By Tron Jordheim
Sales and customer-service success is often made more complicated and mystical than necessary. There really is no magic involved, but study and practice are essential. Use these 10 tips to help you perfect your self-storage sales and customer-service skills.
1. Study best practices. If you become a student and set out to become a master, you’ll do better and better over time. Read trade magazines, subscribe to e-mail newsletters, read books, watch videos and attend industry expos and training seminars. Sales and customer-service practices are always changing. Learn all you can. You can never learn too much, and your skills will always be needed.
2. Smile big. Whether you’re talking to a customer in person or on the phone, a big smile goes a long way to make a sale, please the customer, or calm an unhappy customer. This may be the most important thing you can do. No one wants to do business with a sour face.
3. Make eye contact. People really like it when they feel they’re connecting with you, and there’s no better way to feel connected than to establish eye contact. Be careful not to maintain eye contact too long or it can be uncomfortable. Just act like the customer is your friend and make eye contact like you would normally.
4. Listen. Pay attention to what people say and need. The better you listen, the better you’ll be able to offer a good solution to your customer. There’s a skill to listening, and you need to practice to be good at it. Just start a conversation and force yourself to listen to what the other person is saying.
5. Tell people you’re there to help them. When you tell a potential renter or current customer, “Sure, I can help you with that,” you’ve set the right tone for the conversation. Telling people you’re willing and ready to help allows them to feel better about the transaction and about you.
6. Ask good questions. If you ask good questions, people will feel as if you know what you’re talking about. They appreciate the chance to tell you about their needs and that you care to know about them and their situation. People will also tell you why they’re thinking of renting from you. This gives you the opportunity to say, “Let’s get your name on that unit right now.”
7. Do something unexpected. When you surprise people in a good way or exceed their expectations, you’ve created a long-term customer who will recommend you to others and happily pay the monthly rent. Look for unexpected things you can do to wow a customer. It usually doesn’t have to be a big gesture, just an unexpected one.