Why do we always blame someone else when something goes wrong? “Johnny, why did you pull your sister’s hair?” “I didn’t; I was just sitting there when suddenly her head flew over and got caught in my fingers!”
One of my brothers is self-employed in the gourmet food business. Last week over dinner, he shared a frustration about a sales transaction he had. The story, though, has a great ending.
He ordered a refrigerator to replace the one in his lake cabin in Iowa. He picked it up himself and made the long trip, only to find after arriving and opening the box that it was the wrong model and size. My brother drove back and faced the salesperson, ready for a fight. After studying the situation and listening for a few minutes, the rep said, “Well it looks like the only thing we can do to make you happy is to make it right – so we’ll give you a new one, and we’ll deliver it to your cabin ourselves, at no cost.”
My brother didn’t know what to say. “Are you sure?” he asked, somewhat stunned. “That’s a few hundred miles away.” The sales rep quickly replied, “Well, let’s pull up our distribution centers on the computer and see what we can do.” A few seconds later and it was a done deal. They were going to make the trip as soon as possible.
The sales representative could have easily blamed it on the “idiots in the warehouse” for grabbing the wrong box. Or the manager could have come down on the “stupid sales force” for mislabeling contents. Instead of a blame game, the employee owned up to the mistake and won my brother’s admiration.
When it comes to sales techniques in the self-storage industry, there’s nothing so melodious in the ears of a customer than the sound of teamwork. It can be so easy sometimes to tell a caller that it’s management’s fault or corporate red tape, or anything else that might deflect criticism away from you. But when everyone in your office really has the customer in mind first and foremost, the customer can feel it.
The next time you are tempted to pass blame, stop and take a deep breath. Remember your team. Remember that you’re all fighting together to win that one customer. From the support staff and callers to the corner office, you’re one selling unit that can’t afford to waste time figuring out who’s at fault.
Ask my brother. I bet when he reaches for a cold one from his fridge this summer, he’ll remember how it got there … and he’ll crack a big smile as the beverage goes down.
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Have you seen this summer’s self storage forcast in Mini Storage Messenger ? Tron Jordheim projects that, “The last weekend of April was quite a bit busier than we anticipated. Already the beginning of May has been stronger than we thought as well. From what we’ve seen from demand, May is going to be gangbusters on a national level. I think we’re going to have a stronger season than we anticipated.” To read more on this subject check out the upcoming issue of Mini Storage Messenger
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