Tricks for better self storage sales that will help you convince prospects to sign the deal.
Any business can’t survive without sales. However, like cooking the perfect al dente pasta, this skill is daunting to many. We made this list of tricks that takes out some of the mystery from closing your sales track. We can’t help with the Pasta, though.
Nail the first impression
If you are dealing with walk-in customers, one of the very first things they will notice is cleanliness and neatness. An overgrown lawn, overflowing garbage cans, and a dirty toilet will send customers running. But a clean office area, well-lit hallways, and a neat desk will make them feel welcome. Make sure to have brochures on hand and show them around the facility and inside units. If a customer has to wait because you are attending to other clients, offer them refreshments while they wait. A glass of water on a hot day can change a customer’s mood dramatically.
For prospects that call, there are tricks for better first impressions too. Take out the gum, swallow your lunch, or drink and smile before picking up. Our voice changes when we smile, and customers can hear that. Speak loud (don’t shout though) and clear, but sound friendly on the phone. Without the visual cues of micro expressions, phone conversations are more challenging for our brains to process, and much context is lost.
Language and questions
Take charge of the conversation and lead it, but don’t turn it into a monologue. Projecting competence and confidence is one of the biggest tricks in the sales handbook. There are two aspects to this – language and questions. For example, use ‘when’ instead of ‘if’. 'When you move in’ sounds very different to ‘If you move in’. Instead of ‘I can give you a discount too if you’d like’ say ‘Let me put a 10% discount on that, especially for you’. Consider situations that will most likely come up in a sales conversation, and practice confident language. Don’t try to finish the other person’s sentence, but listen closely and provide answers.
Questions are valuable for extracting information from your client and understanding what they need. Ideally, you want to find out:
How knowledgeable and experienced they are with self storage – a first-time will need more explanations
Are they seriously looking or just price shopping around
What type of items do they want to store
What is the estimated value of those items
What is the time-frame
Use their answers to lead the conversation. If the client is inexperienced, offer information, advice, and insights. Your goal is to build trust and convey that you are a reliable business partner.
Common sales tactics
There are common sales tactics to help close a deal.Their effectiveness depends on the situation and the customer, so you will have to judge by your experience and the conversation flow.
A popular tactic is to emphasize or even fabricate a sense of urgency. This tactic is tricky to navigate because you can easily seem too pushy and scare off the customer. However, if the busy season is coming up, or you only have limited units available, don’t forget to mention it.
Price and value
A common mistake is to lead with price. Of course, it is important to explain your pricing to the customers but remember: you are selling value at a price. Because you asked questions before, you already know what the customer is looking for. Now explain to them that you have just that on offer. What is your unique sales proposition (USP)? Make sure you talk about it with the customer. Are you very eco-friendly? Or maybe you have a state-of-the-art smart-lock system. Especially new renters can be put off by self storage prices. Explaining your value proposition helps them justify the cost in their mind. It is easier to get enthusiastic about spotless storage units or fingerprint scanners on doors than the monthly price tag.
The price discussion stage is also where you can offer discounts, promotions, or add-ons to sweeten the deal. Make them time-limited to increase the sense of urgency. The fear of missing out is a powerful psychological tool. In negotiation tactics, it is always better to have several moving factors on the table. Don’t negotiate the price alone. Throw in a promotion, a discount on the moving truck, free storage containers, or changed move-in conditions. Learn to deal with silence while the customer thinks over the offer. There’s no need to jump in and shower them with more discounts. Remember that you want to stay in charge of the conversation.
Have you noticed how subscription services online usually have three types of offers? That is because, as humans, we are biased to pick the middle option. If you want to sell a particular unit type, offer the unit priced below and above. This sales tactic is known as the ‘option close’ Seemingly the client has a choice, but his subconscious mind already made a decision.
Always follow up if the customer did not sign the deal immediately. It could be just that bit of extra attention that makes them choose you, not the competition. Many will readily volunteer their contact information if you are smart about it. For example, you can ask for it when filling in the quote to lock in the rate. You can always ask for their email and offer to send them a promo code or a notification when rates change.
If things aren’t working out - get help
If you are struggling with sales, consider hiring an experienced manager who brings sales experience and customer service skills to the table. You can always take a sales and negotiation course yourself. Again, no business without sales. The training could be one of the most important investments for your business. Good luck and happy selling. Oh, good luck with the Pasta, too; like selling, it’s easier than you think.
Tip of the sales iceberg
Closing the sale is the end result of a well-executed marketing strategy. Converting incoming leads is half of the work. In order to keep the phone calls, in-store visits or booking submissions coming you need a structured marketing-sales system. Our blog is packed with resources that cover both digital and offline marketing. Check them out to get ideas and actionable advice that will help you boost your occupancy rates.
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Related Article: Tracking your Self-Storage Marketing Campaigns