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Expert Tips and Tactics on Managing a Self-Storage Sales Team

July 03, 2023 | Categories: ,

For many self-storage operators, getting the phone to ring is not the problem: closing the sale is another story. Building a confident, capable sales team enables you to increase rentals and cut down on lost opportunities; discover how implementing the right training, tools, and technology can make a significant difference in your bottom line. 


How To Identify Key Areas Where Leads Are Lost

Before you can improve your process, you must first understand where things are going wrong. Digging into your sales techniques can reveal areas for growth and improvement. 


There are 8 questions that could be costing you 30%+ of leads:

  • Who is calling?
  • How did they find you?
  • What did your manager say?
  • What did they call for?
  • Did they end up renting a storage unit?
  • Why didn’t they rent?
  • What happens when someone walks in your door? 
  • Are your managers doing as well as you think? 

Who is calling? How did they find you? 

When a potential customer calls your store, this is not their first interaction with you. Callers have already started their research and have found you through a variety of sources, including your website, Google ads, social media, reviews, word-of-mouth, and more. Knowing where they originally found you helps you better understand your pipeline and how to ensure a seamless sales funnel. Implementing built-in analytics tools gives you the data and insight to see where people are coming from. 


What did your manager say? What did they call for? 

Giving your sales team everything they need to close a sale creates consistency and better communication across the board.

When your managers answer the phone, do they have: 

  • Scripts: Sales scripts empower managers to handle a wide variety of customer questions and requests without hesitation or error. Scripts can be written out word or word or bulleted into key speaking points.
  • Pricing: Your price sheet should be accessible and up to date at all times for accuracy and clarity. It’s also helpful to explain how your pricing compares to competitors and/or how to get customers the best value for their needs and budget. 
  • Availability: Being able to see all available units at a quick glance expedites the sales process. 
  • Forms: Allowing managers to send forms with a click gives renters what they need fast, especially when paired with eSign capabilities. 

When deciding how to best provide these resources for your team, consider an all-in-one software for easy accessibility, reporting, and management.

Did they end up renting a storage unit? Why didn’t they rent? 

Many operators will survey their customers, but what about the ones who got away? Sending a short, one question survey asking, “Where did you rent instead?” gives you valuable insight into where you are losing sales. If customers name direct competitors, you can research their pricing, amenities, and more to see how they are beating you and where you can differentiate yourself. 


What happens when someone walks in your door? 

Your physical presence is just as important as your online presence. When someone walks in the door, that face-to-face interaction sets the stage for their entire rental experience. Getting out from behind the counter to show off your space provides a personable, professional sales experience. 

Look at your space from your customers’ eyes to consider: 

  • How are we presenting ourselves? 
  • What do they need to rent from you? 
  • Are we meeting customer needs by offering conveniences such as eSign, contactless rental, etc.? 

Are your managers doing as well as you think?

Before the internet, angry customers were momentary inconveniences, but now, bad interactions live in infamy through online reviews. Customers need to trust they can safely leave their possessions with you, and reading good reviews is an important step in gaining that trust. While facility perks such as air conditioning and security cameras are nice to have, reviews will make or break the sales experience. Every interaction builds trust, so training your managers to deliver quality service every time is the best way to create good reviews. 

Ongoing Training Benefits

One of the best ways to keep your sales team ahead of the game is to provide ongoing training opportunities. This opens the door to discovering new techniques, learning from wins and losses, and anticipating customer needs in a continuously changing world. When evaluating, set clear expectations ahead of time. Let your team know what you will be looking for, both in person and on training calls. Knowing what’s being graded helps build employee confidence because they know where to focus attention. 

For every customer interaction, make sure your team knows their ultimate goal. Is it to: 

  • Get them in the door? 
  • Make a reservation? 
  • Rent the unit? 

Training grades should be based on what the sales team can control. While employees can’t control the price, location, or incentives offered by your facility, they can control how they present the information and assist customers. Grade your team on whether they are presenting to the best of their abilities. 

Recorded training calls are a great tool for growth, and there are three different approaches: calls with managers, peers, and oneself. 


Manager Training Calls 

Training on live calls with a manager listening in is an effective way to assess performance. Real world calls provide real world results: It’s one thing to perform against a script, but how do managers handle curve balls? Reflecting on real-world recorded calls teaches people to be flexible because calls won’t always be easy. 


Peer Reviews

Having team members listen to their peers handle calls offers an additional layer of insight. Discovering how others work through their calls helps people learn from those who are getting it right, showcasing the best of the best and potentially introducing new techniques they may not have considered. Also, because this guidance is coming from a peer and not management, it’s easier to make a case for why these strategies work. 


Self Evaluation

Employees tend to be most critical of themselves, but listening to their own calls may help open their eyes to how they sound from the customers’ perspective. If sales members get feedback from others, they may question: I don’t sound like that, do I? Did I really say that? But hearing themselves on the phone clarifies any discrepancies between how they think they’re performing and what’s really going on. 


Make Sure You Record 

It’s important to emphasize during these training sessions that it’s not just what you say but what you enter into your system. Operators can achieve the perfect call but if they don’t enter it in the correct customer information, it doesn’t matter. You can’t follow up on what you fail to capture. 

Following up is crucial, as operators can’t assume the customer will call back. In fact, only 7% of leads will ever do their own follow up, meaning there’s a 93% chance for improvement if you aren’t currently following up on leads. You might be the only person who bothered to call them back. Stay top of mind with a text, email, or call to supply customers with the information they need to book a unit. 


Proven Sales Tactics and Tips to Get the Lease Faster

To put your team in the best possible position to make the sale, ensure they have the right tools at their disposal. Can they: 

  • Direct the tenant to the right person as quickly as possible?
  • Manage multiple requests with ease? 
  • Complete a move-in on the phone?
  • Text eSign ability for faster acceptance? 
  • Rent to sister stores in neighboring areas rather than transferring? 

Within the self-storage industry, there are available technologies that empower operators to improve their sales performance. Implementing these systems saves you time and helps lock down more leads through improved communication across the board. 


If you have any questions about how CallPotential can help streamline your operations, schedule a demo here. We look forward to hearing from you soon. Thanks for reading! 


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