For years, we received requests to ship cars: “How much to ship this car to Texas? How much for my truck? Can I fill it with my stuff and then ship? “ We learned that there are way too many ways for a customer to search for pricing online for it to be worth the time and expense for us to quote these. Usually, the quoted prices is met with, “Wow! You’re expensive! I got if for half that much online yesterday.”
If you take the quoted prices and add on a decent mark up (25% isn’t decent but I will use it), your retail rate is SO MUCH higher than what is available on the open market. Chances of winning this quote is near zero unless your customer has a money-is-no-object mentality and only wants to use you because they are familiar with you and trust you. If you make less, (and you shouldn’t), then you run the risk of making even less when the person wants to use a credit card to pay for it. Plus, you have the liability of someone’s car until the car carrier picks it up.
What we do now, is refer the customer to the car carrier. We have a local company that handles national moves, if they don’t have a truck, they do use a network of other trucks to find a load going that way. The carrier talks to the customer, they answer all the questions, they take all the heat for late deliveries, or any problems in route. The car carrier pays the credit card fees. The car carrier gets a new customer, our customer gets a referral to someone we trust. What do we get? We get referrals from the car carrier.
Each time someone shows up to ship a car and they have personal items, (which are not allowed by most car carriers), they are told that they can’t ship them. “Call Parcel Room. They can take care of it for you”. They have referred and we have shipped everything from small UPS/FedEx packages up to freight shipments. We even had a huge steel and concrete safe that was in a truck that couldn’t stay in the vehicle so we shipped it separately.
Some carriers will pay referral fees of $50.00 or $100.00 for a successful car shipment. My way of doing it gets me two to five customers a month from the car carrier. People we didn’t send over there but they have items that can’t be left in the car. The car carrier sends them to us. We have found that it is a far better return to get ongoing referrals rather than a onetime referral fee.
We do the same thing for large household moves. If a shipment exceeds what I KNOW will be cost efficient for us, I look to a mover. We found a good (very good) local mover that we work with. What I do is I email the salesman: “We have a customer with xyz and they will need a quote. Please contact the customer to complete.”
Two things happen at this point in time. We get a very happy customer, and we have a very happy moving company. The movers, in return, can pay $50.00 on a successful move, but we just ask them to send us customers that are too small for them. During the busy moving season we get 3-4 referrals a week. These customers ALWAYS tell me: “Xyz told me to call you for an estimate.” Now I know this is payback, I also know that they probably have been just quoted the minimum amount for summer season which is usually $2,000.00.
This gives me a very good advantage to start. We know they are serious customers, we know that their budget it under $2,000.00, and we know they want to ship. They are not just kicking tires (usually).
The two referral companies that we use give us a steady stream of sales and customers. We don’t sell customers these services, we let them sell themselves. We did our research into each company we refer and we keep up on their reviews. We ask our customers: ”How did they do?” We are taking care of our customer “At Parcel Room, we make it go away”, and they love us for it.
1465 Woodbury Ave
Portsmouth NH 03801
Source: AMBC Blog