In this blog I’m going to start breaking down some simple ways you can start leveraging the Internet and new media to create some market differentiation between yourself and your competitors. We visit thousands of transportation companies every year, helping them improve their businesses and one of the areas we can help folks out with right away is with their on-line presence; the first being the “website”.
The first rule to remember about building out a website (besides the fact that YOU aren’t going to do it, someone ELSE is) is that new prospects don’t really care WHO you are; they want to know WHAT you will do for them. If you can do it, and do it well, then you might have a long term relationship. As cliché as this may sound, it’s more true today than ever. It’s not personal, it’s business. It’s about trust and integrity; and profitability. We have many customers that have been with us for over 20 years with no turnover. They aren’t customers just because we “love” and nurture them. They’re our customers because we give them what THEY want (quickly) and what they EXPECT from us; better than our competition. You can “talk the talk” all you want in your website, but you better back it up through reputable sources and testimonials from the movers and shakers in the industry. Too many trucking websites exploit the WHO, and not the WHAT. Switch this around, and you’ll stand out.
Telling prospects about your multi-generation family ownership isn’t an effective way of creating new sales leads, nor is an award, education or wall of credentials. The economy has leveled the playing field. It’s about RESULTS. You can tell them “who” you are (be brief please), but more importantly, tell them what you have done that has consistently produced quantifiable results. Make it known. Want to stand out in the crowd of Shippers and Underwriters? Here’s a tip, let them know you have a SATISFACTORY Safety Rating right up front on your home page. Make it BIG. Put your company stats where they can easily be found. Most of it is public information and they’ll get it anyway. Give them the “goods”. Make it EASY. Exploit your Safety Record, OOS Rates, Accident Frequency Rates and Turnover. Prove you’re not hiding behind anything. Do you know your Operating Ratio? Step up to the plate and challenge your competition. Post testimonials. Avoid start-ups unless they can back it up with facts, figures and testimonials. Would you want to do business with a company just because they’ve been in business for 100 years and they have 5 generations in the business (with no other references) or would you like to do business with a company who has a 10% driver turnover rate, Out of Service Rates well below the National Average, a zero Accident Frequency Rate and a Satisfactory Safety Rating? If they can’t provide testimonials, it’s a waste of your invaluable time and if you recall my last blog post, you’re not supposed to be working on this new website anyway my friend; you’re suppose to delegate it, right?
Here’s another tip to get you rolling. Your local web guy is most likely charging you an exorbitant amount for a website with no ROI. Hint, Hint: Outsource it on-line! Places like 99 Designs, can crank out websites that will fit your company and most importantly your budget. We regularly see front to back sites complete for under $200 bucks, and these aren’t choppy “template” websites where some other company has the same site as you. These are top shelf Web 2.0 sites (meaning interactive and personal) that grab attention and turn heads. Media today makes it easy for anyone to research a person and/or company. You can’t hide. If you’re not hiding from anything (or anybody), for Pete’s sake, EXPLOIT IT! This is the only way you can truly separate yourself from your competition. The days of “resting on your laurels” are over. Your choices and decisions must be deliberate, intentional and very quick.
In my next blog, I’ll be sharing some insider secrets into the new media, specifically blogging, which will drive traffic to your brand spankin’ shiny new website and ultimately launch your sales and marketing into a whole new stratosphere.