BloggingSales and MarketingWebsite Development

Price is always a major factor in any purchase decision, and the purchase of a new website is no different. Website development companies have different ways of charging you for your new website. It’s confusing, and that’s why we are breaking it down. You can see for yourself the differences between a website you lease and a website you own. Leased website: Best price is always a concern when it comes to purchasing a website, and the leased website isn’t a bargain option. The main benefit that leased websites offer is a significantly lower initial cost than you’d incur when buying a website outright. It’s standard practice for website development companies to charge an upfront fee, but with a leased website you will also have a monthly bill for service. Lower initial cost is great, but there are a couple of cons to the leased website. Say you want to part ways with your website developer--if they are leasing you the website, they are going to take it with them. This means that your hard work, your content, your edits--all of it is gone when your business relationship ends, and that’s a drag! Another issue is the lengthy contract. Most companies that lease websites offer contracts in the 24 months-long range, and unfortunately, your website might still belong to the developers. After 2 years of payments, you’re going to want to OWN your website.   Purchased website: Purchased websites are more common and are a win/win for both you and your developers. In this case, you own the rights to your website, so if you decide to switch providers, you bring your website along. This alleviates your future costs on website projects because the bulk of the work is done when your website goes live the first time! When you buy a website, your initial cost is going to be a little higher than with a leased website. In a standard agreement, you will typically pay half the website cost to start the project. This secures development time. The remainder of the fee is due at the completion of the project. There are companies, however, that are willing to work with you on payment terms. For example, at Squirrel Works, we strive to make sure payment arrangements and development timelines benefit you! Your transportation and logistics company needs the best website, and it’s up to you to make that happen! If you are a newer company, and you’re not quite sure what you’re looking for, a leased website might be a good option. But if you want your website to positively impact your company in the long-term, you’ll want to explore options for owning your website. A website is a big decision! Weigh your options and decide what works best for your unique transportation and logistics company. If you’re in the market for a partner who not only understands but loves the difficult world of transportation AND can help you with your digital marketing--give us a call at 618.509.5740. If you prefer email, reach out to [email protected] We’d love to hear from you....
BloggingSales and MarketingSEOWebsite Development

Imagine this- it’s midnight, you’re hungry, so you decide to venture out for a snack. Wait--there’s a problem. Even though the restaurants exist on Google, there are no instructions, and you have no idea how to get the midnight snack you deserve! Imagine your frustration. All you want is a tasty treat, but you don’t have a clue where to get one because your instructions don’t work. What if I told you that search engines, like Google, face these same frustrations when they crawl your website because you don't have a sitemap? So what the heck is a sitemap and why is it so important? The sitemap is the set of directions that shows search engines how to maneuver your website. Better yet, a good sitemap lets you dictate how search engines move around on your website. For example, let’s say your transportation has a new service offering, and you want to make sure website visitors find it. A good sitemap allows you to give higher priority to the new service offering over the rest of your site’s content. So you think a sitemap is important. Now what? There are in fact several different types of sitemaps--six in fact! HTML XML Video Image New Mobile The most common are the HTML and XML sitemaps. The main difference between these two sitemaps is pretty simple. HTML is user-focused to help the users navigate best on a website, while XML is search engine-focused telling search engines, like Google, what to do. Having smart sitemaps on your transportation website enables you to boost your digital marketing efforts by increasing visibility. You’ll get a leg up on your competition in this ever-changing digital world!   If your current digital efforts aren’t quite doing the trick, don’t let worry get you down. AMT Squirrel Works can offer you the helping hand you need. Reach out. We’d love to chat! Gives us a call at 618.509.5740, or check us out online at amtsquirrelworks.com.  ...
Sales and Marketing

