Women In Trucking and TranStrategy Partners Announce New Training Program

In a world of uncertainty and divisiveness, building a solid professional foundation becomes more important than ever.

RIDGEFIELD, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–TranStrategy Partners, Inc. (TSP), in partnership with Women In Trucking Association (WIT), announces the launch of the Professional Development Certification (PDC) program. The PDC has been developed over the last year as a tool to advance the development of WIT association members. Thirty courses following Industry Knowledge, Leadership, and Career Development tracks, provide foundational learning, best practices and useful strategies to help members navigate their career pathways and strengthen their personal brand.

“A certification program is not only a way for members to gain knowledge about diversity issues in the trucking industry, it is also a way for them to help their company attract and retain more women in all roles,” said Ellen Voie, President and CEO, WIT.

Wade Witherspoon, Director of Education at TSP and chief architect of the certification program expressed his excitement about the launch, “With integral input from Ellen Voie, WIT Board members and from the entire WIT association membership, we have built a powerful tool to strengthen the development of members and to help elevate their opportunities in the future.” The program is designed to deliver both industry specific education as well as personal and professional development, which falls directly in line with the foundational values of WIT.

“The new WIT Professional Development Certification was created to help our members cultivate both their personal and professional skills. I know this program will be extremely beneficial to those who take advantage of it,” said Mary Aufdemberg, director, used truck acquisitions and operations, Daimler Trucks North America, and Chairwoman of WIT.

TSP and WIT will launch the new Professional Development Certification at the Accelerate! Conference & Expo next week – November 6-8 at the Sheraton Crowne Center in Kansas City.

TranStrategy Partners, Inc. coaches entrepreneurs to transform their organization into a vigorous and more valuable business. Our expert consultants collaborate and guide you and your organization through a holistic coaching approach that delivers accelerated growth, higher profits and re-energized staff. Guaranteed! Visit www.GoTranStrategy.com to learn more.

Women In Trucking Association, Inc. is a nonprofit association established to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the trucking industry. Membership is not limited to women, as 17 percent of its members are men who support the mission. Women In Trucking is supported by its members and the generosity of Gold Level Partners: Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, Daimler Trucks North America, BMO Transportation Finance, Great Dane, J.B. Hunt Transport, Ryder System, Inc., U.S. Xpress, and Walmart. Follow WIT on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. For more information, visit http://www.womenintrucking.org or call 888-464-9482.

Contacts:

TranStrategy Partners
Andrew Gulovsen, 618-302-7790
andrew@transtrategypartners.com

Three Elements in Relationship Selling

Three Elements in Relationship Selling

Relationship selling is all about establishing long-term connections with your customers in order to generate repeat business for your company. It also minimizes the need to constantly market your services to potential new customers.

Three basic elements are essential to building and maintaining relationships with your customers: intimacy, passion and commitment. If your business is going to succeed, these elements need to be integral parts of your business culture.

Intimacy in business? You are probably wondering, “What does that mean?” In your personal life, intimacy is all about getting to know someone at a deeper than usual level. It’s the same in business. Building intimacy involves getting to know all about a potential customer — its goals, who the business serves, the conditions within which it operates, and so on. It also involves developing a deep understanding of the needs of the shipper.

Building intimacy is not a passive process; it doesn’t just happen. That’s because most businesses are not going to call you up to say, “I want to tell you all about me and my needs.” Instead, you’ll have to ask lots of questions to find this out. When you do, you will not only get the information you need to determine if your business can help satisfy a shipper’s needs, but you’ll also demonstrate that you care about the shipper. In turn, this will make it more likely it will want to listen to what you say and that you’ll be able to distinguish yourself from your competitors in its eyes. So don’t be shy about asking shippers lots of questions when you are going after their business, and remember that you can ask the questions in a light-hearted way. In fact, if you are super serious, you may scare the shipper off.

Tip: Although building intimacy is something your salespeople should be doing, it’s also something that everyone in your company should do. They need to stay attuned to the needs of your customers and by doing whatever they can to meet those needs.

Your passion or enthusiasm will help demonstrate to your existing customers that you want to keep their business and to potential customers that you really want their business. It can make the difference between cementing your relationship with a customer and losing it to a competitor and between getting and not getting a new customer.

Commitment demonstrates that you will do what it takes to meet a customer’s needs and that you will do what you promise. For example, if you tell a customer that you will provide a quote in 5 minutes or that you will deliver a load within a day, you do. Your commitment to a customer will demonstrate that you are sincere and can be trusted – two qualities that will make your relationship with one another last.

Your Marketing Strategy Sucks (or How I stopped Fearing and Learned to Love my Brand)

Your Marketing Strategy Sucks (or How I stopped Fearing and Learned to Love my Brand)

Within the transportation industry, there are few folks who are defined as Marketers. If they do exist, the marketing program is often tucked into a much larger Sales department and exists to write copy or create shiny collateral for the team. However, as new technology, platforms and channels finally reach the transportation industry, the need for marketers and strategic marketing looms large. The communication of your unique position and selling proposition in such a crowded landscape can no longer be accomplished by the sales force alone. The depth and breadth of the market is too great to be reached through a static website or loadboard advertisement. The principles of marketing, as message driver and sales partner, must be deployed to maintain your company as a competitive force in the intermediary marketplace.

