However, someone who hasn’t used storage before will appreciate this information. The last facility he called may not have asked this question or explained the features that could sway his decision. Be appropriate to each situation. It may be all the same to you, but to each prospect, it’s unique.
Asking if the customer has used storage before also helps you determine what industry lingo needs to be explained. A previous user will probably understand things like “prorate,” “anniversary billing” and “climate control, whereas a new user may not. If you speak to him like he should understand, it will make him feel foolish and uninformed, which will negatively affect any rapport you’re trying to create. Remember that each new prospect is an individual. Treat him as such.
Being knowledgeable means understanding your product and services well enough to recommend the right things for each prospect. We tend to confuse “selling” with “telling.” If you feel like the caller is holding the phone away from his ear as you ramble on about everything you know about self-storage, you’re probably right and have lost the sale.
If you haven’t engaged the caller in a two-way conversation, it’s unlikely that you’ve created enough connection with him. Yes, you might score well on your phone shops, but your business will suffer. The caller is only interested in finding a solution to his problem, and as soon as you lose focus, you lose the business. Tell him what he needs to know to sell him what he wants.
To be successful, you must be interested in the things that drive the business. That means you must be interested in what drives the customers. Why do they need storage? How did they hear about you? What is happening in their life right now for which your product can be a solution? How quickly do they need this solution? What are they storing? How long will they need storage? These aren’t nosy questions, but absolutely necessary to determine the best solution for customers’ needs. It makes good sense to get answers to these questions.
Wouldn’t you be concerned and uncomfortable if your hair stylist didn’t ask how you wanted your hair done and just started cutting? Or your doctor gave a diagnosis without the right information? Or your server just brought out food without asking what you want? It’s not nosy, it’s your job! This is your chance to build rapport, make acquaintances and a potential long-term, good customer.
Note: If you have not asked for the prospect’s name and callback information, you have not succeeded in being interested.
It’s pretty easy to tell when someone is genuinely interested or just doing their “job.” How often have you walked into a retail store only to hear the sales clerk greet you with a tired, bored, sing-song, “Hello, how are you?” You know the clerk is only doing it because he must and doesn’t really care how you are. Don’t be that person. People will store at a facility where they feel comfortable and trust the staff. Be yourself. Be real.