Rejection is hard to face! It’s perhaps the biggest reason most people don’t make the cut when it comes to sales. I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by a team of super encouraging people who constantly pick each other up and motivate each other to be better than they were the day before. Unfortunately, even surrounded by the most solid team, it is highly unlikely that you will ever reach a point in your sales career where rejection isn't a steady staple in your sales diet! Fortunately, there are a couple of ways to soften the blows and to help you bounce back after those brutal rejections. Laugh it off. This is pretty crucial and why it’s number one on my list. You can’t take personally every rejection you receive at work, or you’ll be buried alive. Just off a call in which you got your rear end flamed? Laugh it off and smile. Darwin noted in his famous facial feedback response theory that simply smiling can cause a positive effect on your overall mood. Plus, a smile is contagious, so if you’re not doing it for yourself do it for your sales teammates who are likely going through the same gauntlet. Conduct a self-audit. Once you’ve had the chance to laugh off the pain of your last defeat, it’s time to recap what happened so you can get back to crushing it. Something I find helpful is returning to and studying the calls, emails and any other communication form I used. I call it my self-audit. Here’s how it goes: Did I ask the right questions during discovery calls? Did I give prospective clients enough breathing time between conversations? I remind myself all the time that a prospect’s world doesn’t revolve around me. He or she is working hard. So when it’s time for me to follow up, I make sure I have a solid reason and purpose for that call. So often, successful sales calls come down to the right place at the right time! Be consistent. If your current plan of attack is working then put your head down and keep getting the job done. Consistency is what propels you to the finish line at the end of the day. Don’t let the outlier in your pipeline diminish all of the current success you are having out there. Moral of the story- Don’t be afraid to laugh the rejection away, make sure you conduct a helpful self-audit to keep your sales process efficient and positive, and be consistent with your work. Hopefully these tips will help you over the next rejection hump you face so you can get right back to your success!...
TIA 2018 Conference

Here’s what I have to say about my first conference experience--WOW! Seriously, the 2018 TIA Convention was packed with valuable and exciting industry education, lots of wonderful connections, and most important of all, lessons I can take with me into the future! I can’t thank the TIA enough for putting together such an amazing event! After getting home and grabbing some sleep, I started thinking about the convention and what ideas or lessons I brought home with me. I’ve come up with what I’m calling my three main takeaways. Here they are: Everyone is human. You may believe that this is a no-brainer, but here me out. The title is on the nametag might be CEO, Sales Rep, or Custodian, but the truth is people are people. Most conversations start with a simple hello and end with a simple goodbye! At the start of the conference, I suffered from what I’m going to call fear of the title. But the truth is these conferences are all about networking, so people are a lot more receptive when a stranger walks up and starts asking questions pertaining to what they do and how they do it. The biggest battle is initiating the conversation. Once you’ve stepped up and introduced yourself, you’re golden! You can spread your wings, you social butterflies! Sit in a high traffic area. For me, this was the bar/lounge area. The hotel lobby at TIA contained both a bar and a Starbucks in the same area--I’ve never seen so many people in one spot at one time. Most diets consisted of Starbucks sandwiches, coffee, and beer. It’s a good idea to find the common area, make yourself comfortable, and let the networking begin. Trust me, he conversations will dictate themselves. You don’t have to sell anyone the world over a cup of coffee at 7 A.M. Be friendly, open to conversation, ask questions, and the rest will take care of itself. Take care of yourself. While everyone else fueled themselves with coffee, I thrived on Red Bulls and some delicious Doritos (don’t think I didn’t miss my wings). I’m young, so I didn't see anything wrong with this...
Sales and MarketingTIA 2018 Conference

