Why SkilCheck’s Mystery Shopping Works So Well For Storage Facilities!

female self storage manager training an male employee

The Importance of Follow-Up Sales Training

The monthly evaluation of self-storage managers’ sales skills was recommended to our company, National Self Storage, by an employee training expert, Donald Michalak.  He was hired as an outside consultant to evaluate our 10-day training program and offered several ways to improve our training effectiveness.  The major issue Michalak focused on was the lack of follow-up training on telephone sales performance by supervisors.

Since the employees’ sales skills on the phone and in person were deemed the employees’ most important skills needed for the success of the storage property, we only trained them once.  We did not have continuing performance evaluations or training sessions.   Dr. Michalak recommended that we implement a monthly program to give feedback on their sales presentation and to tie their sales scores into the equation for their monthly bonus. 

High Mystery Shopping Scores Lead to Revenue Growth

We noticed that the managers who consistently had the best mystery shopping scores were also at the stores with the best revenue improvement.  Internally, when speaking with the managers, we changed the approach from discussing the occupancy to improving the income.  This was a huge challenge to change the focus of managers getting to an occupancy of 95% or higher.  Even the area managers had an important role in assisting the employees in managing the storage asset focusing on income only.  

Our conclusion was to continue the mystery shopping and tie the shopping results into the employee’s bonus plan.  The better they performed on the phone monthly shop results, the larger their potential bonus. Managers who performed poorly received a smaller bonus (potentially none if the score was excessively low)  based on their mystery shopping sales score.  

Occupancy vs Income

It surprised me that even today, many self-storage managers think that a 95% or higher physical occupancy is how they know they are doing an awesome job.  Yet, when I review their reports, most are bringing in money as if the property was only 70% or lower in income. This is a real problem!  Managers need to understand that discounting rent on a monthly basis is detrimental to a storage property income and ultimate investment success.

That is why it is important to provide training feedback to constantly improve and maintain a high level of sales and service skills to increase the profitability of your storage property.  The better your managers are at selling higher rental rates, the better your store’s performance.  

Sharpening Sales Skills and Performance is Our Speciality!

When managers can listen and learn from a SkilCheck sales evaluation experience, it gives an outside expert’s feedback on how their employees are selling and how they can improve their sales techniques with embedded sales training with every evaluation. 

Improving an employee’s job performance through an effective training program that includes independent constructive feedback that has no prejudice toward any of your employees is so important.  Sharpening workers’ sales skills and performance is the SkilCheck goal!