Freight Salesmen have a very bad reputation in the Logistics Industry. They are considered to be the “used car salesmen,” of the industry. Pushy, aggressive, just plain old slimy; they use deceptive tactics, they make unwarranted claims and when things don’t work out the way they should, they disappear.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there are some exceptional sales executives in the Industry who take pride in their jobs and continue to remain accountable to their clients. But these days, that’s a rarity.
Is it a wonder why customers are avoiding them like the plague? Forwarding them to unoccupied voicemails? Instructing the receptionist to say their busy in meetings? Treating the rep like a subordinate, and not an equal? Customers are tired of being deceived- plain and simple!
The following are 7 ways that a salesman can improve their disposition with the customer:
Sincerity- Say what you mean, and mean what you say! So often salespeople will say whatever needs to be said to get the deal done. This practice, more often than not, leads to the start of a poor relationship with the customer. Be true of your capabilities, and communicate with sincerity to the customer.
Credibility- This is earned, not given to a salesperson. If you have clients that love what you have done for them, it may behoove you to enlist them as advocates for your cause. A happy client will gladly provide you with a reference if you have lived up to it.
Accountability- Okay, sales reps let’s all say it together- “It’s not our fault, it’s operations fault!” Salesmen need to lose this phrase from their vocabularies. So what you mean to tell me, is that you can sell your companies service, cash those commission checks, but when something goes wrong, we blame someone else. This makes you look ignorant and silly- Stop saying it! You are the face of your company, so represent them as such.
Follow Up/Follow Through- So many times a sales rep will tell the customer that they will give them a call back, and something comes up, which makes them forget. The sad thing about this, is that customers expect the representative not to follow up. The salesman that does, in fact, follow up with the customer, is most likely going to get the business. If you tell a customer that you will call them back at a certain time, make sure you do it.
Business Owner Mind Set- If you can harness your mind to think like a business owner, and not a sales representative, this will do a couple of things: First, it will give you the mindset of an equal, and not a subordinate. Second, it will help you to gain understanding into his/her world. If this seems like a foreign concept start reading Business entrepreneur books.
Deliver Value- Whenever you meet with your prospect have something to offer them besides pens, calendars and food. Share information that is going to enlighten their world. Remember, all they care about is their world. They don’t care about your company, or your quota, they just care about THEM!
Objectivity- I know it’s hard, especially when quotas are involved, but the more that you can reframe from always recommending your solutions, the more respect your customer will have for you.
Of course, if you have solutions that can help your customer, by all means recommend it. But there are times when we know a certain service is out of our repertoire, but all we can think about is the money. Customers respect you when you can become a consultative resource.
My golden rule is to do unto others as you want done unto you. If you can live by this rule in sales you will go along way.
By Julian Bush