Over the years, Ahern & Associates, Ltd. has assisted many trucking and logistics companies in establishing an effective sales program. As part of that process, it's important to recognize that an effective sales program involves changing the way your current sales and marketing force offers your services, as well as their behavior.
- When a salesperson utilizes a particular sales approach, and;
- He/she plays the "numbers" game;
- He/she only has one "selling" pattern.
That salesperson will only be able to sell to those people who buy based on the way he/she sells. All other customers who need your services but are uncomfortable with the way your sales person sells, will not buy from you. In essence, you are eliminating at least 2/3 of the prospects who are potentially users of your services because the selling patterns are out of rapport with the customer's buying patterns.
Particularly, when a company is experiencing financial problems, the sales staff simply sells price. The first thing, as an owner, you need to do is:
- Establish a confidence level in your company
- The sales staff has to recognize that people buy utilizing their own buying patterns, not necessarily a salesperson's pattern.
The trucking industry is still a relationship business, regardless of what some believe. Part of the process of establishing a successful sales program is to determine how your account executives or salesperson creates relationships and forms a bond of trust.
In the many years that Ahern & Associates has been developing sales and marketing programs, we have learned that a salesperson has 15 essential ingredients to become successful.
There is an old adage that states "you have nothing to sell if there is no one to buy";
- Relationships come first.
- Task comes second.
Ahern & Associates redirects and retrains your sales staff on how to approach the mass markets. We teach:
- How to set objectives.
- How to ask for the order.
- We show sales people how to do their homework and manage their time and territory.
- We train them on how to be effective listeners to potential customer needs.
- We train them on how to speak to decision makers.
As part of our exclusive training process:
- We establish high goals.
- We train sales people on how to give concessions only for return and how to control situations.
- We show them how to never close the door on opportunities and how to fulfill a customer's needs.
Psychologically, if your sales staff is not conditioned properly, they will not be able to achieve maximum results, because they believe that the issue in the marketplace is simply price driven.
Typically, in the transportation industry, the classic objection is money. That merely is a case of a prospect saying no in the most expedient manner.
- Money is rarely the reason people don't purchase specific services.
- Unless they are a very small company, most budgets have flexibility.
If pricing is the sole objective that your sales staff complains about, for not obtaining customer market share, that means they're failing. They are failing to utilize the proper approach to obtain the results that management desires. The same goes for sales managers if you have any. When operating a team, using what I call "buyer facilitation," sales managers must understand that there is a different sales cycle and different expectations as to how the sale should precede.
In closing, over the years, Ahern & Associates has discovered that, in many instances you need to change the salespersonís behavioral patterns, so that specific responses are worked out in a "questioning process" and therefore a sale can be completed.
Arkansas Transit Home, Inc. (ATH) was founded in 1958 by my late father, Wendell Chandler. In fact, to Illustrate how long that is got most trucking companies, our DOT number only has five numbers.
I would like to thank you Andy for making this very important and life changing event possible. It was a great experience.
Arkansas Transit Homes, Inc.
We have worked with you and your colleagues at Ahern Associates for some time now. We find your expertise in the area of logistics (be it in consulting or based on being hired for acquisition analysis) to be out standing. We value the relationship and are very happy to give you this letter of reference..
You should feel free to have any party call us to discuss our experience.
Benesch Attorneys at Law
England has been formally associated with Andy Ahern and his colleagues for approximately the past three years primarily in the area of acquisitions. During that period, we have experienced a professionalism that is refreshing. Andy offers in-depth expertise as well as industry knowledge born from extensive experience, a combination which adds material value well beyond a normal business relationship.
We anticipate a long Ė term, mutually beneficial association. It was a great experience.
Very truly yours,
Keith c. Wallace,Jr.
Senior Vice President / Chief Financial Officer
C.R. England, Ind
Century Carriers, Inc. and its subsidiaries are family owned businesses that was started 1998. When the Transportation business was booming, times were great but, like other family owned businesses we didnít prepare for the economy the past year. My wife and I lost many hours sleep and made many calls to attorneys, banks, and whom ever would listen to our story trying to figure out how we were going to save our business for our future and our children.
Andy and his team has given us hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel and we are making progress, thanks again.
Kevin Henderson, President/CEO
Century Carriers Inc. / Century Expedited Inc.
Originally, I met Andy at a Truckload Carrier`s Conference during a round table discussion on the transition of family business. Andy was very knowledgeable about the topic and expressed many ideas that we hadn`t thought of. During the down turn of our industry in 2001, We called upon Andy, as a consultant, to help us understand how to turn our business around. We hired Ahern and Associates to come in and do businesses review. By giving us a road map to success with their intial audit, they helped turn our business around within thirty days.
Andy Ahern and Ahern & Associates have always delivered exactly what they have promised.
Don Christenson, President
Christenson Transportation, Inc.
We have thought about selling our business one day, but we really didnít know much about how to go about it. Your company contacted us a few months ago about a client of yours that was looking to buy businesses like ours. Now just a few months later, the sale is complete. Everything went very smoothly, Ahern was there to guide us through the beginning of the process. We are very happy with our whole experience with Ahern, especially Andy and Brian. They gave us personal attention any time we had questions or concerns.
John & Jennifer Rainney
I wanted to thank you for your guidance, leadership and support. The professionalism and dedication of you and your staff is outstanding. The knowledge you posses of the transportation industry and its inner workings was been a huge asset to us in our time of transition. With your assistance we have been able to make significant changes within our company to improve structure and productivity. Aherns onsite visit and detailed evaluation of our company has been a very valuable tool. The outside look at how we do business and the suggestions you've made to improve our overall performance have been very valuable. All of your advice and direction has been thoughtful and caring, I feel that you truly care about our business and success. You've done everything you said you would do and then some, working with you and your dedicated staff has been a pleasure and will improve the productivity of our company. I look forward to a long relationship with Ahern and Associates.
Specialized Business Solutions. INC