February 1, 2006

3 Min Read
Speaking of Sales...

One of the ways to master the art and science of selling is to learn a few key phrases, or strategic moves. There are many sharp sales maneuvers from which to choose, but a few are so powerful that a prospect simply cant resist them. Consider, for example, this enticing proclamation: I can help you with that.

When a customer walks into your office or calls on the phone, no matter how he initiates the conversation, what hes saying is he has a problem or a need. If your immediate response is I can help, he will warm to your business like chestnuts on an open fire. However, this statement isnt a magic spell; you have to back it up with action. You have to show the customer what you can actually do to assist.

First, you have to learn about the prospects requirements, enough so you can determine the best solution. You might need to take him on a property tour, showing him different unit sizes and explaining how storage works. Perhaps youll discuss ancillary products and services such as boat/RV storage or moving supplies. After a decision has been made, you need to walk the customer through the lease, discuss payment options and tenant insurance, sell him a lock, and possibly make arrangements for the move-in.

If youve ever done business with someone who has an I can help with that attitude, you know how gratifying it is to be that customer. Recently, I got a nail in one of my car tires. I drove to the tire-repair shop near my office and told the person behind the desk. Within moments, he had my signature on the work order and keys in hand, and I was comfortably seated in the waiting room with a cold drink.

Before the end of my first magazine, he came to let me know the patch was in good shape and I was ready to go. He led me to the counter, took my payment, thanked me for my business, gave me my keys, and pointed to where my car was waiting by the front door. There was no other possible outcomehe made sure he could help me with my situation, and I made sure to let him.

You can do the same with your storage customers. When a prospect or tenant walks into your store, say, I can help you with that, and dont ask or wait for permission. Quickly figure out what is needed and make it happen. When youre done, the customer shouldnt even know what hit him. All he knows is he has a solution to his problem and a smile on his face.

Tron Jordheim is the director of PhoneSmart, an off-site sales force that helps storage owners rent to more people through its call center, secret-shopping service, sales-training programs and Want2Store.com facility locator. You can read what he is up to at www.selfstorageblog.com. For more information, e-mail [email protected].

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