Best 5 Bullets in your Gun

Top 5 ways to best position your freight, logistics and transportation services:

1) Sell to the business owner:

If you are simply selling cost competitive freight, LTL, or other price-based transactional services, then by all means sell to the shipping manager. The fact is a good 3PL can offer so much more to a business that only the owner or chief executive will care about. You can provide technology solutions that enable for better-streamlined process and information flow throughout an organization. Focus on the soft costs and enhanced productivity that will allow for the owner to focus on their core competencies and realize greater savings. Sell business solutions that will otherwise be lost at the shipping manager level.

2) Sell to higher volume customers:

The old adage of “small and medium sized” business is not true for all markets. In fact, if you provide comprehensive transportation management services:  the more detailed and complex, the better. It’s true that you can still make a significant financial impact to a small business, but the higher the daily shipment volume and the more moving pieces, there is more for you to offer in the way of a solution. Create prosperity by simplifying the complex!

3) Sell to your strength:

If you’re strength is in LTL, Truckload, or even Transportation Management Services, then sell to your niche. There is no true advantage by being a “one stop shop” and offering a myriad of services in which you are weak in all. A logistics provider with a web-based technology as their platform will not benefit their customer by promoting services such as Ocean Freight that is not their strength. You can sometimes provide a greater benefit to your customer by truly acting as a business consultant and even referring them to someone who specializes in that type of service. This allows you to focus on your core competency and therefore provide superior service.

4) Sell business solutions, not price:

Customers who are only loyal to price will not be loyal to you. You always want your services to be as cost competitive as possible, but that is not what will ultimately separate you from your competitors. Engage your customer and understand their current business processes. Understand how their current freight shipping program affects their business and further determine how your logistics services will improve upon what they are currently doing. When you are able to communicate to a customer how your service offerings will help their business be more competitive, you are far more liable to earn a loyal customer.

5) Ask for comprehensive data:

These days customers are reluctant to provide invoices or data for fear sales reps are looking to undercut their current rates by a mere few percentage points. If this is you, then this Blog is not for you. If you are a sales rep who prefers to compete for business on a quote-by-quote basis, then this Blog is not for you. The fact is, as a transportation, logistics and technology provider, it is imperative that you collect as much data as possible in order to provide a comprehensive solution. You need a clear snapshot – a week or even a month’s worth of invoices – so that you can determine the true volume, analyze all of the different weights, lanes, and classes, and identify any commonly used accessorial charges that the customer incurs. Only then can you provide a true cost solution to the customer in which they will realize a greater savings.

Nick Klingensmith, Director of Sales Development
Follow me @theBGexperience