The old telephone pictured above was used in the early days of Albert Transport, Inc. to make many sales calls for potential customers.
This post will follow up from a previous blog regarding “Finding Your Own Customers.”
If you’re in the trucking business, it will always be more profitable for you to find and work directly with your own customers. The alternative is to call a “broker” who will take a portion of money from you for providing you with a shipment. Therefore, you will want to work at developing your own customer base.
Once you have a good idea which businesses will meet the needs of your operation, it’s time to make contact with them. You can either call them by phone or make a visit in person. If the potential business is nearby, it’s always best to get an appointment and meet your contact person face to face. This is not always possible as you may work with companies far away from your place of business.
Prior to calling or setting up an appointment, you will want to do a bit of research on the company. You should know important information about the business. Such as, how small or large, number of employees, type of freight they ship, credit rating and what products they manufacture. This information comes in handy when speaking with your potential customer. Most people will be impressed that you took the time to learn something about their business and shows your interest in the company.
When calling by phone, you want to speak slowly, clearly and always remain professional. You want to ask for the person who makes the decision on the selection of “carriers” for the company. Most likely you will get someone in the Shipping Department. At this point, you will introduce yourself and your company. Next, explain the reason for the call and your business ideas as to how you may be of service to this potential customer. If you’re planning on setting up an appointment, you will want to ask when it would be convenient for you to stop by and meet with them in person to discuss business opportunities. If meeting in person, always dress professionally. Remember: If in doubt, it’s always best to be overdressed than underdressed.
Don’t get discouraged if you make many calls with no potential for business. Any sales person will tell you it takes lots of calls before getting one piece of business. You won’t win them all. The pursuit of securing your own customers will require time and patience.
You will want to get a contact name and call back periodically as things change over time. There may not be a need for your services today; however things may change in six months. If you really want a particular piece of business, you may need to stay consistent in perusing them. You can follow up with them every few months or so.
I wish you the best of luck in the quest to “Find Your Own Customers.”