Many in your market may know to come to you for their rental needs, but how many people have yet to realize that they actually have rental needs? Instead of just advertising the company all the time, you should promote the concept of renting to go along with your message.
Your prospects may be hearing or seeing your usual "for all of your rental needs contact us" type ads. But many people don't sense that they have any rental needs. They just have projects to do or a special event coming up, and some don't know what they need. It might be surprising to you and to your staff but many people don't even consider the concept of renting.
Let's use just one category of equipment to illustrate some important points. How many pictures have you seen showing people using a couple of rickety ladders and far too thin lumber between the ladders as make-shift aerial work platforms? In one photo you can see the exterior sign on the building they are working on is for a safety supply shop. Certainly, the people using this unsafe system don't know how inexpensive it is to rent scaffolding. And, many people never even consider the need for rental lifts or any other work platform that you have available to rent.
Of course, some people don't rent because they did know enough to contact a rental business but were unwilling to pay the rent - so they fashion something and do it the unsafe, back-breaking and time-consuming way. Just imagine how many accidents could be avoided every year if only people rented the right equipment for their job.
Since all of you have been around your rental equipment for many years, and you are well-versed in the capabilities of your equipment, you may have a tough time understanding how anyone could not recognize a need to use your rental equipment for their project. But many people just don't know to even ask. So, it's important to put together a plan of the best ways for your rental company to educate your customers on the rental concept.
A few of my customers use a radio talk show format in their communities to discuss do- it-yourself projects and, of course, how renting the correct equipment can be a wise choice for the listeners. Planned and implemented correctly and in the right community, this can be an effective use of resources - but there are plenty of other ways to get the message across.
Another example: having project training "classes" for people in the community. Even though this is one of those ideas that almost every rental business has considered at one time or another, it can also be wise investment for some rental companies if done correctly for the company's specific inventory, market, personnel, location, etc.
With the proliferation of cheap (not just inexpensive) power tools and other equipment being sold to contractors and individuals alike, it is more important than ever to hammer home the many benefits of renting versus buying. Be certain that your employees are well trained in the benefits of renting so they can help you spread the word. Don't assume that employees know all of the benefits of the "rental option" or other basics that you know.
Also, be sure that your employees know how to handle "price objections" and how to "close the deal" when prospects do call to find out the rental rates for equipment. When your advertising and promotion efforts pay off - and more prospective customers finally sense a need and contact your company - you want to capitalize on it.