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5 Ways to Boost Your Self-Storage Facility's Bottom Line With Box Sales

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No. 4: Create Discounted Packages to Suit Different Packing and Storing Needs

The boxes and packing supplies needed to pack a two-bedroom apartment will be vastly different than what’s needed for a small office, and different still from the supplies to move a four-bedroom home. Statistics show one in four storage customers have never used storage and likely have less experience packing up their home or office as well.

Put together some packages to suit several different needs, such as the two-bedroom Starter Package, which might include 10 small boxes, 10 medium boxes, five each of the large and extra large boxes, two wardrobe boxes, one dish-pack set, one box of wrapping paper, one roll of bubble wrap, and four rolls of tape. The Office Moving Kit might contain a large number of file boxes and rolls of tape, but no large, extra large, wardrobe or dish-pack boxes. The Whole-House Package might contain a beefed-up version of the Starter Package, and also include some extra things like gripper gloves, some fragile labels and lots more tape.

To price these packages, ring everything into your software to get the full purchase price, and then apply whatever discount best suits your facility and community. Many operators find a 15 percent discount is reasonable. Then you can advertise “All this for only $85, a $100 value!”

A small space dedicated to displaying one of each item you offer, clearly labeled and priced, will work just as well as a large showroom filled with your entire inventory.No. 5: Don’t Give Customers the Option of Saying No

As a former restaurant manager, I learned the importance of “upselling” to increase my personal and whole-restaurant sales. When taking an order, instead of asking, “Do you want fries?” I found I did much better when I asked, “And how many fries would you like to add?” This became one of the most important sales skills I taught my wait staff, and my location quickly became one of the top-grossing sales stores in the entire company.

The reason is simple: The first question allows the customer to choose “yes” or “no.” The second question only asks “how many,” using an open-ended question as an assumptive close and not giving the customer the choice of “no.” In the storage world, you can apply the same technique to many of the items found in your showroom including boxes, tape, markers, gloves, bubble wrap, etc.

On your next box sale, try asking, “How many rolls of tape would you like to go with your boxes? I see you have a 15-box small bundle, so I know you’ll need at least two rolls, so how about you get the three-pack just to be safe?”

One last piece of advice: In all situations, always try to take charge of the sale and offer your knowledge to solve your customer's problem. Being the local storage expert can help you increase your facility sales not just in terms of merchandise, but in your leasing and rental activity.

Customers who need storage are in the middle of some sort of trauma, be it large or small, and you’re the key person who can help solve their problems. These five quick sales techniques are field-tested and proven to work when employed correctly, assisting your customers with making decisions they’re typically too stressed, busy or just plain tired to make.

Using just one or two of these techniques can directly and immediately affect your overall sales and drive more income to your facility. Employ them all, and pretty soon you’ll be watching your per-lease box sales skyrocket, your bottom line balloon, and you’ll never even have to utter the phrase, “You want fries with that?”

Stacie Maxwell is the marketing director for Universal Management Co., a full-service management and consulting company serving self-storage businesses worldwide. With more than 11 years of industry experience, she’s responsible for the company’s branding, design and marketing. For more information, call 770.801.1888; visit .

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