Improve Your Self Storage Merchandise Sales With Two Simple Metrics

by Kenny Pratt

Here are two quick ways to assess how well you are selling merchandise and to track your performance for faster improvement.

  1. Calculate your disc lock penetration.

    Most property managers over-estimate how well and how often they sell disc locks.  This is a simple way to open your eyes to how well you are really doing.  Next time your store manager is out in the property, have them count the number of non-disc locks on occupied units.  Are you satisfied with that penetration?  If not, tracking this number over time will help you improve.

  2. .
  3. Calculate your merchandise sales per move in.

    This metric will give you a baseline for how well you are selling merchandise, and will also tell you which managers are best at selling merchandise.  Knowing who is best allows you to discover best practices and share them through your organization.  Help your managers develop a sales process for merchandise and see if they are becoming more effective by tracking this metric over time.

One  side note: I recommend box sales per move in as the metric to watch rather than gross sales because it helps you compare the performance your property to itself over time regardless of seasonality.  It is also better at helping you compare sales effectiveness among properties in your portfolio regardless of differences in activity levels from store to store.

One caveat: I have found it to be helpful to differentiate between stores that have a truck rental business and those that do not. Generally, a well trained manager should be able to sell $20+ of merchandise per move-in at a no-truck location, and $35+ of merchandise per move-in at a location with UHaul/Budget etc.

Regular feedback is key to improving.  These metrics work well for a scoreboard because they are easy for property managers to calculate and track on their own, without help from anyone else.   Whether you are a property manager or a supervisor, these two metrics will help you track and improve your self storage merchandise sales performance over time.

That’s my take. What metrics do you recommend?

  • John Lamb

    Great post Kenny. A follow up post would be really appreciated in telling us how to improve sales, is it just a case of “do you want boxes with that?” or do we target them with leaflets, offers? What has worked best in your opinion?

  • Kenny Pratt

    Thanks John. I think you will do better at selling if you have a repeatable process for selling boxes much like you should for selling the storage spaces themselves. I chose the word process, not script, for a reason. I’ll give you my perspective in a future post. On one hand, I’m sorry that I left you with unanswered questions, on the other I’m glad I left you wanting more :).

  • Kenny Pratt

    Before I get around to writing another how-to post on selling merchandise…. This article from Inside Self Storage outlines some of the tactics I’m currently using and will probably get you going in the right direction.

    Cheers, Kenny

Previous post:

Next post: