Leads and lead conversion mastery….the hot topics today in self-storage. The most important aspect of the self-storage manager’s job is to rent units and collect rent. To rent units in today’s ever competitive self-storage market (regardless of where the property is) a manager needs three things:
- A solid funnel for leads
- Great sales skills
- Quality follow-up practices
Owners and operators spend a lot of time and money to capture leads of people in need of self-storage. This is the sales funnel – leads can come from websites, lead aggregators (i.e. Sparefoot, Storage.com), referrals, manager marketing, etc.
Once a lead is identified – they call, email or walk in – the manager’s sales skills will determine whether the lead is converted to a rental or a lost opportunity. Every person who works in the self-storage industry must understand that when a lead comes in, it becomes the most important item to address. The key is to immediately contact the potential customer and help them with a solution to their storage needs. During the first contact, it is important greet the person professionally with a spirit of “we can help.” It is essential to get their name and number. Asking for the name is key so the conversation is personalized by using their name. Asking for the number, allows for follow up if needed. After getting the contact information, it is necessary to inquire with questions to determine the needs of the customer. The manages should counsel them on the size and type of unit that will fit their needs. Lastly, is the “ask for the sale” and thanking the customer for trusting us for their self-storage needs.
What do happens if the manager “asks for the sale” and the customer does not commit when asked? That is when having a quality follow-up practice is critical. If a customer is not ready to commit to the rental upon the first visit or phone call – the manager needs to follow up within 24 hours. The manager needs to call and ask if there are any additional questions the customer may have – and again ask for the sale. The manager might even ask what it will take for the customer to rent with you. If it is reasonable, empower the manager with the tools to make it happen. If the customer still does not commit, the manager should follow up again in three days, and then every week thereafter until the customer rents or tell you they have rented elsewhere. If a customer rents elsewhere, it is important to say to the customer “I am glad you found a solution to your storage needs. May I ask why you chose another storage company so I can better compete next time?” This information can help in improving the manager and the the facility for the next customer.
Having a follow-up policy is critical in converting leads to leases. Does your facility have one in place?