Public speaking 😱 heights 😱 sales 😱. If you have a fear of one of these, you’re right alongside the majority of us. Fear can be paralyzing, especially when it’s not the primary title in your job description. For many Self-Storage managers, fear of sales may be causing them to leave money on the table. There’s no shame in it, most of us feel slimy or manipulative when it comes to sales. Which is exactly why we want to help. You don’t have to feel that way. You don’t have to be afraid.
We’re taking the fear out of the sales process so you can close the sale feeling cool as a cucumber. Seriously. We built our plans to sell themselves, but if you follow the advice below you’ll see it applies to most kinds of sales.
The first thing all site managers should know about Self-Storage sales is that it’s not about product knowledge or up-selling.
Knowing the product well is important, having a handful of metaphors and anecdotes to help with clarity are definitely going to help. But it’s not the primary way to get a sale.
Sales is all about finding the right fit.
To do that, you need to know who the person is, what their budget is, and what solution they are actually looking for.
When selling our protection plans tenants who are good candidates are looking for peace of mind, risk management, and protecting your possessions and the investment they made in them.
We’re not selling snake oil. You don’t have to lie or manipulate to get tenants to see the value of TPP. Set correct expectations and explain the benefits (no deductible, replacement value, and fast claims to name a few). We’re incredibly transparent with what we do and don’t cover and our claims team is there to take care of all the details. Tenants who buy TPP are the kind of tenants who understand their possessions are not immune to disasters and the unexpected. They are the kind who want to protect their investment.
One of the biggest barriers in sales is the psychological ones we put up ourselves. There are three ways you can turn the psychology back on yourself to reduce fear. These work for just about any fear, but especially when it comes to sales.
- Visualize: Visualizing the various types of clients and what packages they might want, imagine the whole conversation going smoothly and easily. No resistance, just clear explanations and an even temper from both parties.
- Mindset – Put yourself in the right frame of mind before interacting with potential tenants. They are coming to you with a set of needs (storage space, peace of mind, stability) you have the ability to fill (Right size unit, right security package, right level of protection, a kind interaction with easy decisions)
- Dress for success – Internally and externally. One of the first fears managers have is leaving a bad first impression. Nip in the bud by dressing in a professional but familiar manner. Your target tenants (usually the locals) will have a certain way they dress, match that as closely as you can while also maintaining professionalism and warmth. Then dress your emotions for success. We hold ourselves differently whether we’re comfortable, confident, or shy. If it helps, look for examples of the kind of confidence you want to exude then study how they hold themselves and what you imagine they think about themselves. Copy that.
There are a number of easy soft skills you can quickly implement for a practical and fast way to improve your comfort and ability with closing sales.
- Be Friendly – seems like a given right? There are three practical ways to be friendly without being freaky:
- Smile – nothing says ‘approachable and honest’ like a natural smile. Don’t force it, but also make sure you’re able to show up every day at work with a genuine smile for your tenants and prospects.
- Use their name – just be sure you’re not overdoing this one. Once or twice when appropriate in a conversation is good. At the start of every single sentence is creepy.
- Firm handshake – don’t crush their hand, don’t be a limp noodle. And never shake a person’s hand sitting down. (your dad – or your boss- probably already told you that bit)
- Be engaging – You need to know several things about potential tenants. People like to talk about themselves, get them to tell you their story by asking questions and listening. Make connections so when you get to the ‘sales’ bit, it’s not selling as much as sharing your recommendations based on what you offer.
- Apologize when necessary – if you come to a point where you realize you have made a mistake or mislead the tenant, apologize firmly and then move on. Don’t try to explain why and don’t try to build excuses. Be clear why you are apologizing and get back to the conversation.
- Guide, don’t sell – Selling assumes acceptance or rejection. Guiding assumes nothing, a good sales guide will take tenants through the options, asking the right questions to go left or right.
- Add a little drama – When a tenant doesn’t see the benefit of TPP or a stronger lock, or whatever and you believe they would want it if they understood it, don’t’ be afraid to make a dramatic visual example. Keep a handful of cheap padlocks and bolt cutters in the office to show them how easy it is to get through. Use your chair as an example, sit on three-quarters of your chair saying ‘If something happened to this chair while in your unit and we offered regular insurance, you’d get this much chair. With TPP you get the whole chair.’
Practical and tactical
A few more tangible things you can do to easing the sales journey include practicing.
What’s that mantra they’re always saying in sports, music, and basically anything you can become an expert in? Practice, practice, practice. Practicing closing the sale, practice your handshake, smile, and posture. Just practice! The more you do, the smoother it will feel and the more comfortable it will be.
Research. Make sure you research not only your offerings (and ours) but also the tenant demographics. Understand who you’re going to be talking to and what’s important to them.
Listening is by far the most important skill you’ll need to call upon. But it goes hand-in-hand with asking probing questions. As you get to know the potential tenant, get to know the right things about them so when you’re ready to present your offerings, you’re able to share the things that you believe they will find relevant ‘did you know we offer higher grade locks? We also have a protection program that’s won the industry award for best in the business two years back to back.’
Finally, don’t forget, this is their decision and it’s nothing personal. Some people will not spend a penny more than they think they have to. They’ll want the basic package clean and dry and nothing you could say can change their mind. Others want the top of the line with all the security, bells and whistles attached. Don’t ever take it personally or over-analyze. Figure out if you could have done better. Practice that for next time, but otherwise, move on.
This part is for the owners. One of the best ways to ensure your managers are presenting all the options well is to provide extra incentive to make the extra sale. Whether it’s a monetary incentive (cash money on every TPP sale), or a cool perk (sell 20 TPP plans a quarter and earn a vacation, extra PTO, a coffee machine, the ideas here are unlimited). Why should your managers try to sell TPP or any other add-on for you? Give them a reason beyond ‘it’s just good for our business’.
An extra incentive from TPP!
For the rest of the year, we’re excited to kick off our new Presidents Club! Talk about perks! Let’s have some fun while beating our sales goal by the 2020 ISS Expo and at the same time rewarding you – our site managers – for all of the loyalty and great sales effort. As your sales increase, so do your chances to win! You can get all the extra details here: https://tenantpropertyprotection.com/presidentsclub
The winning team will get an all travel and hotel expense paid trip to the 2020 ISS Expo in Las Vegas NV. Plus, we have Cash Gift Cards for Second and Third Place Winners!
Our contest starts now and runs through 03/01/2020.
We are always looking for a way to share a little extra fun with site-managers and this is one BIG dose of fun, Las Vegas-style!