Sometimes we blindly follow a referral because it worked for someone we know. That’s a great feeling, isn’t it; to have full trust in a business solely based off a referral. But what happens when you’re the one doing the research to find a business that can help you with your business? More specifically, how can you find out if you’ve landed the right 3PL specialist for you?
Here are some things that we suggest as the broker for you (the prospect) to think about:
1) Online Presence?
Do they have an online presence that you can look into? Yes, a lot of successful businesses operate without an online social presence and that is okay, however the world is spinning faster than ever (not literally) and marketing, advertising, and overall business structures are changing.
So, you googled ‘3PL brokers in my area’ or however you worded your search. Typically, we click the first link on the list, but sometimes when we scroll, we find a lot more. At this point, we are clicking each business one by one and doing some online research to see their range of services, location, and whatever is important for you during the first 7 seconds of clicking their website.
2) Get References.
When we apply for jobs, the hiring company always requests for references, and we’re okay with that!
We reached a point where you found a business that looks like it would be a good fit. What’s the next step? Call them! Speak to someone directly and explain what you’re looking for and how you two can work together. If it sounds promising, ask the 3PL broker for their references. Don’t be shy! If they refuse to provide it to you, proceed with your own judgement. But it’s always important to remember, behind each business is still a person. If we move forward without treating every conversation as a transaction, we can build a partnership between both parties.
3) Ask Questions.
Are they knowledgeable about the industry (do they provide solutions rather than trying to close the deal)?
Strengthening your skills to determine if the broker you want to work with is going to tell you what you want to hear versus what you need to hear is critical. Why? Well, you don’t want to be served by a business solely as a transaction. Instead, you want to identify if the broker is knowledgeable in addressing your needs and concerns, and be open about what piqued your interest in seeking a broker to help with your logistics needs.
In a saturated market, people are easily overwhelmed with overflow of information, branding, and various companies with the same product. Now, we play a huge emphasis on client relations, building trust, and maintaining a healthy reputation.
We encourage businesses to call and ask us questions because you never know what opportunities are behind the door that you should take the chance on!