Your brand is not simply your logo, your mission statement and your color scheme, it is the expression of who you are and your service: to your customers, to your carriers, to your employees and to the community where you exist. Your brand is an aggregation of your past successes (and failures) in communication, operation, administration and organization. Your brand is the promise of solution driven service, relationship development, timely payables and competitive compensation.

Creating the brand is a process built on the truths and integrity that exist within your company. It is borne from the very essence of your mission, your vision and the leadership that you provide to your company. Your position in the marketplace (whether as price leader, as unique, differentiated service provider, or as a market-centric trusted advisor) plays a key role in your ability to compete. Properly communicating this value to your target customers is essential so they can see you and believe that you are a viable option to help them succeed.

As the profiles of shipper decision makers continue to change and morph, their needs and sensibilities change as well. The buying experience continues to shift to a more digital and social one. You must be able to communicate on these new platforms with valuable content and targeted messaging. You must be able to lead the buyers along the path so that your relationship/solution selling salesforce can take the baton and convert the prospects into customers, who are then amazed by the end to end service provided by your operations staff.

As you build your strategy for 2018, operations and sales are always a priority, but do not forget to focus resources on your brand, your message, and the communication methodologies designed to best serve your customers and your own organization.

Join us on October 26th for the BrokerXcel round table focus on Marketing Strategy. We will be addressing frameworks, best practices and tactics to improve your marketing program. Click here for the event specifics or contact TranStrategy Partners for more information.

Components of Strategy: An Exercise in Execution

Components of Strategy: An Exercise in Execution

Strategy is only successful if you have the process, the people and the execution to deliver the results that you plan to achieve. The process, its people and the execution all derive from the culture of your organization and are the engines that drive success.

Strategy exists as the overarching framework of what you want to achieve and how you expect to reach your goals. Its achievement is dependent on the context of Why, Who, When and How – the cultural aspects of your business.

Why?

This is the purpose behind (and in front of) your company and your strategy. It is the lens through which all vision is focused and all decisions are based. Whether you exist to provide the best customer service, or you want to make a lasting impact on your community or you are more financially driven, the purpose is the soul of your organization – its ethical and moral calculus.

Who?

The people who inhabit your company are expressions of the purpose and culture of the company. By their hiring, they have been given a mandate to fulfill the promise that is inherent in the mission and vision of the organization. They become the service and development machines of the company and need to be provided regular maintenance in alignment to the goals and calibrated with the purpose.

When?

Success is often measured by the time in which it is achieved. Set deadlines and manage scope to limit undue extensions and delays in execution.

How?

The processes, execution expectations and accountability serve as the blueprint and maintenance schedule to this project called Organizational Strategy. Clarity of expectations, proper training and metrics are necessary to successful achievement of the strategy. Keep them simple, visible and timely to review and to allow for adjustment and re-alignment.

Developing the Strategy:

In developing your strategy, you need the tools and framework to ensure the greatest probability of achievement. Any strategy, regardless of its scope and perceived possibility, has a certain probability of success. Improving that probability is the role of leadership and can be supported by a defined methodology within the planning process. Having a clear and accurate understanding of the current model will allow you to see what resources are available and how they can be deployed. Having, again, clarity of the achievement goal (vision, plan, etc.) will allow you to see what gaps exist between the current state and the desired state.

Your role as a leader is to properly fill those gaps to achieve the success. What resources are missing? What technological or operational needs are not being met? How does the message and brand need to be adjusted? Your strategy becomes the manner in which you fill these gaps – the accountability method to closing the gaps. What are the steps needed to get from point A to point B? It can be helpful to start at Point B to visualize what this truly looks like from a people, process and revenue perspective and work your way backwards. The steps and decisions will begin to materialize, becoming more corporeal, tightening focus and building belief in the possibility and the probability.

The Myth of the Perfect Employee

The Myth of the Perfect Employee

Perfection is an ideal. It is the goal that we aspire to attain. However, it is not truly attainable – only a construct – like, infinity. We must be clear in defining what this ideal should be and how it should express the behaviors, habits and attitudes that we desire in alignment to the company culture.

Defining the ‘perfect’ employee candidate, just like building a targeted customer persona, is a great way to see how multiple candidates stack up against each other and against the fit of the company culture. But we should not sacrifice the ‘really good’ or ‘excellent’ in the pursuit for the ‘perfect’.

Try to understand what success looks like in your company. Look beyond just financial performance to define success. How people interact, how they lead and how they influence others are key attributes to a successful employee. Who are some of the leaders you admire – in business and in life – and why? Who do you NOT admire – and why? These folks can be a barometer to measure the candidates you review.

Who you place in (or remove from) your organization are true measures of your ability to do what is best for your organization – your leadership.

Hiring and Firing are among the more stressful aspects of leadership within an organization. But the personalities, minds and collective energies become the power of your organization and fuel the success (or failure) of the business. Keep focused on the ideal and strive for the perfect, but use your wisdom to know when the good and great can be even better.