Document Solutions of Springfield Inc. was recently named as one of the top three most ethical small businesses in Springfield, Missouri. While they didn’t ask for accolades, owner Greg Tigges and his team welcomed them along with the positive impact it bestowed upon on their business.
A recent conversation with Greg proved a wealth of information about how and why they were nominated. I think the insights are worth sharing with Xerox channel partners who haven’t considered using award nominations like this as a positive marketing opportunity.
The BBB Torch Award
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Springfield, Missouri’s annual Torch Awards program is designed to highlight the top three most ethical companies across small, medium and large businesses. Local businesses submit their Torch Award nominations to BBB. They review and interview the nominations, and select 25 finalists. The finalists attend an awards dinner, where the top three winners receive a plaque.
Good ethics are fundamental to success
Greg has worked with Xerox since 1982, first as a Xerox direct sales rep and then as a business owner. In 1994, he and his wife Lisa took the bold step to relocate to Springfield from St. Louis where they knew no one and opened Document Solutions of Springfield Inc. Moving and starting a new business in a smaller community where networking and relationships are critical to success was no easy task. And good ethics wasn’t something they set out to capitalize on. It was simply a beneficial by-product of doing the right things for their customers.
As Greg tells it – “we were the new guys and we had to figure out a way to give a personal touch in order to win new business.” And then added, “you learn strong ethics when you grow up with Xerox. I still wear a suit and tie every day. They teach it to you and it becomes a part of everything you do.”
Timing is everything
Timing definitely helped as the nominations coincided with breaking news about unethical business practices a competitor was involved in. The entire Springfield community was on alert, making ethics a hot topic when the nominations were announced. But as Greg pointed out, if they hadn’t already been practicing good ethics or weren’t already members of the BBB and other local organizations, the opportunity to turn news into new business would not have happened.
BBB Nominations – the gift that keeps on giving
Leveraging the nomination to revamp their marketing initiatives and highlight their commitment to excellence helped win new business. In fact, Greg attributes a total of six new customers (and growing) to their standing as a top rated ethical business.
“Ethics in business is the Xerox norm so, getting an award from the BBB for it is something special,” says Greg. And when the honor was awarded to Document Solutions of Springfield Inc., he set out to use it in his marketing efforts. They put photos of Greg and Lisa on print advertising, brochures and the website and then centered their marketing message on community values like being family owned and providing a personal touch.
Awards are free publicity
Greg is a supporter of community networking and encourages other Xerox channel partners to get involved with the BBB and other programs meant to differentiate local businesses in the eyes of consumers. Put their emblems on your website and print materials to signify your good standing and participate in their programs to help drive more business.
Since being recognized by the BBB, the Springfield Chamber of Commerce also highlighted Document Solutions of Springfield Inc., in a recent Member Spotlight. Greg wants other Xerox channel partners to be aware of the opportunities awards bring. “Everyone has different marketing,” he says, “You can’t always compete on price so it’s important to stand on the difference Xerox products and ethics bring to the sale and winning awards in these areas lets the public speak for you in a way that advertising can’t.”
My observations from the outside looking in
In my role at Xerox as the Agent Business Manager, I’ve seen the positive impact this nomination has had on Greg and Lisa’s business. I encourage all Xerox channel partners, to take heed of Greg’s advice and look for ways to strengthen local community ties by joining local business networks and communities such as the Better Business Bureau.
Whilst Greg and his team never set out to get an ethical award nomination, now that they have, it has made a big difference. I congratulate Greg and the Document Solutions of Springfield team for the nomination and for how they have used it to win new business.
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