Similar to Notorious B.I.G. in the late 90’s “I’m going back to the Cali”, and I couldn’t be more excited! I haven’t been back since I moved from Sacramento as a freshman in high school. Those eight years flew by. Unfortunately, during my years living in California, I never made the trip to southern California. To be honest, southern California might as well have been on the other side of the country, as far away as it is from Sacramento. Luckily, I’m finally making the trip, and for a great reason, I might add.   So why am I so excited? Well, it’s not the immaculate golf courses or sunny weather although they don’t hurt. No, I'm jazzed because the TIA conference is coming up in Palm Desert! For those who don’t know, TIA is the Transportation Intermediaries Association and it’s one of the most respected associations in Transportation.   As a newbie, I’m not only excited but a little bit nervous too. The opportunity to mingle with and talk with the thought leaders in our industry is invaluable. So how does someone who has never even been to a conference prepare for one? With lots of help!   Thankfully I'm fortunate to have a boss with lots of experience, a guy who isn’t fazed by my many questions. It’s an advantage having someone who shares what he did right, what he did wrong and all the little triumphs and failures in between. He’s a great mentor who offers advice on how to start conversations with folks walking by the booth (not always as easy as just saying hello), how to market myself before and after the conference, and how and when to ask for meetings.   So while I may be nervous now, come time for the conference I will be prepared. I dare you to stop by booth  #107 and see for yourself.  Can’t wait to see you at the 2018 TIA Conference!...
Sales and Marketing

Sales and marketing can be a real-life rollercoaster but being in the industry, you probably already know that. You might find that you arrive at work on Monday feeling like 100 bucks, ready to crush the week and go home feeling like a champ after a gruelling yet successful day. But come Tuesday, you find yourself hitting walls and making no progress. In sales, there are sky-scraping highs and below ground-level lows. So what keeps me coming back? A healthy fear of failure, the gut-busting pain of losing, and the elation of brushing it off, climbing back up, and collecting a victory. It might seem odd that the fear of failure is my motivator, but that’s how I am wired to work. But that’s not all! I like to find one aspect of each day that keeps me coming back for more. Rarely, will an entire day go by where I can’t find something positive to take away and feel that if you can’t find one positive takeaway, you might need to rethink your approach. You might need to get creative. I make videos while reflecting on my day and like to think of talking directly to my phone as if I’m talking to a friend. I vent, rant and discuss the ups and downs of a day well-spent. Some days it’s joyful and other days it’s challenging, but every day this little act provides me with clarity. And it’s fun. It gives me something to look forward to--a chance to check in with myself, to talk about what worked and what didn’t, and way to look forward and prepare for the coming days. Motivation is the key to succeeding. So what motivates and drives you? Is it fear of failure? Or is it a big dream like a car that you’ve always wanted or a bucket list item like exploring new parts of the world. Finding what drives you to make the sale is crucial! Once you have figured out what works for you, you’ve already won half the battle, so go one and crush some goals and exceed your targets....
Sales and Marketing

Stay in Touch: Your Customers Want to Talk The transportation industry is full of activity, therefore our customers are busy. It might take an hour or two, or even a day or two for them to get back to us. But remember, if we’re doing our job--helping them to merge seamlessly with some of the most innovative and exciting technologies--they will want to return our calls! Our job is to present them with the most pertinent information and solutions so they can make informed decisions about their unique needs. Keep the dialogue open, pay attention to concerns, and assume nothing. Take Advantage of Windshield Time Sales trips often include long periods of windshield time--this is the time we spend driving to and from our sales destinations (something I just learned all about). Active people often complain about these long hours behind the wheel, but I found that windshield time quite valuable. If you are on a sales call with a partner, it gives you time to toss around business ideas, plan for your next call, and to prospect every truck you pass as a potential customer. Just so you know, if you’re the passenger, you might do a lot of writing--hand cramp! A Fast Food Parking Lot May Just Be the Perfect Place for That Sales Call Sometimes you have to make do with what you have! If you work in sales, you might find yourself sitting in the car in a McDonald’s parking lot, while your boss is inside because that’s the only way you can both get on the conference line for a sales call! No, it’s not the 20th floor high-rise office with a view--the one I imagined myself in while in college, but it might be better. Working on the fly, making do, and crushing it anyway gives me a sense of accomplishment and success! I’m learning to love sales because it gives me ample opportunity to be creative with my time and energy, but whatever your speciality--remaining open to possibilities at all times will serve you and your customers well!...