How Do You Stand Out? Six Tips You Can Implement Today to Beat Your Competition
What we’ve discovered time and time again is that, in this industry, owners and operators constantly do what the other guy does, no matter the results. Here's what we know:
- We believe our managers are the nicest people. We have met a few cranky managers but, for the most part, managers are incredibly kind so we tend to hire folks who are nice.
- Signage is all over the map, but considering municipal restrictions and budgets, most owners want to do the right thing.
- Everyone wants the best placement on the Web so when a prospect searches for storage, you want your store to come out among the top and definitely on the first page.
- About one-fifth of storage operators employ self-storage call centers (an answering service is not a call center).
- Many operators have embraced e-mail marketing.
So how do you stand out from your competition? Here are some tips.
1. Learn how to close the sale. While reviewing thousands of Web leads and call center reservations, I can tell you, the results would frighten you. For instance, in one case of a multi-store portfolio we discovered the company had left over $170k in revenue by not improving its Web-lead conversions. Conduct a temperament analysis to determine the true people skills of your managers.
2. Get to the consumer! Stop waiting for them to call or search for you. You need to find better mechanisms of communicating with them first.
3. Referrals. Make sure you are firing on all cylinders when it comes to referrals. You’ll receive 10 percent to 15 percent of your business through referrals. The cost to you is nominal.
4. Measure your business. Develop a system which measures your business across several dimensions. Remember, rentals and delinquencies are nothing more than a scorecard of several measurable steps.
5. Stop making your message about you! Yes, you have security cameras, perimeter fencing and tenant-only access. But you must communicate to your prospects messages which set your business apart from your competitors. Your message must be about your prospects—not your store. Show them how you can be the solution to their problem.
6. Develop the leadership skills of your leaders. Leaders set the tone (positive or negative) and influence those they supervise. If you’re not sure if your leaders are truly equipped, we suggest a 360 degree assessment to create that baseline.
If you have a great tip for standing out, post a comment below or share it on Self-Storage Talk, the industry’s best online community.
Bob Vamvas is a partner with Self Storage 101, a full-service self-storage management solutions firm with offices in Alabama, California and Texas. Trained and certified in areas such as management consulting, process development, and sales development Bob has worked in both the private and public sectors. He has extensive experience in performance management systems, operational excellence, sales and marketing, competency analysis, communication strategies, coaching and counseling.
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