You have painstakingly taken every measure possible to ensure your clients have a worry-free, smooth experience throughout their sales/move transition. To a large degree, your livelihood depends on how well you handle detail and manage your client’s expectations. Ever follow-up with your clients after a closing, expecting to hear how great things went, only to be told a horror story that even Stephen King wouldn’t believe. Again, it is the “last mile” that stumbles so many. A distasteful moving experience washes away weeks, if not months, of good-will building between an agent and their client.
So, what can an agent do about the last mile in our sales process? Absolutely nothing. As a matter of fact, stay out of it. Set your client’s expectation of the moving step to; “painful”. Feel free to apologize in advance for the terrible things that will happen to them during their move. Be sure to focus your client’s attention on getting past their move and always separate yourself from anyone associated with the moving industry.
It’s been a generation since the Gambino and Lucchese families played significant roles in our Nation’s trucking industry. But, if you have spent any time online looking for movers, you’d hardly know it. Think of today’s trucking industry as Gambino-lite, all the same criminality, but now with less murder.
And no better example of today’s new-era gangster than Allied Van Lines. “Allied” might be a logo on some paperwork, but that’s basically it. Behind the Allied logo is any number of “territorial” partners. And, even those partners have sub-contractors which means your client is right back to using a Craigslist crew, only this time at Allied prices.
If your clients are moving anywhere in the Southeast, chances are they will run into Coleman Moving. Coleman is the “certified partner” allowed to use the Allied logo. At some point a company named Covan may become involved as well. Your clients won’t be told why. Allied by the way is owned by a company named Sirva Worldwide. Oddly, their entire Corporate structure is set-up exactly like a boardwalk shell game, only with their clients being the pea.
But, it’s the Allied/Coleman/Covan/Sirva sales strategy agents really need to warn their clients about. What they do is legal. Con men have a lot of names for it, but it’s a form of bait n’ switch. The idea is simple, undercut the competition, Mayflower, and make up that lost revenue on “upsells”. This has been a standard sales strategy since the dawn of time. But, when this up-sell strategy is employed on people who are moving, it becomes particularly “evil”.
People who are moving are in a VERY vulnerable state. They feel exposed and suddenly aware of how little they are in control. Today’s criminals research and invest in ways to get people in these over-exposed, “I’ll agree to anything” scenarios. And when they get you there, they are literally robbing you without a gun. And sadly, there is nothing anyone can do. Afterall, which shell does the pea call?
It’d be easy to tell Agents to stay away from Allied Van Lines. But your clients will end up there. And if you want your client to remain a client beyond a single sale, know the road ahead will feature bumps. Consider the last mile moving step a huge bump. Manage to it and around it.
The Relocation Industry is literally carried on the backs of a very small workforce. Sirva, Coleman, Allied, Covan all have multiple layers of “middle-management” that appear to do little. This is a far cry from the poor slubs who must carry the heavy furniture and stones up the King’s pyramid every day. While these laborer’s kill themselves on behalf of “Allied”, some grifter from Covan is laying back in their pedicure chair ordering up-sells from their phone.
The moving industry is a terrible place. Allied et al is a bad company. But don’t confuse the poor folks who are doing all the real lifting with the many layers of marketeers whose only purpose is to confuse.