Renting units will always be a top priority in our industry, but we have to take care of our customers’ needs to be successful, or someone else will. As an industry, we do a very good job at determining the needs of our customers. We know what questions to ask, we make recommendations as to what size unit they may need, and we suggest that they take coverage for their possessions. Perhaps we offer a disk lock and explain why they need it. But do we really take the time to explain what else the customers will need? Are we promoting retail items too late to the customers? Many times by the time they come into the property to sign the lease they have already packed. Are we letting customers know at first contact, by phone, email, or at time of walk in, that we have everything they need such as boxes, tape, mattress covers, dish packs, dust covers, etc?
What obstacles keep our staff from offering many of the retail items we have for sale? Perhaps some feel like they are not salespeople. They may feel uncomfortable making more suggestions after the lease is signed and a lock is purchased. They may feel as though they are coming off as too pushy. Maybe they need more training in how to explain the need and use suggestive selling techniques. As managers we need to figure out what it is, but we are really doing a disservice to the customer if we don’t explain to them what they will need. Think about the times you bought something and came home to use it only to find out it didn’t have the batteries required and you had to return to the store.
Customers may be going through a very stressful time in their lives. Perhaps they are moving, starting a new job, or going through a divorce. Many have never used storage before. But we as experts know what they need. So, let’s share our knowledge and make it a great experience for our customers. If we don’t they are just going to run out to the most convenient retailer like Wal-Mart, Lowes, or Home Depot. Each of these companies are now promoting moving supplies.
Here are merchandise selling tips:
• Use the words “I recommend” before making a suggestion of a retail item and explain why you are suggesting they should buy it.
EXAMPLE- You told me that you are moving into a four bedroom house and that you have three children. So I am going to recommend you buy a couple of these Wardrobe Boxes. This will allow you to move all your clothes in an organized manner and keep them from getting dirty and wrinkled during your move. Without these you may just throw your clothes in a garbage bag and spend hours putting them away at your new home.
• Use the words “It Just Makes Sense”
EXAMPLE- You mentioned you have four beds to move. Mattresses are expensive and you don’t want them to get damaged or dirty during the move. It just makes sense to pick up some of these mattress covers to protect them. They also make great garbage bags after the move to help with clean up and they only cost $7.
• Keep a lock out of its package and place it in the hand of the customer as you explain the benefits of that particular lock.
• Let them know you have moving boxes which are made with mold inhibitors and thicker materials which will hold up and protect their items better than boxes sold at mass retailers. Offer a moving package of several different sizes at a price point below $50. Explain the cost savings compared to buying individually to build value
• Signs Sell- Have clear pricing of your retail items on each peg hook or item. Your retail area shouldn’t look any different than customers are used to seeing when they shop.