Prior to the NAID 2017 Conference and Expo, NAID surveyed
members to learn what they consider the most common customer
misconceptions that reduce demand for their services.
The survey was conducted in order to show how the new
Information Disposition textbook could help correct those
misconceptions and help service providers better sell their
The Information Disposition Textbook:
NAID Core Mission
NAID has always operated from two guiding principles and both
are at the heart of the new textbook:
1. Creating an informed customer is the best way for
reputable service providers to promote secure information
2. Information destruction service providers should be
As widely reported, NAID’s ambitions for the book are high:
• It will be used in universities to educate future data
security and information professionals on a critical subject
largely ignored in their current curriculum.
• It will be used by current information managers, data
security professionals and risk managers to improve the
way they qualify and contract service providers.
• It will educate current and future Certified Secure
Destruction Specialists (CSDS) so they can better serve
their employers and customers.
But a book that overcomes customer misconceptions can also be
used to increase sales. There are a number of ways to do that.
1. During the RFP or contracting process: When a
prospective client is in the midst of an RFP or rebidding a
contract, let them know you can give them, lend them, or
direct them to a book that contains everything they need
to know about the regulations, contract elements, and
service provider requirements. If you know some particular
weak link in their approach, you can point them to the
section of the book that dispels that misconception. They
might tend to ignore you when you raise an issue, but it is
completely different when they see it in black and white
with the sources identified. Customers also appreciate a
vendor who is willing to partner with them vs. just sell to
2. To welcome a new customer: You place bins at a new
customer location, but you know there is a lot more
business there. The book stresses the importance of
assigning accountability, employee training, “destroy all”
programs, the need to be comprehensive, etc. All of these
topics are important to your customer’s compliance, but
they also allow you to be of more service to them.
3. Reward an existing customer: This may have occurred to
you while reading the previous point. If you have a long-standing relationship with an account but you know they
are not destroying all they should be (or are otherwise non-compliant), give them the book. You are doing them a favor.
Over time, as they look at it or when you seek to improve
what they are doing, you can point them to the book.
In sum, get the book in front of any customer bidding a shredding
job, especially if they are floating a contract or RFP.
NAID is already aggressively pursuing its ambitious plans for
introducing the book to universities and professional associations.
ARMA International has already placed the book in its online
bookstore, and NAID will be promoting the book to ARMA members
The rest of this article is meant to show readers some of the
language in the book that is aimed specifically at customer
misconceptions - misconceptions that put them at risk and stand in
the way of service providers better serving them.
Customer Misconception #1:
Vendor Qualifications Don’t Matter
When we asked NAID members to vote, the number one customer
misconception indicated was that “Vendor qualifications don’t
matter.” Of course, this is very disturbing since nothing could be
more wrong. In fact, making sure the service provider has the right
qualifications is a legal requirement. And, since the customer will
be held fully responsible for the actions of their service provider, it
is important from a practical perspective too.