Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Step out on a Limb

Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires...courage.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Each day in my email inbox I get two encouragements to think on throughout that day. I get a quote (like the one above) each day from ZigZiglar.com and a Bible verse from BibleoftheDay.com. I need encouragement to have courage for the day Starting your own business takes courage. Courage to start, courage to continue on and courage to finish strong each day strong. I pray each day to do only what God would have me do that day…and to do it to the best of my ability.

Today I encourage you to be proactive and develop your people skills

Go the extra mile. Be proactive. Don’t wait for others to think of reasons they should use you. After you begin building up a relationship with a traffic manager, study what you can about their organization - then go in and proactively ask a lot of questions, then listen - try to determine what their transportation needs and challenges are, and any problems or obstacles that they run into. I repeat: listen. Do you think of salesmen as good listeners? Or good talkers, persuaders? You earn the right to talk and persuade after you’ve listened proactively and learned about what your prospect wants.
Act with a sense of urgency. Let them know you want to earn their business.

-Great People Skills:

What are you building? TRUST. You build trust by doing what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it. Tell your prospect up front that you can only control one thing in this business. That is your ability to establish trust with both the shipper and the carrier by looking out for both of their best interests. The other thing that you can control is communication. Most shippers want more than anything someone they can trust, who will be fair to them, and will deliver what they promised – service and communication. Your PRODUCT is your ability to build trust, and your ability to communicate the status of the shipment from pick-up to delivery.

During the holiday season you can practice your proactive people skills on friends and family. Be proactive by starting an intriguing conversation. Develop people skills by approaching the one in the room who is the hardest to talk to (perhaps a teen). Ask open-ended questions. (those are questions that require more than a yes or a no answer). Conversation ideas: current events, holiday plans, reflections on 2007, children, hobbies, interests, resolutions, best Christmas gift ever, etc. Some people are comfortable talking about personal issues right off; others need to warm up to you by talking more “weather” kind of talk. As you go through the day, make mental note of what happened to you, that day that might make for interesting conversation because your listener can relate or will find humorous.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

No comments: