Many people think that in order to be successful, they need to be the best. Success isn’t just measured by being better than your competition. It’s knowing your strengths, being confident and offering your customers something unique or special that will keep them coming back.

Your customers want the benefit of your service to outweigh their costs. If they are satisfied at the perceived value of your business, they will continue to use your services and may tell others about you. Creating customer value should be the main focus of your business. In regards to your service, the bottom line is… your customer wants to know what’s in it for them.

With the trucking industry being so competitive, it’s tempting to discount your rates to get business. This can lead to lost profits for you and also hurts the industry as a whole. If you price yourself too low in the marketplace, it could put you out of business altogether. Instead, be committed to develop a value based strategy in which to compete. In trucking, you might think a delivery is a delivery and it’s always the same. However, think of how your business is unique or how can you make your deliveries stand out from the next carrier? If your customer believes he/she is getting more benefits and added value, they will come back again and again.

A successful business will focus on the “needs” of the customer. As a professional business person, you want to be the eyes of your customer and see things the way they do. What hurdles, challenges or obstacles do they need to tackle? What remedies or solutions can you provide to make their job easier? Find ways to assist them in these areas and you’ve created added value for your business.

You also create an added advantage over your competition when you’re familiar with your customers business and their customers as well. Always remember that you are a representative of your customer when making a delivery to their customer. Your dress, speech and actions should be professional at all times. Being familiar with both of these customers enables you to recognize any potential business issues which may arise for either side. For example: while making a delivery for your customer, you notice they have begun to order product from another company other than your customer. You may ask around a bit and find out they have not been happy with your customers product/material over the past few shipments. The sales person never bothered to call your customer to work out the problem… they just called another manufacturer. You can take the information back to your customer immediately so they can follow up on the problem and get it resolved as quickly as possible before losing any further business. Funny thing is…this scenario actually happened to me years ago. Our customer was able to solve their issues and save a huge account worth lots of money to their business and from then on, they considered me a partner in this business relationship.

Once you resolve to go the extra mile and assist in reducing your customers cost, time and anxiety, they will not be so price sensitive to your fees and just may pay you more for your added value and service to them.

Comments (2)

Henry Albert

Henry Albert is the owner of Albert Transport, Inc., based in Statesville, NC. Before participating in the "Slice of Life" program, Albert drove a 2001 Freightliner Century Class S/Tâ„¢, and will use his Cascadia for general freight and a dry van trailer. Albert, who has been a trucker since 1983, was recognized by Overdrive as its 2007 Trucker of the Year.

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This is very true! In an industry where so many are talking about rates being undercut constantly, adding value to your service makes you a desired commodity. As a desired commodity, you become a premium service and are then more easily paid a premium rate. Great insight Henry on making sure a person's hauling stands apart from the rest!

July 26, 2013 19:10:35 PM

Very nice Henry! Great advise.

July 25, 2013 8:19:32 AM