Transportation and Logistics – Helpful Hints For Customers to Get the Most From Their Sales Reps

March 7th, 2021 by dayat No comments »

My goal is for this article to serve a dual purpose: 1) Bridge the gap between customer-sales representative communications in the workplace. 2) Help Customers get the most out of their relationship with their Sales person.

We all know how many books are written nowadays on Sales success. There are so many, the titles start to blur. “How to Add Value to Your Customer’s Day”, “Sales 101″ and my all time favorite “The Richest Man In Babylon.” Our society is geared towards capitalism, and since there are so many books that can help a salesperson to become better at their trade and increase their income, then all one has to do is head to the local bookstore and purchase then apply- if only it was that easy. It’s a fact that if a salesperson wants to take the initiative and invest in their success, there are a myriad of resources available to them. But I decided to take a totally different approach to writing this article for a few different reasons.

We as salespeople are trained that “the customer’s are always right”, and to be “subservient” to our customer’s needs. Phrases such as, “What can I do to earn your business?” “Here’s my cell phone, home phone, and even my wife’s phone if you need to get a hold of me.” I make light of this but Salespeople, you know it’s true. We tend to overdo it when it comes to competing to capture business with the pleasantries and the “butt-kissing.”

During this past Christmas I had received Xmas cards from a few of my clients. They were nothing fancy, but you could feel how heart felt they were, and the thought behind them was apparent. I thought to myself, I would do anything for these customers because they truly appreciate the work that I put in. I know that it’s our job to provide the ultimate service to our customers, and to be proactive, rather than reactive to their needs, but for a customer to acknowledge our effort means a lot. What I have found, from over 20 years of experience in the Transportation industry, is that customer’s who show their appreciation and are willing to work with their Account Exec’s tend to have a better business relationship with the vendor. My hope is that this article would be picked up by customers, the people that we sell to, and have this information applied to the way they do business. I wouldn’t want to bet on this happening anytime soon, because for the most part, customers are set in their ways. They have been spoiled by us, the sales reps, because for every 1 customer that accepts this information, there will be 100′s who laugh at it. I have personally been in situations where in a Carrier had the opportunity to “work with” a customer on resolving an issue, but decided not to- based solely on the fact that they didn’t like the customers attitude. So now the typical reaction to this from a customer’s point of view is “So what, I’ll just go to another vendor.” This may be true, but after a while the number of quality companies starts dwindling, and the customer is at a stalemate. Below I have listed 7 helpful hints customers can use to try to build a better rapport with their sales rep:

Testimonials- Sales Reps can use this for their business building. Ask your sales rep to prepare one for you in advance so that you don’t have to spend time thinking of what to say.

Referrals- Just like testimonials, this could be very beneficial to the sales rep, and help them build their book of business. I only advocate giving referrals to the sales rep if, and only if, they have earned it.

Pay Your Bills- This is very obvious. Vendors love it when customers pay their bills on time, and this is a sure way to stay in a positive light. Customers who are paying their bills within terms are not only rare these days, but LOVED by the vendors. Customers who pay late, or not at all tend not to get the “favors” that they might need one day.

Honesty- I realize this may sound a little insulting at first glance, but I think one of the biggest things that can be established between a vendor-client relationships is honesty. For the sales rep, if you can be straight forward with the client, without having a hidden agenda, I believe this action will be rewarded after the relationship has developed and matured. For the customer, if you think the Carrier can be doing much better let them know, but more specifically be detailed in your criticism. Any good Sales Representative will be happy to receive positive performance based criticism.

Don’t Always Ask For Favors- Customers tend to wear out their favors from their Carriers before the relationship really begins. Customers, keep those favors in your back pockets until you really need them. Carriers do make mental notes of these favors, believe me, and when you most need it they will stop. I’ve seen this to many times in my career, and usually this ends in a bad break up.

Integrity- Just like for honesty, a customer should demand this from his salesperson, but in return they should also reciprocate this as well. This characteristic is just a good life lesson, whether we are talking business, family, friends; it just makes good plain sense, to be a stand-up person.

Consistent Behavior- I know that business and life can be rough, and everybody has their tipping points, but I’ve seen so many times wherein a customer will lash out at their salesperson because of them(customer) having a bad day. It’s very important to avoid bad language, and to not take out your day on your representative. Find other ways to vent out your frustrations such as, the gym, yoga, reading, but remain a bigger person and a true professional, and don’t succumb to life’s pressures, especially towards your Sales Representative.

Earl White is a National Account Manager, with One Stop Logistics a Third Party Logistics company based out of Watsonville, Ca. He has been in Sales for over 15 years and works with many sales reps to help them gain better footing when it comes to the elusive practice of working with clients. He enjoys being able to pass on many of the skills he has learned from Top Salesman in the Industry.

