Are You Neglecting This Under-Rated Source of Rentals?

by Kenny Pratt

Follow up for more rentals

Get good at follow-up. Even these kids know more rebounds mean more points.

My store managers are finding that more prospective customers than ever are interested in shopping around. Are you experiencing the same thing? Does that mean our store managers are doing a poor job at selling?

I don’t think so. It just means that our store managers need to be expert at a part of the sales process that doesn’t get talked about nearly enough.

It’s time to get good (really, really good) at follow up.

Effective follow up allows you to capture those renters who are shopping around because it allows you to re-insert yourself into the buying process.

There is a gap between when the customer calls or visits and when they fill out the rental paperwork somewhere and make a firm commitment to rent. You need to find a way into that gap.

When done poorly this comes off as pushy or annoying. You know you’ve done it right when you are able to reconnect with the prospect and they welcome your call or email. You’ve done it right when they perceive your attempts at follow up as caring and helpful. That’s what you would like, isn’t it?

Effective follow up allows you to stay connected with the prospective customers who don’t reserve a unit at your facility because their need for storage is a week or two weeks or a month away. They are calling around well in advance and scoping out the landscape.

Your competitors are hoping they call back when they are ready, but you are more proactive. You stay in touch. You go out of your way to be helpful. You build rapport.

You win.

Effective follow up helps you get more people to show up on Saturday. You know, the ones who say, Ok, sounds great, I’ll see you on Saturday (and then don’t show up).

Yeah, those guys.

Are you connecting with them between the initial call and the appointment? If you do it right, you will have more renters and fewer no shows.

Follow up is under-rated. It is one of the most powerful skills a property manager can possess because it is useful in every selling situation, even the successful ones that end up with a reservation or an appointment to come to your property.

What parts of the follow up process do you find most challenging? What successes have you had? Let me know in the comments.

This is the first in a series of four posts (at least for now) in a series about follow up.

The second post in the series: Warning: Your Offer To Beat Competitor’s Prices May Not Be Working walks you through why offering to meet or beat your competitors prices and move in specials is usually misused and often doesn’t work.

Up third, I outline how you can use effective follow up to get higher prices for your storage units and/or discount less.  I titled the post A Simple And Honest Tactic For Getting Higher Prices.  I think you’ll like it.

The fourth post is an Interview I did with Marc Smith, a professional sales guy and friend. He sheds some wonderful perspective on follow up and answers, among other things, How to Follow Up Without Being Annoying.

Photo Credit: luzer

  • http://ChristineHueber.com Christine Hueber

    Great suggestion, Kenny! I’ll share it with my storage clients.

    Happy Holidays!

    Enjoy,
    Christine Hueber

  • http://www.usstoragesearch.com Brian Bremer

    Great post again Kenny!

    We make (on average) about 25% of our total call center reservations each month from our follow up procedures. I couldn’t agree with you more on how important it is to follow up and make it a friendly process. One of the things we’ve come to realize is how important it is to note very detailed peices of everyone’s conversations as it really helps when you do call out of the blue to follow up. These details really help the “break the ice” so it doesn’t feel like another telemarketing call and you seem like you are really trying to help them solve their need for storage.

    Have a great holiday and keep the great posts coming our way!

  • http://www.storagemarketingsolutions.com Derek Naylor

    Great post Kenny! I’m still waiting for you to make a bad post on this blog of yours! :-) In our research, across our client base, those not using two of our systems (which I won’t shamelessly plug here) NEVER follow up with a lead. As my man Brian Bremmer said, they get 25% of their rentals from follow up. In a business where every rental counts, this is tremendous. When we mystery shop on a routine basis we NEVER get followed up on. This leaves a huge opportunity for those operators willing to make strategic follow up a priority rather than an option. Keep up the awesome work K-Dizzle

  • Kenny Pratt

    @Christine, @Brian, and @Derek – Thanks for the compliments.

    @Brian, I completely agree. Store managers need to have a place where the keep track of the little details so that they can use them to re-establish a connection and continue to build rapport.

    @Derek, Your email marketing program rocks and is great aid to follow up. I think everyone should use it if they haven’t set up their own.

    The next few posts will all be geared toward follow up. I have some good stuff in store for everyone.

  • http://www.AskKevinG.com Kevin

    What is great about the follow up process is you can completely automate it or at least a good chunk of it. Do your best to get the prospective clients email address – offer to send them a special report or coupon. Once you have the email addres, you can follow up each week or two with an email offering some helpful information – how to box your stuff so it does not break, what supplies are needed for packing (bubble wrap, tape, etc). There are also systems that will text this information or you can send a voice mail message that gets dropped directly into voice mail without ringing the cell phone.

    To your success,

    Kevin

  • http://www.storeselfstorage.com/ Branden

    Thank you for the helpful tips and reminders. People new to the storage business like myself really appreciate your help. I’m the Marketing Director, so I don’t get to write leases and follow up much as my co-workers. It’s nice to hear what to do, to do my job better. Thanks

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