Conquering Sales Calls with the ABC's

One of the most difficult things to conquer in self-storage, in my opinion, is the sales call. Here, your main purpose of answering the call is to gain their trust and get them to visit your facility. If they are like most consumers, they will call around to different facilities seeking information on your street price, security, exact location and will most likely ask about any promotions.

I noticed when training both those new to the industry and seasoned veterans is that they tend to rush the call or they sound very robotic. Yes, they may be a little nervous with someone a few feet from them but when reviewing call recordings, they usually sound the same.

I would suggest, if sales calls are an issue, is to build the employee's confidence. If the employees knows their role as a manager, understands the great features the company offers, knows their competitors and is truly wanting to help the future in a time of need, they will succeed in their sales call.

Now, call scripts can be very helpful but can also come off to be robotic or uncaring. A lot of times, the managers are already thinking about the next question prior to the tenant finishing up on the current one. I remember reviewing sales call recordings with a major call center in the self-storage industry. Many times, the future tenants would talk about an event in their life that one could tell they wanted to hear encouraging words. Instead of acknowledging the tenant, they moved on to the next question. Sales calls are there to build trust and win the customer over. They shouldn't be seen as a burden or something that needs to be rushed. The ABC's mindset of self-storage sales calls is to ensure most things are covered. Please note that they do not have to be in order, this is just a blend of what the calls should go over! Every call is different!

The A

The "A" stands for answering and asking the important questions. A good sales call starts with answering a phone in a professional and friendly way. While you may be answering calls all day, this may their first call of the day. Ensure you have a solid greeting such as "Good Morning, ABC Storage, This is Pete, how may I assist you with all your storage needs today?"

From a great answering, the employee can easily take control of the conversation to ensure the call moves forward. Some great questions to ask are: Have you ever had storage before, Do you know what type of items you plan on storing so that way I may find you the best size, How soon did you need something and so on. Even getting the potential tenant's information is important in the beginning.

Also, remember to listen to their responds and move forward from there. It should not be a "they answered this question, time for the next."

The B

The "B" is to ensure benefits are talked about. Why should any consumer choose your facility over anyone else? Is it the longer gate hours? Is it your unique security features? Is it you have a free-move in truck? No matter what it is, they need to be included in the sales call. It is recommended that you limit the benefits to the top three. Sometimes, I can hear myself going on and on about features even annoying myself. I could only imagine how they felt!

A lot of times employees will mention a feature but they will not talk about how it benefits them. Just saying "we have 24 hour gate access" doesn't really sound appealing. Instead, "We provide access to any schedule as you are able to enter the facility with your unique gate code 24 hours a day."

Another key benefit that managers forget about is merchandise. If they are calling facilities for storage, they are looking to spend money. You are there to ensure you can help them in every way possible. Let them know about the benefit of having merchandise available to them.

The C

The purpose of the "C" is to confirm information. If the manager hasn't at any point gathered information about the consumer, they should do so before concluding the call. There is no way to follow up with someone if information wasn't recorded.

You also want to confirm everything that was talked about. This will show the tenant that you wrote everything down and ready to earn their business. You also want to confirm your location, website and your name. To most consumers, a storage facility is a storage facility. If you have competition that is close by, they may just assume that is your location. Always conclude the phone call with thanking them for their phone call and you are happy to assist them with all their storage and moving needs.

First impressions are everything in a sales call. That first impression, in many cases, is their contact with you when they call. Make it personal and ensure their needs are met. You do not know how many times a tenant has stated they felt like their time was wasted because they would answer so many questions only to find out that facility didn't have any units available. The mindset shouldn't just be about checking boxes because a district manager told you to collect all their information to follow up later, it should also be about understanding the consumer's needs.

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