Selling Lessons From Extra Space

by Kenny Pratt

I wanted to find out how Extra Space sold their insurance product because I heard that they had very high conversion rates (anecdotally, something like 90% of their customers pay for insurance).  The video below documents my mystery shop and what I learned that can be applied to my business (and yours).

Below the video I also outline a few extra bonus observations…

Bonus Observations

  1. Get the customer’s name and phone number so that you can follow up with them.  Both of the locations I visited knew I was looking to rent the unit “not this weekend, but next”.  Neither of them have a way to contact me. What, do they think they are so awesome that I will just magically feel compelled to come back when I need a storage unit.  As if there aren’t a hojillion other self storage facilities within a few miles.   What a wasted opportunity.
  2. .
  3. Uniforms matter.   The Extra Space employee looked 10x more professional in his company issue polo shirt and company issue and logoed windbreaker.  I have to say, my employees don’t look quite as sharp, but I’ll be ordering new logowear for everyone next week.  That was how hard this observation slapped me upside the head.
  4. .
  5. If you are a store manager, please, please, please stand up to greet customers who come in the store.  There is no good connection made when the customer has to peer down at you over the giant barrier of a counter (especially the ones that are high enough to write on while the customer is standing).
  6. .
  7. Do the math for your customer.  Storage Direct offered me 1/2 of 3 months as a move in special on a unit priced at $119 a month.  Quick, divide 119 in half and multiply by 3 to get your total savings.  Uhhh, that’s way too much mental exertion for your casual shopper.  Make it easy by doing the math: “We are offering half off for three months.  That’s a total savings of $178.50.  Would you like to lock in your savings and reserve your storage space right now?”
    .

    As a side note, the more instantly comprehensible your offers are the better.   That’s why “First Month Rent $1” or “one free month” type offers work so well.  You don’t need to think to understand them.  It’s like.. BAM!, your customers just instantly get it.

Ok, so if you still haven’t invested the few minutes to watch the video above you should at least watch a couple of minutes so that you can get through my first observation and take-away that you can apply to your business.  I think it will really help you.

What have you learned from your competition lately?

  • Jim Uding

    No video bur text was all good ideas.

    jim

  • Lisa Kuszak

    We call our mystery shop (by phone) our competitors once a month. I am always impressed with the facilities who will take the time to give me ideas for how to pack a unit, what kinds of materials I may need (i.e. tarps, totes etc.) Most of the facilities act like I am imposing by calling them with questions, but there are a couple who seem willing to go out of their way to assist me. These are the facilities that have really impressed me.

  • John Brasfield

    Liked the video. Nice to have a face with a name. The notes after the video were enlightning and will be helpful.

  • http://www.storageneighbor.com Stephanie Smith

    Thanks for the tips Kenny. I think I will go and visit a few storage places when I get a chance and see what else I can learn. Have a Happy Thanksgiving =)

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