, savvy sales strategies will make all the difference.

Snagging a Good Manager

So, how do you hire the best manager with these characteristics? In 2002, I had the opportunity to talk with bestselling author John C. Maxwell. Through the course of our conversation, we discussed finding and hiring great people. We shared stories of finding high-quality people though traditional methods like classified ads, etc.

John made a simple but profound statement about finding the best people for a team. “Do you want to know where the best people are?” he began. Of course, everybody perked up and awaited his answer. “Great people aren’t answering ‘help wanted’ ads,” he continued. “They’re not coming in to hand out resumes. They’re already working somewhere, doing a fantastic job and making things happen for themselves and their employers.”

Have you thought about recruiting? Maybe not, but I encourage you to adopt an “always hiring” attitude. Keep on the lookout for the perfect person throughout your daily activities. Maybe the next realtor to visit your home or the Blockbuster salesperson impresses you so much with his or her sales aptitude that you should consider asking them to work for your facility.

You need someone with the ability to market aggressively, build loyal relationships with your customers and strive to increase your conversion ratio drastically. You never know where you’ll find the perfect candidate, but I assure you there are plenty of excellent people out there looking for a new career if the right opportunity presents itself.

I realize this doesn’t sound like conventional marketing advice, but I assure you the right manager is one of the most important ingredients to your overall marketing success. Hire Mr. or Ms. Right as your new manager and your operation’s pie will be complete. Savor the success!

Derek M. Naylor is president of Storage Marketing Solutions, a full-service, results-oriented marketing and advertising agency dedicated to the self-storage industry. For a free subscription to his e-newsletter, call 800.941.4805; e-mail; visit

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