Do you want to stop wasting an important resource?: The logistics network is a tool for both sales AND marketing!
Do you want to know a secret not many out there seem to understand? Here it is:
Our network is one of the best sales and marketing tools you have.
I have mentioned before that I am constantly perplexed that people will join our group and never participate. They don’t go to a meeting and they don’t give business to other members. Then at the end of the year they want to complain about the lack of business they have gotten. They seem to think that by paying the annual membership subscription they will have bought business from the rest of the group. Honestly, this is naive at best.
I’m here to straighten this out again but from a different angle. The last time I discussed it I wrote from the sales perspective. By that I mean discussing actually going to the meetings to meet with other members. This time I want to talk a bit more about the marketing side.
Every year we have loads of chances to meet with one another through various conferences and exhibitions, but we only have one chance for the annual general meeting. You know, the one that the whole entire group is meant to come to. But what keeps you in their minds for the rest of the year? And before you answer this to yourself I want to clarify – I’m not talking about the back of their minds. I mean the forefront of their minds. Even if you made a great impression on them when you met, if they don’t have an account to your region for another nine months then how will that impression still be there? How will you be the first company they call? Is it enough to just have been on the membership roster and to have sat down for a single one-on-one meeting? Perhaps. But safe money would tell you don’t count on it.
All year you need to do marketing. You definitely need to implement your own marketing stretegy whether that be to advertise in trade publications, promote yourselves on social media and also make sure that you have your updates out to your clientele, or all of the above and more. But you also need to turn some of that over to us.
Yes, we are a great tool for that.
Our members are constantly looking to know what you are doing. You might not believe this but they are. And we are too. We want to promote you to the others and the outside world to help you make the group work for you. Our weekly newsletters tell the others what you are up to. We promote you through our own mailings, our social media and press releases.
Speaking of press releases, I started sending out press releases on behalf of our members in the early years of GPLN back when I was a founding shareholder there. Proof that this has worked can be found in the fact that many of the stories that we sent out on press relases can still be found on the internet. And more proof that this strategy worked is that since that time many of our competitors have copied this strategy and are doing it themselves!
What kinds of information would your network members like to hear from you? You’d be surprised. Here are just a few examples:
- Has your company recently completed a very complicated move?
- Have you taken on any new key staff?
- Do you have any new equipment or new facilities?
- Has anyone at your company recently completed a marathon or climbed a large mountain?
- Are there any retirements, marriages or births in your company?
- Did anyone get a promotion?
- Did your company supported any charitable organization recently?
- Do you have any new logos, new advertisements?
- Has anyone in your staff completed an important milestone like a ten year anniversary there?
- Did anyone at your company just pass their customs brokerage license or earn an IATA designation or even finished an MBA?
- Did a sports team your company sponsors win an important match?
Any and all of this is good for your partners around the world to know. It will help their staff to know your company better. It will help them to see you as a partner easier. You will become more familiar to them all around. We want to help the entire network to know you better. And what’s more? You will see that over time this will be extremely good for your business. The investment will pay off.
Gary Dale Cearley is the Managing Director of Advanced International Networks Ltd. (AIN), one of the fastest growing and most dynamic business-to-business networking organizations in the world. AIN’s networks include AerOceaNetwork (AON), XLProjects Network (XLP), and AiO Logistics Network. Gary Dale has been in many facets of international freight forwarding for more than two decades from operations to sales to the owner of the first 100% foreign owned freight forwarding company licensed in Vietnam. The companies that he has been involved with have been both generalists and specialists. He has also worked from large European and Asian multinationals (Danzas and Hankyu Express) as well has small start up forwarders. For the past ten years Gary Dale has owned and operated AIN. He has lived in several major cities in four different countries and he is multilingual. Currently Gary Dale runs the AIN operation from Bangkok, Thailand, but travels the world over.