Motor Carrier What do you find to be the best approach?

Ruthless

Seats taken
Premium
What do you find to be the best approach to making contact with potential new clients? Both as far as getting a response and actually making a sale.

When I first went independent I had like a 90% sale rate on showing up in person no appointment with a handshake a clean outfit and a good idea of what I was doing. I was at that time approachi n rather small businesses (10-20 employees, ship 150-200 loads a year altogether).

I initially had really great success with phone sales (I couldn’t believe it!) but that petered our quickly.
I have used generic emails from companies I find on the internet to solicit, none of which have garnered a long term relationship, just a few meetings that went nowhere and a couple one of moves.


For myself and my operation, I feel that in person is the best, at the customers location. That gives me the opportunity to see the way they operate, and judge if it’s something I even want to be involved in. However, lots of places aren’t interested in suddenly pausing their day to give a salesman a walk thru and listen to a sales pitch.



I’m interested to hear what have you all found to be the best approach to meeting new customers, and what all you do to close a deal you feel is a good one.
I haven’t had my coffee yet, so I’ll say that there’s a few things I can offer that bring service to the front of the line for my customers; and therefore if they just want a low price I’m not likely to want them anyway. Seems easy to tell those people from people that appreciate it pretty quick, even if they don’t say it upfront or even when they do say all they want is price. ( I actually had one of my larger customers tell me that upfront when I first met them: turns out they always had such shitty service they didn’t know that anyone could do better and therefore weren’t initially concerned with poor performance from trucks.)
 

Humble pie

Well-Known Member
Premium
I’ve never gotten anywhere with phone calls or emails. A lot of my direct customers which is still a fairly small part of my revenue has come from word of mouth from another customer. I still used brokers for a large portion of my business, but there are about 5 that make up the bulk of that.
 

Shogun Warrior

I'm going through you like gas through a funnel
Premium
I’m sure you already do it, but handing out business cards and placing an emphasis on availability and personal customer service means a lot since you’re local. Especially to small customers who need the inventory moved for lack of space.

Local elections used to be won by door to door campaigning with large groups. Nowadays people just send mailers because most people act like they are too busy to take 5 mins out of their day.
 

Ruthless

Seats taken
Premium
I’m sure you already do it, but handing out business cards and placing an emphasis on availability and personal customer service means a lot since you’re local. Especially to small customers who need the inventory moved for lack of space.

Local elections used to be won by door to door campaigning with large groups. Nowadays people just send mailers because most people act like they are too busy to take 5 mins out of their day.



;)


4079893E-9FC3-4F41-ABCA-B2A983477CF3.jpeg
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter
I have learned every truck on the road is my competitor. Because of that every one of them is out to cut my throat rate wise.

Likewise every shipper watch the cheapest rate possible. So every truck out there on the road that gives him a $0.05 per mile discount he's automatically going to go with them.

as a single truck operation, I've learned most shippers want to send out one email for 60 loads for the week and be done with it. If I can't service all 60 of those loads, then he doesn't want anything to do with me.

even with four trucks running, it was very difficult to get any major projects. We've done one in two years with all four trucks on the job. and even then they want to just one leg from Minneapolis to Philadelphia and nothing more. They wanted the cheapest truck possible to haul the load to the next level. It wasn't about service, equipment or drivers. It was getting it as cheap as possible.

Going back to a single truck, I'm just focusing on the spot market and chasing the dollar.

I did very well in the past running on the load boards. Just going back to the basics.
 

Ruthless

Seats taken
Premium
I have learned every truck on the road is my competitor. Because of that every one of them is out to cut my throat rate wise.

Likewise every shipper watch the cheapest rate possible. So every truck out there on the road that gives him a $0.05 per mile discount he's automatically going to go with them.

as a single truck operation, I've learned most shippers want to send out one email for 60 loads for the week and be done with it. If I can't service all 60 of those loads, then he doesn't want anything to do with me.

even with four trucks running, it was very difficult to get any major projects. We've done one in two years with all four trucks on the job. and even then they want to just one leg from Minneapolis to Philadelphia and nothing more. They wanted the cheapest truck possible to haul the load to the next level. It wasn't about service, equipment or drivers. It was getting it as cheap as possible.

Going back to a single truck, I'm just focusing on the spot market and chasing the dollar.

I did very well in the past running on the load boards. Just going back to the basics.



Interesting
 
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