Not Everyone Is Like You – And Why That Sabotages Your Sales

by Kenny Pratt

I had a property manager who was living paycheck to paycheck and was very reluctant to sell boxes and packing supplies because she couldn’t fathom paying the prices we charge for boxes if she were to move.

What she didn’t consider is that not everyone is like her.  Her perception of the value of the boxes and other packing supplies was colored by her current economic situation.

When I was younger and newly married I worked for the Boy Scouts of America and  my wife stayed at home with our (then) two young daughters who were under the age of 3.  Some months the only reason we could pay our bills was because of the mileage reimbursement I received for using my run-down Ford Tempo for work. In essence, I had a small reverse mortgage going on my Ford… So, I can relate with the mindset that wouldn’t pay for boxes.

Now I have five kids and I’m no longer living paycheck to paycheck and if I were moving there is no way I would spend my time looking for boxes at grocery stores or out behind the retail center.  My priorities have changed, convenience is now more important, and sometimes I gladly pay for it.

We all make the mistake of assuming that others are like us.  This limits you.

If you don’t ask for the sale, the answer is automatically no.  Don’t judge, just sell what you have to offer as if the prospective customer is the perfect candidate.

Don’t be so arrogant as to assume everyone has the same priorities and preferences that you do.  If you’re location offers boxes at a price higher than you would want to pay, sell them anyway.

If you only have space on the third floor or in the back of the facility, figure out what is good about that space and sell it. Don’t mislead… but don’t hold back either.   Do your best, and don’t say no for your prospective customer.

Who do you serve that is not like you?  Is it possible that they might prioritize their purchases differently than you do?

  • HA College

    Your property manager has a good heart going down the path to help customers, she just needs to widen the road. Storage is a customer service business and the more services that she can provide the more helpful she can be. The word will spread and draw more customers to her for their needs which she can now fulfill and that equals more business. If she thinks her boxes are to expensive perhaps she could have a discount on a bundle or a package deal.
    Don Russell

  • Paula

    Thank you so much for that perspective. I sometimes get caught up in the same type of thinking.

    It’s good to remember that not everyone views things like I do (What a boring world it would be if we all saw things the same way!).

    I’m happy to realign my thinking to see the value in what I have to offer. What a better sales person I will be with that perspective.

    Thank you again.

  • Joe

    This is a great point, and not just for selling boxes. When I worked in my first self storage facility in South Philly I remember wondering why anyone would possibly drive to such a scary part of town to store their valuables. It took me a while to see the benefit to customers, but once I did, it was an easy sale. When I moved on to selling money to self storage investors it took me a while again to understand how my new customers thought. Neither group thinks very much like I do, but that’s part of the reason why I’m able to help them. If their thoughts were exactly the same as mine, they probably wouldn’t need me.

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