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What to take with you?
December 24, 2010
12:29 am
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DanielleS
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December 23, 2010
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Bob,

When going out to businesses to pitch the need for courier service, what did you have on hand? Competitors prices? Your own price list?

December 24, 2010
12:30 am
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Bob Lavendusky_1
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December 20, 2010
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Hi Danielle,

Thanks for your question. I typically don’t talk prices on the first visit. I charge everyone of my clients a different fee, and this fee is based on their very specific and unique delivery needs. The first meeting is to gather all the information possible so that I can formulate a bid tailored to their exact requirements. Some of the information I ask is: how often do you need deliveries? can we schedule a specific time or will it be unpredictable? Do these deliveries require a return delivery? do any items require special handling? What time of the day will the deliveries be ready? How much do the items weigh? how big is/are the item(s) to be delivered? Will I need a key to your building, storage room or, po box. How long will this delivery take? where will I be delivering to? How many locations will you need me to delivery to?etc, etc. The point is to gather all the information you can so you have a very clear idea what is entailed, and you can approximate how long it will take to complete the delivery, how much room its going to take in your vehicle, how many miles you will be driving, where will this fit in with your existing delivery routes and so forth. Then I would come back with a bid. Sometimes I will even make it a tentative bid and say lets start at this rate and after I have done the route for awhile and actually know how it will all work out then the bid can be adjusted either up or down. I have never had a potential client have a problem with this. Once you present your bid they will either accept it or try to negotiate it down. It’s not a bad idea to bid a little high and then let them negotiate it down. My experience is most potential clients have a pretty good idea what they are willing to pay for deliveries.

What I have on hand is a market survey for them to fill out or I can just ask them the questions from the survey and record it for them. If they are currently using another courier service I will ask them what they pay for their services.

If they are using their own employees to perform deliveries I will talk about the costs and risks of having an employee out on the road and away from their normal duties. I never mention my competitors prices, I don’t compete on price because most couriers charge too little and thus pay their drivers very poorly, insuring constant driver turnover and thus have inexperienced drivers who provide lousy service. This is a service business. I pay my employees very well, and they are loyal and do an exceptional job with customer service. I have a stellar reputation of doing whatever the client needs, anticipating needs and solving problems for them. I cannot compete on price and suggest you don’t either or you will quickly burnout as you work 80 hours per week just to break even. Your reputation is everything, going the extra mile is how I sell my services, absolute commitment to get the job done right and on time everytime. It’s all about earning their trust and once you have that you have a loyal customer for life, who will refer other clients to you. Referrals are the best clients and they cost nothing to aquire!
Of course bring plenty of business cards as well. I give my potential clients several business cards and ask them to give them to anybody they know who they think might need a courier service.

November 22, 2013
8:43 am
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wmhammons
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Very good information Bob.

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