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Household movers should take ‘consultative’ approach, think beyond price: Kruger – Truck News

Larry Kruger has worked in the moving sector for decades, but the independent relocation consultant worries about one particular type of move – the gap that continues to grow between movers and their business prospects.

“We keep moving away from the professional sales aspect of this,” he told an annual meeting of the Canadian Association of Movers, asking why businesses increasingly look at sales teams as “order takers”.

Some of his approaches sound decidedly old-school in their approach. Want to know where customers can be found? Look for realtor signs on front lawns and knock on the doors, he said.

household mover
(Photo: iStock)

But once involved in the conversation, Kruger stresses the value of “consultative” sales techniques that focus on customers, listening and asking questions rather than applying a one-size-fits-all approach.

True moving consultants also explain the business without jargon, he added, using clear messages about pricing as an example. Customers aren’t interested in hearing about “accessorials”, he argued. They want all-in pricing.

“We have to start thinking of ourselves as moving consultants,” he said. “When you go out to see a customer, take care of them.”

Slow down the sales process

Customers who contact the businesses directly have also gathered plenty of information up front, he said. But rather than allowing the “sales funnel” to degrade to a “sales slide” that focuses on price alone, Kruger recommends slowing down the sales process to gather more information during such interactions.

“They’ve already made the decision. They decided to call you. They’re not tire kickers,” he said, suggesting that movers who take the time to identify specific needs can typically add about 10% to a sale.

“We are in the hospitality business, not the trucking business,” Kruger said, even suggesting movers should hire representatives from the hospitality industry to train staff about how everyone should act in a customer’s home. It is a personal space.

It can seem easy to approach a move like a single transaction. After all, how often does someone move? But moving companies should remember that each client is connected to a massive network. A typical Canadian on social media has about 300 connections, he noted. “If you do a poor job in delivery of a service, they’re telling hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people how terrible a company you are.”

There are emerging challenges to overcome, though. Kruger worries about corporations that simply post opportunities on bid boards, offering little detail beyond the 5,000-lb. load going from Toronto to Montreal.

The greater the distance from a customer, the bigger the discount, he said.

“What is the cost of losing your brand identity?” he asked. As that erodes, so does the value of the moving company itself.

“If you want to distance yourself from your customer, that’s what you’re doing,” Kruger said of those who focus on bid responses alone.

“We’re in the bedrooms of Canada. We’re not bidding on a load of lumber.”


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