On the Record: Growing Your Records-Management Business

Christine Spisto Comments
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Acquire New Customers

There are several effective methods of recruiting new accounts for records management, similar to those used to attract self-storage tenants. Mass mailers, cold calling, referrals and attending meetings are four general areas. Participating in local business meetings can be extremely effective (and the least expensive), when it comes to records management, so put it first on your to-do list.

Join organizations such as your local chamber of commerce, Lion’s Club, etc., and attend their gatherings. These venues are frequented by small-business owners (doctors, lawyers and bankers, to name a few) who would more than likely be interested in storing records and having a company manage them. To market to this special group of prospects, you must go where they network to develop relationships.

Quantify Your Value

Exemplify value to prospects and don’t generalize. Words like “prompt retrieval, delivery and premier customer service” mean nothing these days, having been over used and abused. Be specific, powerful and comparative. Illustrate. Project a visualized advantage.

When asked about the distinct advantages of your company in addition to storing and managing records, don’t limit your response to “less time, work, expense and hassle for you.” It’s better to offer more personalized information such as, “Rather than you or an important member of your organization having to spend valuable time driving over and rummaging through boxes or containers to find a particular file, we guarantee the location, retrieval and delivery of that data within five hours upon request.”

You might even consider generating a service checklist of what you provide and accompanying it with speed and accuracy rates. In a world where time is money, this indicates to clients that you not only supply these services, but perform them quickly and correctly.

Create a third column to be used for competitors’ information and have your prospects ask competing businesses to indicate their speed and accuracy rates. If your competitions’ response is simply that they can do no more than offer a lower rate, the picture will become clear to the consumer that you get what you pay for. Value is just not talk; it’s a quantifiable advantage.

Ask Customers What They Value

Once you have sold quantifiable value, increase it. Don’t try to guess what your individual customers want; ask what they value! One may wish that you offered a collection and delivery courier service, while you have been trying to sell him on something else. Encourage them to give you more answers, so you have a list of “hot buttons” that are important. Although you might not be able to provide them today, tomorrow you might. You can refer to that list and then make a call to announce a new feature or service they had originally desired.

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