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A Better Sales Philosophy for Self-Storage Businesses: Service and Compassion

Benjamin K. Burkhart Comments
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Put a New Spin on Sales

When you buy into the idea that your business services a regular and stable demand brought on by certain life events (good and bad), it should give a new flavor to your business model. It should provide a satisfaction in making the dreaded sales or prospecting calls, clearly stating your value proposition, discussing options with customers and articulating the benefits your store offers.

No matter our position in this industry—owner, manager, part-time staff—we are in the service business. Not everyone buys into that concept. Just visit the other stores in your market. Count the managers who stand up when you enter their office. Count the ones who smile. And count the ones who look like they’d rather be doing something else. Where you can sharpen your sales edge is in auditing your sales philosophy. Do you take orders for storage, or do you identify, address and fill customer needs?

In this age of automation, there has been a mass exodus of personal service in business. But as storage owners and managers, we have the opportunity with every new day to bring it back and reap the benefits from a clientele demanding a personal touch. That high level of service is especially critical in our industry. The customer may be walking through your doors already stressed, angry, defeated or just in a generally bad mood.

You may not have the newest site, the flashiest security display or the scrolling reader board. But you can easily have the best customer service by taking a new look at your customer and finding creative ways to meet his needs. It’s through that relationship in which your business sells, collects and profits.

What makes our industry so stable is the demand generated by those unavoidable life events. I challenge you to look hard at your company’s philosophy and strive to look for those needs in your customers. When you meet those demands with a smile and provide your customer with great service, you’ll begin to see the benefits in the short and long term.
Benjamin K. Burkhart is owner of BKB Properties and, a full-service self-storage consulting and resources firm. He works with developers around the country in assessing site feasibility, market strength, marketing strategies, financial analysis, profit enhancement, site design and deal structure. To reach him, call 804.598.8742; e-mail; visit

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