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The ISS Blog provides a series of insightful, industry-relevant posts to help readers keep abreast of the latest trends in the marketplace as well as premium content and educational offerings. Read the thoughts of the ISS content team and other industry experts on issues related to self-storage challenges, news, operation, development, marketing and much more.

Teri L. Lanza,
Vice President

Tony Jones,
Contributing Editor/Store Manager

Amy Campbell,

Self-Storage Operators: What Did You Sell Today?

By Amy Campbell Comments

By Tron Jordheim

There’s an old saying that goes something like this: “Nothing happens until somebody sells something.” This applies to the self-storage industry as much as it does to any other business. You have to sell to get business. Do you sell when you meet people you know, go to networking events or see customers on the property? Do you sell when people are in your office?

If you just assume that because people know you’re in the self-storage business, they’ll eventually rent from you, you’re missing the point. If you think your tenants will just move out whenever they get around to it, you’re missing the point. If you think your tenants will buy boxes and packing supplies from you if they need some, you are still missing the point.

People buy what’s promoted to them. If you’re not promoting and selling, then someone else is selling stuff to the people who could be buying from you. Everyone in business is competing with you for the time and money of people who might use storage or buy supplies from you. You have two choices: Get whatever sales you can by chance or fate, or you can sell.  

Selling is not easy. It takes effort, skill and endurance. Selling requires trial and error. It’s an emotional roller coaster, and you can’t just sit back and let it happen. But the rewards are big. If you get one additional rental a week per employee because you had a selling attitude, wouldn’t your company do a whole lot better?

So what are you waiting for? Learn to sell. Practice selling. Fail at selling. Get back in the game and learn more about selling. Keep selling. Do you think we’re going to create a vibrant economy by sitting around waiting for something to happen? Is your business going to do better for no reason at all? Nothing good is going to happen until you sell something.

Tron Jordheim is the director of PhoneSmart, an off-site sales force serving self-storage owners for more than 10 years. For more information, visit


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