Networking’ might be the latest buzzword but of course it has been around for years. We’ve all heard the saying ‘It’s not what you know but who you know that counts’ and nothing could be truer when you consider the power of ‘word of mouth’. When you compare networking with what many do to find owner driver jobs, ie cold calling, it is not hard to see why the former is so much more effective. Walk into the businesses on your local trading estate and tout your business and, unless you have some really amazing sales pitch, business owners are just going to be left wondering ‘Who is this guy? And why should I choose him above any of the others?’ With networking, however, you have the opportunity to get to know the people who could really help to put business your way, and to impress them with your reputation and your professionalism.
How Networking Works
Networking works on the basis of ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’, but an important point to remember here is that any back scratching that needs to be done has to start with you. Whether you attend formal business networking clubs or events, or choose to hang out at the places which are frequented by potential clients, the aim should be to get to know people and then offer your help first. Let’s say, for example, that your new contact is in the business of selling office supplies. You might have other contacts who are regular buyers of office supplies that you could put him in touch with, or you could just dig out some useful information about upcoming events or things which are happening within his industry and send it to him. By doing something for him, however small, he will be disposed to put you in the way of information and contacts which will help you to find more owner driver jobs. It’s kind of like karma – whatever you give out, you get back tenfold! Go into a networking relationship with the attitude ‘What can you do for me?’, however, and you will be an instant turn-off.
Using networking to get more owner driver jobs means building real relationships, and this is something which many people fail to take on board. They often expect to turn up to a networking event, have a quick chat with a few people, hand out a few business cards and then walk away and wait for the business to roll in. Like any real life relationship, networking relationships are based on trust and respect, and so it is important to stay in touch on a regular basis. It might sound like a waste of valuable time and energy, but if your name is at the forefront of your contacts’ minds, and you have shown yourself to be reliable, helpful and of high reputation, then they will ensure that the owner driver jobs come your way without you having to pay a penny for advertising and marketing, or wasting your shoe leather traipsing around knocking on doors.
So, there are the most effective ways of networking your way into owner driver jobs, but what else can you be doing to help yourself? There are various transport and courier exchange websites out there that can point business your way. These exchanges act as hubs where couriers can look at other people’s loads and journeys, and identify opportunities for extra journeys and backloads, minimising the frustrations of empty space, and making great business connections. You might just find yourself another courier with whom you can share owner driver jobs to make sure you are both doing the most effective journeys possible.