Don’t Let Potential Renters Turn Up Their Noses at Your Free Locks and Rental Trucks

by Kenny Pratt

Free TrucksYou probably have things that you sometimes (or always) offer for free to people who are considering renting a self storage unit from you.

The problem is that when you give stuff away for free, people value it less. It carries less impact. It’s taken for granted.

So, when you offer the free lock don’t give it the short shrift. You can do better than the plain vanilla, “We offer a free lock with every new rental.” Don’t even stop with the slightly better , “We offer a free $14.00 disc lock with every new rental.”

Instead make it sound appealing and valuable. Describe the benefits in juicy detail. Something like, “As added security, we’ll give you a new, high security disc lock (descriptive). The kind that is specifically made for self storage (makes it sound exclusive and special). It is made of hardened steel and takes several minutes and loud power tools to remove, not just a pair of bolt cutters (paints a picture). Since they are a specialty item, you can’t get them at Home Depot and they are significantly more expensive than a typical padlock (Again, making it sound special). Since we care about your security, we’ll give you one to keep as part of your rental” (connecting the special lock with your genuine concern for them, thereby increasing the personal connection).

The same idea applies to a free rental truck. It’s not, “We offer the free use of our rental truck when you rent a 10×10 or larger.” Sell it. Go for something like, “You mentioned that you plan on renting a moving truck. If you were to get one from U-haul it would run you about $35 for the day, plus $1.05 per mile. That will likely put you out $50 to $60. You can save all that money when you store here because we’ll let you use our truck for free. Its a 16 foot moving truck with a hydraulic lift gate that really makes loading bulky items like furniture or appliances a breeze. The truck lifts it right in for you. You also get the added convenience of just leaving the truck here after you are done moving your items into storage. No need to make another trip to the truck rental yard for the truck return. Just make your life easier by checking it in here.”

If you want people to take you up on your offer, make it sound enticing and valuble. It’s just that simple.

Take my email newsletter for example. It’s free, but I want people to take me up on my offer. I want you to subscribe because I know you are busy and I’m not Google, so you are unlikely to find your way back to my self storage sales training website on a regular basis. So I sell it (even though it is free). I give you reasons to sign up. I help you see the value you will be getting by giving me permission to send you email messages. I make signing up easy.

If you still don’t believe the words you use make a difference in how people perceive your offering, check out how professional menu designers influence our food choices by the descriptions they put on the menu choices.

Food marketers of all kinds have learned that tweaking copy with good adjectives makes food sound more appealing. Susan Franck, vice president of marketing for family dining chain Huddle House, suggests in Kershaw’s article that one way to boost sales is to add copy and “romance the description with smokehouse bacon, country ham or farm fresh eggs.” In addition, name brands can help sell menu items, explaining why at some restaurants “barbecued ribs” have been relabeled as “Jack Daniels barbecued ribs.”

For the full post on menu design you can check out the NeuroMarketing Blog.

I’m practicing what I preach, and you should do the same.

Photo Credit: M500

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