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Check Call with Scott Schara: Selling in a down market

Turning prospects into customers

Check Call the Show. News and Analysis for 3PLs and Freight Brokers.

On this week’s episode of Check Call, Scott Schara, chief commercial officer and president of 3PL services at BlueGrace Logistics, joins host Mary O’Connell to break down selling and prospecting in a down market. 

Key quotes from Schara:

“If we take a look back at the last 18-24 months, it was like a unicorn opportunity, once in a lifetime. We thought we had something like that in 2018, but it fell out. We came into the pandemic with lots of unknowns. Halfway through, all of a sudden, there is less capacity than there is demand and you don’t need to actually do outbound calls because your phone calls are coming in and everyone picks up.”

“To me, the service we’re selling is about relationships, but more importantly it’s about service. You’ve gotta have good high-quality service and going through the last 18 months, if you’re not a high service provider, you probably aren’t going to be included in opportunities with incumbent customers.”

“It is going to be a lot more difficult to sell in this market, but if you have a high service model and you have good relationships, customers are still going to work with you and want to work with you.”

“When we look at opportunities, we try to stay away from going out and taking on business that we can’t handle, that we think we’re going to fail on. We are a large, growing 3PL, we have very good carrier relationships, we work closely with our carriers to make sure we’re finding them backhauls in the lanes they’re looking for. When we go through RFPs, we don’t want to bid on everything. We want to provide high levels of service and complement a shipper’s network.”

“It’s easier to talk openly with a potential prospect, to say, ‘I notice that some people in your industry are having these issues. Is that something you face on a daily basis?’ If the answer is yes, sit back and listen.” 

Also on the podcast we talk about Slync.io’s failure to pay employees after two months of unpaid work. What was originally claimed to be an administrative error has now morphed into a liquidity issue as well as a wide-open look at Slync’s other delinquencies. For a startup valued at $240 million, some of that value might have fallen off in the last few months. 

Got any pain points or things you wish were better in the supply chain and the world of transportation? Contact O’Connell to be on a future episode of Check Call.

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Mary O'Connell

Former pricing analyst, supply chain planner, and broker/dispatcher turned creator of the newsletter and podcast Check Call. Which gives insights into the world around 3PLs and Freight brokers. She will talk your ear off about anything and everything if you let her. Expertise in operations, LTL pricing and procurement, flatbed operations, dry van, tracking and tracing, reality tv shows and how to turn a stranger into your new best friend.