Read the top pet peeves and tips from the shippers’ panel discussion at TMSA’s conference
The Transportation Marketing & Sales Association (TMSA) recently held their annual conference covering a variety of key topics for logistics professionals. One of the leading sessions was a panel of transportation and supply chain decision-makers discussing Shipper Perspectives: “Aligning Your Value with the Needs of Your Customer.” This session was packed full of helpful insights for those of us trying to position our services to this audience and their peers.
SHIPPERS SESSION HIGHLIGHTS:
Top Pet Peeves
- Not doing your research ahead of time.
Make sure you know the specifics of our network and be clear on how you would be able to better our supply chain. This way you will be able to speak to topics such as speed of deployment or sustainable solutions if these are a priority for the shipper.
- Old school sales pitches.
Before you dive into your 20-minute sales pitch, share key data about your company. What are your capacity limitations, safety standards, and analytics? A real-world case study is the best way to show how you have grown with your current customers. Show us what the problems were, how you solved their challenges, and include enough detail for it to be meaningful. Many shippers will not even look at your information if a detailed case study isn’t included.
- Emails without substance.
If you are going to send an email, make sure it includes the information listed above about what should be included in a sales pitch. A current customer list of references is also appreciated so we can verify your services and ask about your culture
- Being notified of a problem last minute.
If there is an issue, notify us right away so we have time to consider our options. Do not wait until the last minute because you thought you would be able to fix it before we know about the problem. Honest communication is key to being a good transportation partner.
- Be transparent. Think long term.
If you want us to be transparent with information, we expect the same from you. Reliability is important but so is collaboration and creative problem solving. Give us data visibility and specifics on how you can meet our unique needs. We are looking for someone with a long-term strategy and need to verify our partners are profitable and stable.
- Be easy to work with.
Being easy to work with means being available and reliable. If you can take care of our curveballs, are honest, and proactively working for us, you are on your way to becoming a preferred partner.
- Be an information partner.
A high-level overview of trends, manufacturing news, logistics technologies, etc. can be a helpful way to position yourself. Include an update on how the shipper can prepare for any changes coming and how it could impact their upcoming budget.
Hopefully our recap gave you some ideas on how to improve your communications to potential and current customers. Reimagining your communication strategy and how you position yourself could give your sales and marketing teams a higher success rate with their outreach. So, pack up those old tactics and let us know how your new approach performs.
TranStrategy Partners is the premier partner for freight brokerage firms looking to maximize their business and accelerate their performance.
Erika DeBlasi is TranStrategy’s Marketing Coach and has worked as a marketing executive in freight brokerage and financial services industries. She drives the marketing, branding, advertising and communication activities for a variety of companies in addition to providing a broad spectrum of marketing and communication training. We are the marketing partner for logistics companies who need a dependable and consistent way to increase market share and enhance customer experience.