Why would you pick one of these cups overe the others?

This post is a follow up from a previous blog regarding “Making Contact With A Potential Customer.”
While speaking over the telephone or sitting at the office in front of a potential customer, remember that if you’re successful at getting this piece of business, most likely you’ve taken it away from somebody else. At best…maybe this shipper really needs a carrier at the time you call on them. However, this is rare.
During your meeting, you’ll want to discuss exactly what you can do for this particular customer. Ask about their shipping needs and discuss how you may be of service to them. Most importantly, you’ll want to be prepared ahead of time and have a well thought out strategy on how you’ll set yourself apart from the competition. The potential customer wants to know “why should they use you as a carrier vs. somebody else?”
Most people find it easy to just sell their services on “price.” However, there are many ways to differentiate your service from the competition. An example of differentiation can be found in the coffee industry. All you need to do is look at “Starbucks” and how they changed the coffee business.
Prior to Starbucks, coffee simply sold on price as there was very little differentiation among the major players in the industry. This business savvy company concentrated on the “quality” of its coffee and the “experience” around its product. Just think about the many available choices/selections when you enter a Starbucks coffee shop, the strong aroma, comfortable atmosphere and the quality of that delicious cup of coffee.
In the transportation industry, it’s easy to have duplication from one carrier to another. This leads to selling our services on price alone.
There are numerous ways to sell yourself on service. From a business stand point, you need to come up with your own unique ideas which make you as a carrier valuable to the customer. You need to feel it from the heart. You can’t convince a potential customer if you don’t believe in it yourself. I encourage you to dig way down deep and find your own original ideas to increase the value of your service.

Comment (1)

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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The common answer to the question on how will we differentiate ourselves is that we will be on time, freight will be safe, and I can run cheaper. I imagine that is the answer that everyone gives. You ask a difficult question and I will have to dig deeper to find an answer. One way that I know for us that we do even while leased to a carrier is dress for success, articulate in our speech, act accordingly, and take extra care strapping in their freight. Show up with a clean well maintained truck which instills confidence to the shipper as they know if we take care of our truck their freight will be safe inside our truck. I will be anxious to read what other driver come up with?

October 16, 2012 8:09:08 AM