Transport contracts are the lifeblood of hauliers. They form the very basis for haulage work and they help bring in the money to pay for the business at the end of the day. This is why it is important that you convince your clients to set up long-term haulage contracts with you. Returning clients will mean returning payments, which in turn means your haulage business will have a steady stream of work to keep you busy.
Yes, this is easier said than done, but it is nonetheless a goal that every haulage provider should aim to achieve. Here are a few tips to help you do just that:
Get the job done right
One of the most reliable methods of establishing a long-term transport agreement is to accomplish your present transport contracts on time. First-time clients may come to you for a variety of reasons, whether you offer the most competitive prices or whether you are the only haulier available to fill the order at the time, but rest assured that they will remember you for future haulage work when they see that your lorries deliver their loads properly and on time. Your existing clients may even recommend you to other potential clients based on your performance. This is how quality work establishes the foundations for regular and long-term deals, so put your best foot forward on every job.
Ask for honest feedback
You would be surprised at how effective a request for feedback can be at bringing in new transport contracts from an old client. Offering a simple form rating your services from 1 to 10 can leave a lasting impression on clients and assure them that you are constantly aiming to improve the haulage work you do. Such a simple sheet can be enough to help you stand out in comparison to other hauliers that simply take the money and offer no customer feedback opportunity.
Stay in touch with past clients
Once you accomplish your transport contracts, always ask for a client’s permission to be contacted occasionally via a mailing list. A weekly email detailing your available routes and special promos is more than enough to keep yourself in the minds of your past clients. They will then have an easier time remembering you when they need more haulage work done or are looking to establish a long-term transport partnership with your haulage company.
Make it their idea
Avoid being too pushy with clients when looking for transportation contracts. Keeping in touch with them is one thing, but pushing too hard for them to hire you back is another. Doing so will only make you sound desperate for work, which will at best cause your clients to renegotiate the terms of the contract to their favour or at worst will turn them off completely. Be courteous and professional in making the offer and leave it up to them to make the final call.
And finally, it is definitely worth your while to train your hauliers to be courteous while on the job. A smile and a respectful tone can go a long way to bringing back clients for more transport contracts in the future!