Fuel for Thought

Loose Lips, Lose Shipments

By Greg Huggins
Posted Aug 19th 2022 7:11AM

It is no secret that in today’s society, people really like to brag about themselves. You cannot open social media without seeing someone trying to get their “fifteen minutes of fame”, even if it is only one 30 second video at a time. Hey, if that’s your thing, go for it, just be mindful of the content. I’m sure your videos get lots of views, that’s great, but if you are broadcasting your business to the world, don’t include privileged information. The easiest way to lose a customer is by telling everyone (your competitors) about how great they are. Instead, just tell the customer directly, they will appreciate it.
It is not just social media either. Braggards can be found at almost any truckstop weaving their boastful yarns about their great paying customers and who they are. You might think you are trying to “one-up” your fellow driver, but in fact you could be giving too much info to the room and ultimately lose that great customer to someone in the next booth who has been also listening to your bragging.
Maybe not as common anymore, but it does still happen, when drivers can not satisfy their ego at the truckstop lunch counter, they take to the CB to exclaim to anyone listening about their latest and greatest financial windfall in the form of a good customer.
There is an old saying that loose lips, sink ships. Well, in trucking, loose lips, lose shipments. Keep telling your competitors about your shipments and revenue and sooner or later you will say this in the presence of the wrong company and they will try to take that customer from you. After all, you told them who, what, where, when and how much, now they have the opportunity to approach your customer below your rate and scoop them out from under you.
A lot of drivers love to sit around and talk about the trucking business, customers, traffic, politics and the list goes on and on. There is nothing wrong with a little comradery, just be mindful of what details to include in your tales and which need to be omitted. Competition is not only fierce, but it is also everywhere. Wherever you are in your career, there are hundreds if not thousands who are striving to reach your level. Successful drivers have new drivers watching and aspiring to reach your status. New drivers have those yet to attain a CDL looking to them for guidance. Your contemporaries might be waiting for you to slip and divulge your customer source(s).
The bottom line is if you are tired of hauling for your best customer, keep bragging about it and someone will relieve you of the burden.

A fool flatters himself, a wise man flatters the fool.
- Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

See you down the road,