Posts Tagged ‘Sales’

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

March 7th, 2021

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.