Selling your time
We don’t pay surgeons by the hour.
And if the person who cuts the lawn shows up with a very fast riding mower, we don’t insist on paying less because they didn’t have to work as hard.
Often, what we care about is the work done, not how long it took to do it.
And yet, some jobs, from law to programming, charge by the hour.
When you sell your time, you’re giving away your ability to be a thoughtful, productivity-improving professional.
When I read the daily blog by Seth Godin I think about the many odd loads we have hauled and the different pay we receive. Why is that? We provide a specialized service that many others cannot offer. As a straight truck, team-driven, lift gate, pallet jack, and the ability to solve problems; our services are desired. Consider the trucks that offer more than we are able and the rates they receive. When I compare our rate per mile to that of a tractor-trailer and a dry van hauling from a dock to a dock the pay is often radically different.
The difference in pay is usually the services we offer. When a customer books our type of truck they are expecting a service that we provide. Sometimes it is team drivers and at other times it is the liftgate with inside delivery. We deal with office workers at times that have never seen or noticed a truck dock. They know their local daily delivery person and they expect the same type of service, just set it over in that corner. They do not know or care that what they ordered is on a pallet and that we will need to unstack the pallet and cart their freight in a door, using an elevator, or at times, stairs. They want a result and we provide the service with a smile.
When we are offered a load we get the details of what the load consists of and the more extras that are needed the higher the offer. Many of us thrive on the challenges these loads provide and consider it a job well done when we drive away from a satisfied customer’s location.
The pitfalls of providing this service are the unknown. We usually do not deliver to the same customer twice and quite often the challenge is to find the customer in a large complex. There are building rules we must follow as they do not want freight delivered during certain times, they do not want pallets in the way of other business customers, pallets are not allowed inside the building, they do not want a truck seen in certain areas. These rules are frustrating as well as understandable. Usually, this is a high-end customer that provides an elite service and they expect an above standard delivery. That is the service we are willing to provide for a price.
We have other customers that are concerned about the security of their freight and they are willing to pay for additional security. We are able to provide what is called dual-driver security and we only park at certain locations for a specified amount of time. There are times when we have armed escorts that provide additional security. Loads that require additional security can be mentally taxing as we all move as a large group. Once again we are providing a service.
We are in the trucking business and the standard way to offer a load is by a rate per mile. The computer systems understand this rate as do the truck drivers. The savvy business owner knows that the high rate per mile will include a lot of extra services and often require a lot of patience. To some, it is worth it, to others the unknown is too much stress.
We sell results and that is why we never get bored with our trucking business.