My career in the trucking industry did not start out in a conventional manner. The first thirteen years of my career were spent working for two different private carriers. A private carrier is somewhat different than the traditional trucking firm. A private carrier is owned by a business that transports their own goods.
The start of my career began in the food service industry, where I delivered chicken and other food items to restaurants, adult care facilities, schools, small grocery outlets, and prisons. There was a valuable practice instilled in me by my employer, which was, we were the most essential salespeople the company had. The reason they taught this value was due to the fact that the drivers saw the customers more than any of the company’s sales force.
One of the things we also did as drivers was to bring along samples of new products to introduce to the customer, which was a more expedient manner than the sales force could do alone. In the end, our actions while making deliveries could make or break the loyalty of the company’s customers.
I took these values from my first place of employment to my next job where we delivered materials for waterworks, fire sprinkler systems, fire hydrants, and anything to do with plumbing in general. While working with my branch manager one day over a morning coffee, I shared how we used the drivers at my previous employer as the sales force. After much discussion, we employed these same techniques to our branch’s daily operation. Our yearly sales, as well as our ranking amongst the other locations across the country, quickly rose. In fact, this technique worked so well, our branch reached the number one spot in sales, which was an honor always held by the home location.
When I started my own trucking business, I employed many of these same techniques. I always wore uniforms that had my name as well as my company’s logo, and conducted myself in a manner to represent the shipper in the best possible light. I truly consider myself an extension of the shippers I serve. I always saw it was in my best interest to identify any problems with my customer's clients and reported back any issues to my shipper’s sales department.
By implementing the techniques learned from my tenure in the private carrier world, I was able to develop long-lasting and profitable relationships with my own customer portfolio.