Sales

SalesSelf Improvement

By Jordan Pottorff, CTB Have you ever heard the phrase “change is a good thing”? Chances are you have and I’m sure it was met with some form of hesitance as the vast majority of us don’t like to venture out of our comfort zone and embrace something new. It’s human nature. Well, I’m a person who has battled change – both for it and against it - in the past and has worked to embrace it throughout my personal and professional life. At AM Transport and in the transportation industry as a whole, change is coming and change is coming fast. We all know about the upcoming ELD mandate and other trends starting to gain momentum in our industry, but it’s easier to look at massive change within an industry that the national media is reporting on than looking in-house for changes that could boost company morale, communication, energy, production, and even the bottom line. Just in the last week we have shuffled the makeup of our “teams” in the office. We all work together as one well-oiled machine but nearly everyone in the office moved to a different desk and will be working alongside a different set of people to accomplish what’s always been our goal, which is to provide the best customer service in the industry. Gone is Team Charlie, gone is Team Phoenix and soon we will be saying goodbye to a trusty communication tool and a key software piece that’s been a mainstay in the company since I joined in 2015. This isn’t admitting failure or trying to provide a “shock factor” to everyone in the building. To me it’s about striving to be better than we already are and recognizing the positives change can create to reach our full potential as a company.     As part of the sales team at AM Transport I can’t tell you how many times we have embraced change. We’ve changed things up in a way to attract new business and carve out a niche in this ultra-competitive industry. We have had various marketing and email campaigns, we have switched up our packets that are stuffed full of company information, we have targeted new industries, we have focused on new territory and we have done nearly everything in between.  We believe diverting away from what worked in the past and embracing something new is what keeps us hungry and ahead of the curve. So, shake things up, put yourself in an uncomfortable situation, try something different before you’re left wondering what went wrong. Embrace it! After all, change is a good thing....
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By Joel Carey, CTB While in recent months much of the news in the transportation industry has been a clamor of who’s crafting which latest future-rattling technology applications, some shippers may find great benefit from a step back for fresh consideration of the original transportation game-changer. Intermodal rail transportation has evolved in the past several years from a perhaps well-deserved reputation for unreliable service, poor communication, and tracking, and damaged freight, to a level of operational efficiency and customer service that rivals most over-the-road trucking options - often at substantial savings. Though OTR dry van truckload has been firmly a shippers market for some time, upcoming industry changes such as the electronic logging device requirements that take effect at the end of the year are likely to put pressure on OTR capacity and begin to nudge truckload rates back uphill. Many shippers are already testing the waters of Intermodal as this potential TL capacity crunch approaches – some entirely new to the idea, and others who are taking a second look. Shippers with relatively durable palletized freight that can be limited to a gross weight of 42,500 pounds and loaded at facilities in reasonable proximity to a primary rail ramp can readily garner savings of 10-30% over TL rates in certain lanes. Lanes from the Midwest to the West Coast and the Midwest to the Northeast are prime examples where current Intermodal rates are well below OTR. To enhance shipper’s options that might encourage the shift to Intermodal, the major railroads have recently opened new service in lanes from the lower Midwest to the Northeast and Florida which also offer competitive pricing. With the exception of ensuring thorough bracing and an extra day in transit on most routes, a shipper might otherwise not even notice these days that their freight is riding the rails rather than the road.  The Class I railroads have made excellent use of Internet technology to provide effective communication of shipping orders and appointments, as well as 24-hour position tracking and notifications.  The Intermodal specialists at AM Transport closely monitor all shipments and can provide any level of detailed reporting that our customers might request. Spot market Intermodal capacity is readily available for next-day pickup or beyond, so why not do your shipping budget a favor and consider a solid and cost-effective alternative?  AM Transport is ready and able to discuss the benefits and options that Intermodal might present to your shipping operations....
3PLSalesSelf ImprovementUncategorized

