[ by Michael Ruguleiski, Mobile Attic ]
I need to be honest with you. This is a safe place, right?
I get in my own way when it comes to converting a prospect. If you were honest with me, I think you would tell me that you too are your greatest enemy when it comes to getting a rental.
Sometimes we are more concerned with the task at hand than the prospect calling in. Sometimes we choose the path of least resistance by only competing on price. Sometimes we approach our sales pitch like a pot of spaghetti; we grab a handful of features, throw them at our prospect and see what, if anything, sticks.
What if I told you it didn’t have to be this way? What if you had some simple tools that helped you get out of your own way? What if you could see more rentals in 2013 without spending another dime on advertising?
I want to share with you three simple things that took our storage facility in Columbia, SC from renting duds to renting studs in a short period of time.
1) Talk only about what’s most important to your prospective customer
This poses a challenge, since nine out of ten times when a prospect calls looking for information, one of their first questions is, “What’s the price?” or “I was calling to see how much you charge for x-size self-storage unit.” However, as Ann Ballard explained so well, nine out of ten prospects choose where they store for reasons other than price.
So how do we cut through the “price” smoke screen to determine what’s actually important? I suggest something very simple: ask them.
Right after customers ask you about your prices, transition with a phrase like, “I would love to get you those prices. While I’m looking them up…”
“What’s the most important factor that will determine who you decided to store with?”
This is an awkward question. It’s meant to be. It’s what we call a “pattern interrupt.” It puts you in the driver’s seat of the conversation. The prospect will more than likely be silent for a second, then ask you to repeat the question. Don’t worry, they heard you the first time.
However, when they respond, only talk about that one thing! If they said, “I want my belongings to be safe,” don’t talk about how your location is conveniently located near the highway or how you accept packages on their behalf. Talk about your amazing state-of-the-art security system and your 8-foot-tall fences or walls with razor wire that rival the security at Fort Knox.
Because you’re only talking about what’s most important to your customer, you are able to show them you have exactly what they need, and are greatly minimizing their desire to continue searching for what they need in another facility. Try it: push through the awkwardness. Your conversions will increase, I promise.
2) Ask for the rental
We’ve all been there. We’ve had a great conversation, good connection, answered all questions, talked about price–it all went textbook. Before you know it, the prospect is saying, “Thanks a lot for the information. I’ll be back in touch with you. Bye.” Click. What just happened?!
Starting right now, don’t EVER let the prospect get off the phone without asking for the rental. It’s crazy for you to spend so much time talking about your facility with a warm prospect and to never ask them for the thing that they want, and that you also need.
At our facility, we ask for the rental in a few different ways:
“Is this something I can get set up for you today?”
“This sounds like it will be a great fit for you. I just need some basic information to get you set up. What’s the best phone number to contact you at?”
Create a sense of urgency
“This special we’re doing right now expires tomorrow” or “I have a limited number available in that size.” Then say, “I would hate for you to miss out. I’m going to go ahead and tentatively reserve this unit for you. I just need you to call me back if it doesn’t work out.”
People hate to call back with bad news. Rarely will you have someone call you back and say it won’t work. Rarely will you have people not call you at all. More often than not, people respond well to a soft commitment and will feel grateful to you for looking out for their best interests.
Want to make 2013 a standout year? Make a commitment right now to only talking about what’s important to your prospects and asking for the rental every time. As you can tell, these tips aren’t revolutionary. However, they are hard to do consistently. I believe we can be a better class of managers–managers who hustle, perform, and add value to our facilities and organizations. When you see the impact made to the bottom line, you’ll be grateful you stepped up to the plate.
Image courtesy of itechtalk.com