There is stiff competition for the attention of buyers of logistics services and products. These folks get a steady stream of emails, phone calls, in-mails, and direct mailers, all vying to occupy a little bit of their brains, even if it’s just for a few seconds.
Ever wonder what it’s like to be on the other end of these sales advances?
Me too. So I did some research to find out. About 200 logistics professionals who purchase or influence the purchase of logistics products and services took the time to answer a series of questions about how to best get, and keep, their attention when trying to build a relationship and gain new business. To see a summary of the research, read the eBook.
Some highlights from the research:
- Do your homework first. This was the dominant theme in the responses. Buyers are turned off by suppliers that want to sell them a service without knowing anything about their industry and business. Representative comments:
- “If you are not doing business with customers like me, I don’t want to be your training ground.”
- You would be amazed at how many 3PL representatives just walk in the door and brag about what their teams can do.”
- “Generic sales pitches from rookies are a turn-off.”
Respondents want to feel they are more than just a name on a call list and that the salesperson or marketer has taken the time to research the company in order to propose an idea that makes sense for their company.
- Be honest. Feedback clearly indicated a penchant, among some logistics suppliers, to overstate capabilities when selling logistics services. This does not sit well with buyers. Representative comments:
- “Don’t tell me what you think I want to hear.”
- “The ‘all things to all people’ sales approach is poison to me.”
- “Don’t show me vaporware. I need to see the real thing.”
Historically, 3PL and other LSPs have tended to “lean forward” a bit on marketing and sales claims. In fact, it’s one of the things that helped the logistics outsourcing industry grow – a willingness to take on challenging projects and figure it out. But the market has changed and shippers indicate a strong preference for proven solutions. If you can’t do it or have not yet implemented the proposed solution, they want to know.
- Offer a better price. The corporate pressure to reduce costs rolls right down to suppliers. Representative comments:
- “The providers I work with are very similar. Show me a cost differentiator.”
- Want to get my attention? Do it cheaper than the other guy.”
Free eBook: Marketing Logistics Services