Transportation and Logistics – A Better Understanding of the Freight Claims Process

February 7th, 2021 by dayat No comments »

I remember when I first started sales, and in particularly, when I received my first bonus check. I mean to tell you that I was in hog heaven. I was receiving bonus checks on a monthly basis based on my customers past shipments- there’s nothing like residual income. I was walking on the clouds for quite awhile. Then one day it happened, I can still remember where I was when I got the news, my first customer complaint due to damages. I mean he really laid into me, yelling words that I had never thought somebody would say to a stranger- we had only spoken 2 times on the phone. He went on to say that he wanted to send me the pictures of the damage and to find out the process so that he could file his claim. The product was damaged beyond recognition. I was completely and totally in shock about the whole experience. I had to schedule a time to chat with my manager to try to understand what had just happened. We were able to take care of the customer’s claim and he continued shipping with us to my surprise. My manager’s words still rang clear to this very day- “Get use to it, it happens a lot in this business!”

Fast forward 15 years and to be honest I don’t think “damages” are ever something that you get used to, but definitely is a part of the FREIGHT business. Most customers would rather take a trip to the dentist rather than having to file a damage claim. I mean look at the consequences of damage claims.

1) The Consignee (person receiving goods) has to accept product that they were hoping to sell for a profit, or use to gain a profit, now have to sign it off as defective. That’s like a kid at Xmas cheerfully unwrapping their present only to discover that pieces of it had been damaged.

2) The Shipper now has to resend the product to their customer before the customer decides to go elsewhere to buy a new product.

3) The shipper loses inventory, and if they are building to order they now have to EXPEDITE materials from their manufacturers, costing them much more money.

4) In the meantime, the Consignee has to hold onto the damaged freight until the damage claim is filed. So everyday (up to 30-45 days) they go in their warehouse they are looking at the damage piece that reminds them of loss profit and frustrations of receiving damage goods. Talk about “damage” control- no pun intended. No one is happy with claims!

This article is geared towards providing some basic information for shippers who might have experienced damage and would like general guidelines to help them better understand what’s going on.


All Carriers have a limit of liability. Limit of liability is the Carriers cap as to what they will pay per pound for a loss or damage. Most carriers’ limit of liability is based upon the class of the freight. Example; class 50 at $2.00/lb for some carriers it could be ($1.00/lb for others) and class 300($25.00 per lb.) This is the Carrier’s cap regardless of the value of goods. Carriers liability for anything used or refurbished has a maximum liability of $.10/lb. Some Carriers will pay $.50/lb. But always remember that as a shipper you have the option of taking extra insurance out either with you own Insurance Company, or through the Carriers.


This is the value/lb at which a shipper releases the goods. Normally this references NMFC items where the shipper is required to declare a value because the rate (*class) of a shipment is determined by the released value not to EXCEED (RVNX) of the item. In laymen terms this refers to the fact that if a shipper sends out their product at a Class 50 to get a cheap rate(the lower the class the cheaper the rate), but they need a high release value($10,000) then they must raise their Class to coincide with their Released Value(RVNX). In freight claims a shipper “can’t have their cake and eat it to…” In other words you can’t show a lower class on your bill of lading, then use a high released value in case a damage does occur


This is where the limit of liability is based upon class, it is based upon the class at which the shipment is billed, NOT ACTUAL CLASS, so when a customer ships a class 100 and enjoys an FAK class 50 the limit of liability is based upon class 50 NOT actual class. The Carrier will not pay on ACTUAL class but will limit the liability at the class 50.


Concealed damage must be reported to the carrier within 15 days of delivery this varies depending on the Carrier. Carriers generally decline concealed damage claims or settle for 1/3 of the claimed amount. You must be able to prove Carrier neglect so additional information may be required when filing a concealed damage claim. Pictures, a complete description of the damage, packing list, how the freight was packaged and any additional information that would prove Carrier neglect. Freight charges are not recoverable on concealed damage claims. Another very important tip here is when you as a shipper sends freight to your customer and damage does occur in transit, it is very important that your customer notate this on the carrier Bill of Lading. Also remember the driver doesn’t have to wait for inspection of the freight. The consignee must check the outside of crates, packages, pallet etc for dents and signs of mishandling.

In conclusion, damages are a part of shipping freight. There’s really no way around it. However the best defense is a good offense. Make sure to make the necessary steps in packaging your product to the utmost. If need be consult with a packaging engineer, to ensure the product is braced and secured each time it is shipped. Lastly, understand what your liability is for your products and convey that information to your customer to keep them informed and knowledgeable in the event of damage.

Earl White is a National Account Manager, with One Stop Logistics a Third Party Logistics company based out of Watsonville, Ca. He has been in Sales for over 15 years and works with many sales reps to help them gain better footing when it comes to the elusive practice of working with clients. He enjoys being able to pass on many of the skills he has learned from Top Salesman in the Industry.