By Joel Little
Many of us in the self-storage industry have to be able to expand our minds and change our way of thinking. Not everyone was born into this industry, so a countless number of us had to come in and put our thinking caps on. Some of us wanted to reinvent the wheel, while others became students of the industry. What did we learn as students? That people need self-storage. Who are we to stop customers from renting what they want?
Well, thats a problem we face. Far too many of the people on our teams make conscious and unconscious efforts to deter the customer away from renting with your company. Of course, youre looking at your self and your team and saying you dont have anyone like that employed by you. The hardest fact to come to a conclusion about is that there are people on your team who are pointing the customer in a direction opposite of your facility. How are they doing this and what can we do to stop this behavior?
How our team is sending customers away is sometimes too subtle for us to realize. Here are some examples of what they do:
- They dont treat each customer theyre talking to as important as they should.
- Their facility doesnt have the space the customer is calling for, but the rep/manager doesnt qualify the customer to see if the space requested will actually work for him. The customer goes to another facility that has the space he asked for.
- Our teammates bring their outside life into work and dont give customers the attention they need.
- The customer simply doesnt get his questions about storage answered, so he goes to a facility that will answer his questions.
The points above are not anything thats completely outrageous or something our teammates or employees might realize theyre not doing. We in leadership and management roles need to be aware of how our employees are handling customers who are asking for us to rent them spaces. We cannot afford to let one customer leave our store without renting, especially if our staff is the reason theyre walking out the door. Customers need self-storage. Who are we to prevent them from having what they need?
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 .