Self-Storage Retail: Become a Merchandise-Selling, Cash-Extracting Expert

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Now the manager becomes a helpful consultant. She knows a fair amount about what the customer is moving and storing from the conversation that surrounded the sale of the storage space, and she’s able to leverage that understanding to help him look and consider relevant products. She’s in the perfect position to direct his attention to the items he’s likely to need and buy.

For example, if the manager knows the customer will be storing a mattress, she directs his attention to the mattress covers, possibly handing him one to consider, and explains how and why they are beneficial.

Because the manager is actively involved, she’s able to demonstrate the features and benefits of the different products a customer might not understand. For example, clean newsprint is a product many self-storage locations carry, but not all customers understand its use. The manager can describe how the clean newsprint helps pack fragile items safely without marring them with ink. Further, she can actually show the customer the difference between using newspaper and clean newsprint.
 
A Sales Tool

The free-box coupon gives you a tool to engage customers easily and tactfully. With practice, it becomes easier to steer the storage transaction toward a conversation and demonstration about moving supplies.

By actively selling the merchandise, you’re able to increase the amount of time the customer spends shopping. You’re also able to direct the customer’s attention to relevant products that are then noticed and considered. Finally, you’re able to suggest and explain products with which customers may not be familiar. All of these efforts combined ensure more merchandise is sold.

If you follow this process, you’ll have a goal and a scoreboard to track progress. You and your team will be empowered to have much more influence on the buying and sales process. If your results are like ours, you’ll be selling two to three times more merchandise than before.
 
Kenny Pratt is a (self-proclaimed) sales and marketing ninja at Sacramento, Calif.-based Crescendo Properties, a self-storage investment and fee-management firm operating 15 properties in the western United States. He shares his ideas about self-storage on his blog, www.kennypratt.net. For more information, e-mail kenny@cpinc.us; visit www.cpinc.us.

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