Self-Storage Phone Sales: Adapting Your Approach to Your Caller
By Tron Jordheim
One of the things that’s fun at PhoneSmart is to hear stories of the different regional variations in customer behavior. Talking to someone in San Antonio is not the same as talking to someone in Chicago or Seattle. It’s understandable that regional variations might cause us to change how we talk from phone call to phone call. But sometimes the differences can be striking, even within the same region for the same client. You may see this even between different sides of your town.
Our parent company, StorageMart, has several storage facilities in New York City and more than 20 locations in metro Toronto, Ontario, Canada. When you hear how the callers talk to you, you’d think there are a lot of similarities between people who use storage in New York City and people who use storage in Toronto. The two cities are not that far from each other and bare a lot of similarities.
But the callers to the StorageMart facilities in Toronto don’t like being talked to like they’re New Yorkers. Both calls start the same. The callers are straightforward and a little short with you. However, the New York callers want you to talk to them in a straightforward and short manner, too. If you talk like a New Yorker, you get the deal.
The Toronto storage callers don’t respond well to a straightforward and short approach. They respond much better to a polite and thorough call. You can blow the deal by handling the Toronto storage call incorrectly.
There are regional preferences in every part of North America that our sales reps have to be aware of, but the tricky ones are sometimes the ones you don’t expect. So when the reps get off a call with someone for a Toronto StorageMart and their next call is from a New York City StorageMart, they have to switch gears and respond a little bit differently.
Many telephone sales trainers say you should always talk to people like they talk to you. But it isn’t that cut and dry. If your reaction is to just mirror the style and tone of the person you’re talking to, take a second and think about where that call is coming from. Then be sensitive to how this person might like to be talked to. It can be the difference between closing the sale—or not.
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 www.phone-smart.info .