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How to Upsell Ancillary Services and Retail Product in Self-Storage

Brian Byrd Comments

It’s hard to think about upsells without thinking of the most famous one of all: “Do you want fries with that?”

An upsell occurs when a customer buys something, and then you manage to sell him additional stuff he might want or need. “Do you want fries with that?” is a cliché in the fast-food industry that has trickled over—sometimes as a joke—into business in general. The phrase was originated by a company that wanted to sell other products in addition to its flagship burger. The purpose was to add something the customer might not normally have ordered to increase the average ticket price.

The upselling concept can be used in all industries, even self-storage. The markup on retail products at your facilities is enormous and can immediately increase your bottom line—and your paycheck.
The Process

Managers should begin the upsell process by asking the customer to look at the facility’s “merchandise menu” while his lease is being prepared. The menu is a list of all the ancillary products available at your store, such as boxes and locks.

Once the customer looks over the menu, ask him how many boxes he’ll need for his move. Never ask if he needs boxes, ask how many. If he doesn’t need them, he’ll say so; but if he does or is on the fence about it, your assumption will make the upsell happen. Assuming rather than asking is the fastest way to increase profit.

The process of upselling is easy! If you keep in mind that it’s all about the customer, it will become ingrained in your store culture. You can use the approach in a casual or subtle way to convince a customer to purchase more than he initially planned. Don’t think of upselling as a burden; think of it as a way of improving customers’ storage experience. Once the stigma of upselling is shrugged off, you’ll be amazed at the results.

There are many retail products available that will help protect your customers’ items in storage or at home, or simply provide additional peace of mind. If your customers need any of these items, they should buy them from you, not your local Walmart or home-improvement store.

If you’ve properly qualified your customer on his storage unit, you know what he’ll be storing. Now you can paint a mental picture in the customer’s mind about the benefits of the additional products related to those items.

So, what makes a good upsell? In this business, the ideal receipt should include the storage space, a lock, tenant insurance and at least one moving product (a box, truck rental, etc.). Whether the customer is storing for personal or business use, he needs all of these things.

To entice customers, give every new tenant who signs a three-month agreement a moving box or mattress cover. This will ease him into the upsell process and spark an interest in your ancillary products. Upselling is all about building customer loyalty and becoming the one-stop-shop for all your customers’ storage needs.

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