Zoom meetings have mostly replaced face to face sales calls for LSP (Logistics Service Provider) representatives. This situation may be changing but, for now, I’m hearing a lot of frustration from former colleagues and clients. LSP reps are under pressure to conduct an aggressive number of zoom meetings or phone contacts per day. Activity becomes the main goal overshadowing value propositions. Indications are that this strategy will continue as it reduces costs and can increase call productivity.
Many clients are working remotely and with reduced staffing so understandably want to avoid these calls. The discussion usually includes small talk, commiseration, service issues, and client complaints about rates or surcharges. Let me suggest an alternative approach that can be an advantage for small/medium shippers. Rather than avoid the calls why not look to set the agenda and add your own value while also reducing the number of routine calls? I guarantee that you will have your LSP representative’s attention.
A common mistake made by small and medium sized clients is failing to prepare before meeting with LSP representatives. This leaves the agenda, and control, in the hands of the LSP rep. Another mistake is focusing immediately on price. Keep in mind that the lowest rate is not usually the best rate. A better strategy is to begin with value components in your discussions with providers. If you determine that they have the capabilities to provide quality services, then you can move the discussion to price.
Take a few minutes to list two or three agenda items prior to meetings with LSPs. These can include immediate issues as well as long term goals. State your agenda up front and see what happens!