Networking… the buzzword of the day
Of late, we have been hearing a lot about ‘networking’. What exactly is ‘networking’? It is the art of building alliances and relationships. ‘Networking’ refers to interconnected groups of individuals, companies, and entities that influence us or are influenced by us in our jobs, our social lives, our homes, or families, etc. We may have a different ‘network’ for each aspect of our lives, one for the office, one for our social interactions, one for our families, etc. Obviously, these ‘networks’ will overlap, i.e. they will contain some of the same people.
Is “networking” important? In his blog Adopting the Mentoring and Networking Lifestyle, John Kobara says that networking is more than popular techniques to broaden our thinking about our careers and our lives. To be effective in networking we have to integrate it into our lives. We need to network in everything we do. Without proper “networking” we can knock on a lot of doors and never get anywhere.
For those of us who have been in the Transportation Industry for a while, we understand that to be a successful freight broker, we need to have a network of viable and productive relationships. In other words, we need to have customers, clients, carriers and truck owner-operators that we enjoy doing business with and they enjoy doing business with us.
30 years ago I was brokering Christmas trees out of Washington State. I was approached by a “truck broker” that said he could handle all of the loads I had going to Texas. I was reticent in the beginning, but as the first week passed and he and his carriers were flawless in their pickup and delivery schedules, I became more confident in tendering loads to him.
To make a long story short, he was the means of moving over 100 loads of Christmas trees from Washington to Texas in 5 weeks. In April of the next year, he came by my office to see me. We had never met before. He thanked me for taking a chance on him. He had just opened for business the week before he started hauling trees but knew if he could get in with me he would have the freight he needed to appeal to the carriers he was also trying to work with. He continued to haul Christmas trees for me for 3 more years.
How do you build such a relationship in today’s transportation market? As Mr. Kobara pointed out, “We must work at it all the time.” Here are some ideas:
- Attend professional and trade association meetings.
- Visit with other members of your social clubs and religious groups.
- Talk to sales persons that visit your office; keep an eye and an ear open to seeing and hearing what others are doing to expand their business.
- Talk to your current network of friends, acquaintances, and business associates about the things you are trying to accomplish, and be sure to ask them what you can do to help them accomplish their goals as well.
As we help each other we will become more “connected”, more “involved” in the accomplishments of others, and we will find that we are accomplishing more too.
I can hear you saying, “What does that have to do with Freight Brokerage Software?”. At TruckMaster® Logistics Systems, we are very interested in helping you be successful and we have an intricate network of customers, carriers, owner-operator truck drivers and others that are willing and ready to help you be successful. Visit us on the web at www.truckmaster.com, give us a call at 888-891-9550 to find out how our software can help you network your way to success.
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