Hi, my name is Harry and I graduated from the Grad Program in August 2019. I started the 2-year program back in August 2017 and in that time I’ve been in three different roles within our Logistics division. I can honestly say that I still feel the same excitement coming to work every day as I felt on day one and I hope that this ‘day in the life’ gives you an idea of how I spend my time at work.
My alarm goes off. For the past two months I’ve been working on implementing an overseas business into our Australian Warehousing and Transport services and I have a conference call at 6:30AM due to the time difference. I’ll take this call from home as I have a meeting on this side of town later this morning.
Conference call is done. I have time to make a coffee before I head off. My first meeting this morning is 7:45 am and is actually at a potential customer’s office. Their first shipping container for the morning is arriving at their warehouse at this time and I’ve asked to be there for when they open it, so I know exactly what we’re signing up for when we submit pricing to do this work through Mainfreight.
I arrive at the customer’s office. I have a couple of minutes to go over my notes to see what the objective for this meeting is. When you attend 10-15 meetings a week, it pays to have a ritual of going over notes beforehand to go in with a clear head and having just reminded yourself of the facts you are about to discuss.
Quite a short, but successful meeting. Time to head to the office.
I arrive at the office and pull out my laptop to get set up for a couple of hours. There are no cubicles or corner offices at Mainfreight. My desk is over by the window on a pod of desks with our Branch Manager, Sales Support and Operations Manager. I need to go through some important internal emails regarding new training I’ve been nominated to attend over in New Zealand later in 2019. I’ve also got a list of customers I’m hoping to contact this morning to set up meetings for later in the week. Before I even start typing, the first thing I need is a to-do list for the day. This is by far my most important habit as it’s easy for new calls or emails to distract you from what you already had planned for the day.
After a couple of hours, I’ve got four new meetings set up for later in the week. We call these first-time new business calls. This is typically the very first time someone from Mainfreight has spoken to this business and it’s critical that I get it right. After 6 months in this role, I’ve learned the importance of being a listener first and foremost. There are a time and place for the pitch, but it’s not these initial meetings. I write out a few notes on what I’ve learnt over the phone so I can review these points just before I walk into the meeting.
Time for lunch. Our site has a kitchen that cooks hot meals for us every day. I sit outside for a bit of fresh air. At the table is a mixture of our team from customer service, one of the drivers, a few of the admin team as well as a couple of the sales team.
Lunch done and all of my office tasks completed for the day, I head off to the north side of Brisbane for my next meeting which is at 1:45 pm. With an hour drive ahead, I put on my favourite podcast and hit the road. 10 minutes out from the meeting, I turn the podcast off and start running through some of the questions I have for this customer. This is what we call the discovery stage of the new business sales process. I need to ask some open questions that get the customer talking and give me an opportunity to learn as much as I can. This is how I identify whether or not this business is a fit for Mainfreight’s services.
A slightly longer meeting this afternoon but a very positive one. I was given a tour of the customer’s in-house operation and got to see how they manage their processes currently. Having worked in the warehouse when I first started with Mainfreight two years ago, I can appreciate and understand what I’m seeing and being told. Nothing is worse than a salesperson who knows nothing about what they’re selling. This particular business is struggling to keep up with their growth while continuing to manage their own warehouse with outdated processes and rapidly disappearing space. Straight away I’m starting to formulate how I will approach this proposal.
Being an hour away from the office, I decided to stop at a Café around the corner instead. My immediate priority is to get some notes typed up from the meeting I just left. This is absolutely critical as you will be surprised how many details get forgotten when you don’t put notes together after a meeting.
I’ve spent the last hour or so working through my emails from the afternoon and called a couple of my contacts to confirm meetings for tomorrow. The Café is closing up now and having started early this morning I get in the car to finish up my day.
On Tuesdays, I play Basketball and having finished up a little early today, I’ve managed to get down to the court nice and early before anyone else arrives. All in all, quite a good day and I can’t wait to do it all again tomorrow. No overseas call this time though and I’m looking forward to the extra lie in!