Every salesperson knows it takes years to build a good reputation and seconds to lose it. That’s especially true of international business relationships in the logistics and freight business.
“Strong relationships built on trust are fundamental to successful logistics,” says Dan Cser, agency owner ICAT Logistics Detroit. “While building relationships that span the globe are more complicated, they still depend on the same behaviors: listening, understanding your client’s needs and keeping your word.
Cser considers the following principles to be essential elements for building relationships in other parts of the world.
“We work hard to find people in different parts of the world who know the local language, the customs, and the expectations and the business practices of our clients,” Cser said. “We make sure they know the accounting and sales practices in the countries where they operate, that they understand the currency exchanges, and the transportation options in terms of cost, safety and security.”
Schedule Face Time
Make it a point to visit your overseas markets whenever you are able. Use video conferencing and the telephone to get to know overseas clients or shipping partners. Regular and in-person communication goes a long way toward building trust and understanding.
Understand the Rules
Mistakes shipping freight internationally can be time consuming, expensive and ruin your reputation for years to come. That’s why it’s important to thoroughly understand the documentation, customs and legal requirements for shipping different kinds of freight to different parts of the world. It’s also important to know when the unwritten rules dictated by local custom kick in.
Participate with Industry Groups
Many industry groups that operate across international borders provide opportunities to bring people and ideas together. An international trade show or annual convention can be the ideal place to network and develop personal relationships with suppliers, manufacturers and potential partners. Trade organizations also help shape laws and regulations, influence trends in business advancement and serve as the center of discussion on issues.
Bring it Back to the Basics
No matter what happens, Cser says he constantly reminds his team to bring it back to the basics:
• Keep your word
• Be fair
• Be honest
• Be consistent
• Empathize with your client by putting yourself in their shoes.
We’re your custom shipping resource. Solutions to our customers’ most challenging issues are derived from decades of success in global logistics. https://www.icatlogisticsdtw.com/