Training Self-Storage Managers to Use New Sales Tools: Teach, Practice, Role-Play

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Role-playing will uncover all kinds of uncomfortable moments, hiccups in the process and unanticipated questions. It will help you resolve any issues before interacting with a real customer. The last thing you want is for a new process or tool to cause discomfort for customer—or embarrassment for the manager. When a manager sees a customer squirming because a new process is still clunky and sloppy, he will become shy of it, lose belief in it and avoid doing it. Teach, practice and role-play thoroughly when implementing any new tools.
 
Choosing Management Tools

Choose management tools that are effective and reliable and do what you say they’re going to do. You can tell if your training is correct by how your staff reports problems with the tool.

If they tell you it’s junk, doesn’t work right or causes more trouble than it’s worth, you’ve likely failed in your training and created an avoidance reaction. If, on the other hand, they to you with specific problems such as “When you click the button that says ‘box sales,’ the system opens up a screen with error message No. 12389,” you know they understand the tool and how to use it. In that case, they’re simply reacting to specific problems or bugs in the system.

No management tool is perfect. There will be a few glitches and hiccups. There will be elements that don’t match perfectly with your method of doing business. You’ll have to adapt to things you cannot change; but your vendor will generally be open to adjusting things that can be changed. Plus, you may find new ways of doing things that will work well for your facility.

Above all, work closely with your vendor to get the training and knowledge you need so you can pass it on to employees. Your best success when adopting new tools will come when you create a solid training program, understand your employees’ learning style and gain employee buy-in. Practice and role-playing will ensure implementation, and your results will meet and exceed expectations.
 
Tron Jordheim is the director of PhoneSmart Call Center, 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. For more information, call 866.682.8272; e-mail tron.jordheim@phone-smart.net; visit www.phone-smart.info.

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