What is a network partner agent?
So you have joined a network and are now part of the party, one of the team. Your company is peer-to-peer with other like minded companies around the world who you will make business with over the next few years. But who really are all of these people and how do they fit in with your company? How should you be thinking of them? Are they your agents? Are they your friends? I’d like to give you a few practical ways to think about these people who make up your new team:
They are not just partners but they are your best customers.
How many customers will you have directly, in house and free hand, who will be able to give you repeat business like other members of your network? That would be a small number my friend when you look at the big picture. If you can make the business work with some important new partner agents in the group your business will not only take off within the group but it will fly. And it will repeat over and over and over. Who will have more freight than a large group of freight agents. And since you have their customers by proxy as your customers as well as the partner importers and / or exporters of your agents’ customers as proxy agents then you automatically will be able to multiply the number of clients you get right off the bat. It is then your job to treat each of them the way that you’d want to be treated so that they give you even more repeat business, grow the on going business they already have with you and give you opportunities to increase your profits with this business.
They are not just customers but they are your best partners.
When you are working in a tight agency relationship you do necessarily need to perform all the functions and duties that would make your business more aligned on a long-term basis. You need to keep open lines of communications. You need to think as a team if you plan to win and keep more business. And you should be meeting each other at the annual general meetings to strategize. (Yes, if you think these meetings are all about meeting new agents you are all wrong in your approach!)
So if you are thinking about your networking peers in the right way they are your best customers and your best partners. This is something neither of you should lose sight of when dealing with one another. Treat yourselves right. Don’t conduct business with one another like it is there forever to be had and to be taken for granted. Your network partner agents are some of the most important customers, and partners, you will ever know. Treat them that way and prosper together.
Gary Dale Cearley is the Managing Director of Advanced International Networks Ltd. (AIN), one of the fastest growing and most dynamic business-to-business networking organizations in the world. AIN’s networks include AerOceaNetwork (AON), XLProjects Network (XLP), AiO Logistics Network (AiO). Gary Dale has been in many facets of international freight forwarding for more than two decades from operations to sales to the owner of the first 100% foreign owned freight forwarding company licensed in Vietnam. The companies that he has been involved with have been both generalists and specialists. He has also worked from large European and Asian multinationals (Danzas and Hankyu Express) as well has small start up forwarders. For the past ten years Gary Dale has owned and operated AIN. He has lived in several major cities in four different countries and he is multilingual. Currently Gary Dale runs the AIN operation from Bangkok, Thailand, but travels the world over. Gary Dale welcomes all sorts of interactions. If you have questions or comments about anything Gary Dale has written here you may contact him directly by e-mail.