Knowledge = Sales Power in Self-Storage: Building Trust and Value With Customers

Brad North Comments
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In any self-storage sales program, the ability to build value and trust with the customer is essential to success. It’s critical that you speak with enthusiasm about your store, actively listen to customers’ needs, and provide a dynamic features-and-benefits presentation based on each individual to whom you speak. To do this, you must know your customers, your product and your competition.

Know Your Customers

The more you know about your customers, the better you will be in your sales effort. You want to understand the reasons why a customer is interested in storage, as this will give you insight to what’s important to him.

It’s imperative to have a strategy for evaluating customers: where they come from, how they find you, why they choose your location, etc. This information is powerful. Capture it during lease-up via a customer survey. The results will help you understand which of your sales efforts are working, allowing you to change and improve your sales program over time.

For example, you might find customers are choosing your store 44 percent of the time because of a nice and helpful manager. This indicates your manager is doing a good job of building value and trust through an impactful sales presentation.

A survey can also help you track the best forms of advertising and marketing by asking each customer how he found out about your store. Track this over time, as it will help you make future decisions about these expenditures. You can save thousands of dollars a year by having a sound program for measuring your marketing.

Know Your Product

In building value and trust with customers, you must also have comprehensive knowledge of your store’s operation, features and benefits―especially in relation to your competitors. Product knowledge is customer service!

If you’re doing nothing more than being friendly and answering questions with a prospect, you’ll have a hard time surviving in a competitive market. The average customer is much more knowledgeable about the storage experience and has more choices than in years past. He’s looking for someone who knows what he’s talking about, who can educate him on a facility’s features and how they will benefit him.

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