CAREER Smart

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Picture4-(1).pngHow can you as a trucking company or owner operator stand out from your competition?

The main answer to this question is “sales.” All of us at times need to “sell” in order to promote a service, ideas, ourselves or a new project. When selling your business services or products, it’s important to know your audience. Prior to making a presentation to a new customer, do some research on that particular company so that you can focus on what’s important to them. You want to establish a report, and having prior knowledge about the company allows you to create a customized presentation of how your services can best benefit them.

Be confident when meeting with a new customer. Always dress in a professional manner and keep a positive attitude.

Ask your potential customer questions to find out what their needs are in regards to shipping. Why is your service important to them and what are their expectations? What are they looking for in a carrier? Being a good sales person requires you to listen and concentrate on what’s being said. Take notes if necessary and remember that each customer is different therefore you may need to change your sales pitch for the audience.

When selling your services to a new customer, you may want to provide references from other companies who have used your service in the past. Most people are cautious about trying something new. You want to convince them to take a chance on you. As an example: Maybe you could offer a discount on the first several shipments for a short period of time. This will allow the customer to experience the value and benefit of utilizing your company.

Focus on how your services will benefit your potential customer. Concentrate on your strengths and what sets you apart from your competition. Price incentives can be an effective motivator.

After answering all of your potential customer’s questions, you’ll want to ask when you might be able to begin shipping for them. Next week, next month or whenever they feel the schedule permits. Address any concerns up front and you’re on your way to a successful business relationship.

Once you begin transporting for a new customer, always follow up and keep in touch frequently. Make a phone call or appointment to make sure they are happy with your services. Get their feedback and ask how things could improve. This gives your customer an opportunity to let you know if there are any issues that need to be addressed.

Being a proactive sales person in your business will go a long way toward keeping you ahead of the competition.

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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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