By Jordan Pottorff, CTB Today marks two years since I joined the AM Transport team. It’s been a wild two years - both personally and professionally – but there’s something about AM Transport that makes me eager to come to work. First, you have to understand the culture AM Transport has worked to create. We have a great group of people who genuinely like each other, we do a lot of fun stuff as a team and in our community, we have a variety of great music playing throughout the day, and we care about what we do. I know all of this having now spent two years with the company, but I accepted the job offer to join AM Transport with relatively no knowledge of the transportation industry or the company as a whole. I was a sports writer by craft before moving back to my hometown of Olney, and despite knowing of AM Transport’s existence since I was a kid, it was a blind leap into a new career. Since June 15, 2015, I’ve learned more about the transportation industry than I can wrap my brain around. I walked in the doors for the first time not knowing the difference between a dry van and a reefer, let alone what it took to book a load, and now feel comfortable talking about the upcoming ELD mandate, technology trends, customer & carrier expectations, our service offerings and more in this ever-changing industry. A few weeks of in-depth training got me to the point where I could fly solo - albeit with training wheels and countless questions to a handful of experienced coworkers - and start down a two-year road that had me spending nine months as a carrier manager before joining the sales team last Spring. The nine months spent as a carrier manager laid the foundation of my knowledge in the transportation industry and gave me a good idea of what it takes to be a valued partner in this industry. There were highs and lows that seemed to change by the hour on any given day, but I found being consistent and level-headed was usually the answer no matter which way the pendulum swung that day. When I decided to take on the opportunity to move to the sales side of the business, I had very limited experience in sales but knew I was excited to get started. Since joining the sales team, it’s been anything but easy. There are countless obstacles to overcome as a broker looking for freight in an unfavorable market but that’s where consistency truly is key. I remember landing my first customer relatively quickly and thinking it would continue from there. Like any worthwhile endeavor, I hit a wall and the frustration followed shortly after as the common rejections – “we don’t work with brokers”, “we have an annual bid, call back at the end of the year”, “you’re pricing isn’t competitive”, “we have our own trucks” – came in tenfold, and that doesn’t even mention the hundreds of voicemails that are commonplace in this position. I’d be lying if I said the rejections didn’t wear me down but that’s where the consistency and remaining level-headed became so important for future successes. I, along with Rob, Jason & Heath, knew a change was needed in our approach to land new business, and like the future of this ever-changing industry, we’ve leaned on technology to get over some hurdles. Now it obviously takes more than investing in good technology to see more victories in the sales world but it gave us an advantage that has led to more of a niche in the transportation world as we continue to develop our targeted approach to add new customers. The past two years have flown by. It took a little bit of time to feel completely comfortable in my new position, but the culture and passion the company and my coworkers' display have me 100% confident a bright future exists for both myself and AM Transport as a whole. Onward and upward!...
Best PracticesSalesTransportation

I had something else planned to post for today, but I ran across this blog post from David Ly Khim earlier this morning, and I thought it had great information - both for sales and non-sales people. 17 Habits of an Effective Salesperson Khim gives 17 habits that their research team discovered from the most effective salespeople in their own company. And while some are sales-specific habits, many of them can be adapted for whatever role you may have in your own organization. The 17 Habits Each of the habits Khim listed provides some great advice. The ones below in particular are applicable in many arenas and are often greatly under-utilized. 2) They prepare ahead of time. Be prepared. It seems like a silly thing to say, but many people underestimate how damaging it can be to your first impression and professional persona when you arrive unprepared. 4) They know their product. Do you know what your product (or service) is? Do you know how it compares to your direct competitors? Why should a customer choose yours over others? What value does it provide? How customizable is it to different customers' needs? 6) They constantly build personal relationships. Building trust with a customer goes beyond the simple transaction. Learn about them - what are their struggles, goals, hobbies, interests? Understand how you can help in ways that go above and beyond good customer service. 8) They don’t try. After meeting up with objections and rejections over and over again, it can be easy to slip into the same old routine. Keep yourself energize and excited. Each new person you talk to is a new opportunity to listen and learn. Be sure you are in it completely each time. 9) They actually listen. Many sales people get stuck on their own scripts: "I came here with a message to say and I am going to say it." Instead, listen to what your prospects and customers are saying. You need to present in the conversation, but that doesn't mean you have to do all the talking. Listen. 10) They get their eight hours of sleep every night. Or 6, or 7, or whatever your number may be. Figure out how much sleep you need to be at your best, and do whatever you can to make getting that number each night a priority. 11) They believe in what they’re selling. This ties directly to #4. If you know what value your product or service can deliver to your customer and you believe in the words you are saying and the messages you are sending, then your customer will be more apt to trust and listen to you. 12) They’re purpose-driven. Why are you in sales? What motives and drivers you professionally? What is your purpose, for yourself and for your company? 17) They view their customer’s success as their own. See #9, then #6, then #8. Listen to your customers. Learn about them and build a personal relationship. Then try. Know how you can help your customers achieve their goals, solve their struggles, and become successful in their own companies. Be sure to check out the other habits, they are good too. Read the full blog post here. Have a topic or suggestion for a blog post you'd like to see? Let us know! Email us - blog@amtransportonline.com...