The Game of Selling Self-Storage
By Joel Little
Everyone loves to play a good game. They’re fun and can really challenge the intellect of those involved. A good game can also get the heart pumping, put a smile on your face and produce some deep belly laughter. These are all good things for each person involved in the game, and this is why many individuals make playing some sort of game part of their daily or weekly routine.
Could it be possible that you’re playing a game without realizing you are? I bet many people would disagree that it’s not possible for them to be a part of game without them being aware. If you stop and think about it, what’s going on when you’re thinking about purchasing something and the salesperson is doing his best to get you to buy it? It’s the game of “Will I buy today or not?”
Many self-storage managers are always trying to figure out how to get everyone that walks into their facility to rent a space. They’re trying to razzle dazzle them with a special or an offer to peak the customer’s interest and maybe get a name on the dotted line of a rental agreement. When the customer says no or tries to leave, the property manager then tries to make a deal or tries to understand why the customer isn’t deciding to rent from them. Now it’s a challenge. The game is on!!
Likewise, when self-storage call center reps take phone calls on a normal day, they know customers are calling because they need storage. So they now have to figure out what will get their customer to rent with the store they’re representing. Will they use a friendly and inviting voice or go for the hard sell. What some reps don’t realize is the customer knows he’s trying to be sold, so he might go along with what’s being said for a while until he blindsides the call rep with a shocking no. Now the rep and the customer get to go back and forth until one side concedes or sees the other’s viewpoint.
Not many people see the aspect of selling self-storage as a game, but it has the makings of one. There are typically rules in place that you follow including:
- Making sure you’re listening intently to the customer and his needs.
- Qualify the customer and get him into the right space to fit his belongings.
- Do not put down the competition. Only build up your store and what you can do for your customers. They don’t like trash-talking competitors.
- Do not pressure the customer. No one likes to be pressured to make a decision. Present your case to store with you and let him decide.
- Make sure you disclose all necessary extras to the rent payment so the customer is not surprised. This can include an admin fee, insurance, lock, etc.
In addition to the rules to the game, there are two or more players involved, there’s an object of the game and, of course, there’s a start and finish. Now the objective of this game is to fully help the customer and his situation in terms of renting a space. As a sales rep or a property manager, are you up for playing the game of selling self-storage?
Joel Little is the head sales coach at PhoneSmart, a self-storage call center and marketing firm. He's been in the self-storage industry for more than five years, and has been in retail management for more than a decade. He strives daily to help improve the self-storage industry one call at a time, gaining insight from each customer. For more information, visit www.phone-smart.net .