Three Critical Things I Realized My First 7 Days Being Trained as a Self Storage Manager. by Josh Parker
1. Don't take off your coat before your morning site walk otherwise you will not have enough time to do all the required daily tasks and get to the important stuff like marketing. If you take your coat off or even sit down at the computer, you will get sidetracked and your opening routine will go out the window. Before you know it, it will be lunchtime and you still will not have walked the property, put out your flags and signs, or maybe even turned on your “Open” sign in the window. It happened to me because I took off my coat, sat down at the computer, and read the emails. An hour later, I had read all the emails, but the Open sign wasn’t on, and no signs by the road, and my whole day was out of whack. The open and close procedures are set up for efficiency, so you have enough time to do the many things required in a day and have time left over for marketing.
2. You will miss many rentals if you do not always ask for the rental at least 2 times, especially on the phone. This one I learned while I was learning the scripts, I was also collecting information on other local storage facilities to compare rates. I was shocked at how many other facilities did not even ask me to rent over the phone. I noticed right away that when I asked customers to rent over the phone, some did say yes, sometimes only after I asked a second time and reminded them of our guarantee. If I hadn’t asked that second time I would have missed out for sure. Let our competitors miss out, not us! 3. The main reason I was not ready to go on the first day is that I did not fully learn the management program. It was mostly my fault, but my trainer also let me off the hook. I thought I was ready as we did a lot of piecemeal training on the program, but in the end, I did not do nearly enough full practice rentals. In addition to the segmental rental practices, I suggest 5 or more full practice rentals every day for ten days in a row. You will gain confidence so when a customer comes through the door, you know exactly what to do without hesitation or fumbling around clicking on the wrong buttons, or worse- having to call them after they’ve left because you forgot something- that is exactly what happened to me, and boy was I embarrassed. Just as I did not fully learn the management program, I did not fully memorize the script. Now I better understand the importance of memorizing the script to close more sales. I found the best way to learn the walk-in script and phone script is doing roll playing with the scripts 5 times or more first thing every morning until the scripts are learned. Being new I still read the scripts every morning as a refresher. We want our customers to rent with confidence- that can’t happen if we are not confident on our first day flying solo.
Three Things I Am Going to Do Differently For The Next New Facility Training.
By Garrett Byrd
1 I am not going to start training until the systems are in place and some basic self-training is completed. Too often we spend over half the time doing many things the owner and manager were capable of doing on their own. For example, All manuals printed, and put in a binder. All manuals must be read a couple of times before training. The various online training course shall be completed. All management program forms and email templates should printed/bound and read by the manager for accuracy and to know the forms available. Owners and managers will have to sign off on completed items so we all know we are building a strong foundation for success.
2 I am going to insist the owner takes part in EVERY aspect of the manager training. The second worst owner’s nightmare is when a manager quits, and the owner is not knowledgeable enough to train a new manager, and/or the office is not organized. The first owner’s nightmare is if they do not know enough to know the manager is not doing a good job. In fact, moving forward it will be clear that new facility training will be for the owner and we will recommend the manager joins the training. We are running a multi-million dollar asset you want to have your fingers on the pulse of every beat of your facility. Our system is a very manger-driven system but owners need to be experts too. 3 I am going to expect and require the owners and managers to have practiced all the scripts word for word until they have them memorized. This includes the box script, insurance script, administration fee script, lock script, phone rental script, and the onsite rental script. If this is done, I guarantee there will tons more rentals in the first 60 days not only because we know our scripts but also because of the marketing and sales training completed that we often do not get to. Scripts are designed to ask for the sale and increase your revenue, if you’re winging it you’re leaving sales and income on the table. A great quote by Brian Tracy to put things in perspective is “casually causes casualties.” Be intentional about being a self-storage expert. Following the scripts will elevate managers/owner's delivery and presentation to where the customer will greatly appreciate your expertise and your facility’s revenue will climb exponentially.
Three Top Things I learned From Training Managers For 15 years. By Marc Goodin
1 The first thing I learned is that training is not done in a week or month or even 2 years. It is an ongoing process. After 15 years I am pretty good at running a facility, but I am still learning. Often most managers are self-training after the first month and this means it will take them several years to become an expert. In other words, if managers have ongoing training from experts in the trenches, they will become experts much sooner. Training can take many forms. Owners and managers can read the self-storage trade magazines monthly and then decide together which items would be beneficial if they were implemented. There are literally tons of free online self-storage training seminars. It should be mandatory that every manager sign up for one or two a month. Even rereading your facility manuals every six months to make sure they are up to date and you are following the systems is important. There are big things like learning the scripts and management program and basic marketing and then there are hundreds of little things that make a big difference when you execute on all 12 cylinders. And that is why weekly Josh will be sending single tips or reminders. I am sure you are doing half of them, but the other half will be aha moments. For instance, how many of you put out a couple of dozen small flags along your frontage recently for Veterans Day. I am willing to guess much less than half. How many of you know there is an icon on Sitelink that allows you to jump out from the middle of a rental to take another customer's payment and then go back to the rental where you left off? Hopefully over half but certainly not everyone. Let Josh know when his weekly tip was already being done or a new idea you will be using.
2 We are training our managers to be average. The reason for this is twofold. One we did not discuss what we expect from a manager prior to hiring, and two, it takes a lot of hard work to become a manager both on the manager's and owner’s part. One suggestion is not trying to teach too many things at once. It is better to train one or two things at a time and continue to teach and practice them until the manager is an expert at them. I can secrete shop most facilities or listen to their phone calls and they will not know the scripts! This is costing a facility a couple or more rentals every month! Better to just train managers on the various scripts all day and even multiple days until memorized, otherwise managers never memorize them. The same goes for learning the management program. 3 Giving managers discretionary permission to give rental discounts (or waive the administration fee or waive insurance without proof of insurance) as needed to make a rental will reduce your profits. I did this with multiple managers over the years and it never once paid off. It is easier for managers to know the rent is the rent, be proud of your facility, and ask for the rental over and over. When there are no discounts managers quickly learn our features and benefits of our facility. Memorize the answers to the 8 common concerns and you will rent more units, all at full price. Managers, next time someone does not rent because of price, answer these 2 questions: What did they say that made you think the price is too high; and what did you say to overcome this concern? Did you ask for the rental again after you overcame the objection? And just as important how many times did you call them by name?