Hi, this is IINO.
In this video, I would like to talk about a career change for forwarders.
Changing jobs is common
Nowadays, in Japan, we no longer live in an era of lifetime employment. I think changing jobs is a common option.
In Thailand, where I am working, changing jobs is very common. People in this country switch jobs to increase their income, or to change their work environment immediately if they feel it does not match to them.
Today, I will talk about changing jobs as a forwarder salesman, focusing on the income aspect. I’ll talk about changing jobs as a customer service representative another time, so please subscribe to my channel and wait for me.
So let’s get to it.
IINO’s career change
First of all, let me tell you about my background in a career change. I’ve never done a job change as a forwarder salesperson seriously, but I have changed jobs three times.
Also, as the manager of a forwarder company, I have interviewed more than 50 people who have changed jobs. Based on this experience and industry trends, I can tell you what employers look for when interviewing candidates.
Is it easy to change jobs for a forwarder?
First of all, I think it is easy to change jobs for a forwarder because of the nature of the job. The basic process of international logistics is the same regardless of the company.
The system used differs from company to company, but the workflow is roughly the same. Once you get used to the rules of your new company, you will be able to work as usual. Salespeople who have changed jobs at our company from other companies in the same industry, are working without any problems within a month.
Increase your income by changing jobs
One of the most important things to consider when changing jobs is your income. There are many cases that you can increase your income at once by changing jobs compared to the company’s annual salary increase rate.
As a reference example in our company, the salary increased every year is around 5%, depending on the performance. However, if you compare the previous income of people who change jobs with their desired income, they tend to try to raise it by about 20%.
Some people change jobs regularly every 2-3 years because they can increase their income more quickly than getting a raise at the current company. This is sometimes derided as job-hopper, but it is said that Americans change jobs about 12 times in their lifetime.
If you think of yourself as a commodity, you want to sell it for as high a price as possible, it is natural in this capitalistic world. Of course, happiness in life is not only income, but I believe that income is one of the most important factors in life.
As an employer, I want my staff to work for as long as possible, and I try to create a work environment for it. However, it would be tough if they quit after one year, but if they work for us for three years, I think it would be OK for now.
No matter how much effort the employer puts in, it is not possible to raise the salary without any limits considering the cost and performance of the job. However, staff members have their own lives to lead, and they have the freedom to choose where they work.
Consider a Sales Position
Back to the topic at hand. In order to talk about incomes by changing jobs as a forwarder salesperson, let me first explain the “sales position” of a forwarder. This is because each company requires different things of their salespeople.
Whether you are salesperson to maintain or grow existing customers, or to develop new customers in the existing market, or to find new market as a new project for the company, it depends on the company.
A company that is looking for a salesperson who can maintain existing customers may be in a hurry, because of the turnover of sales employees, while a company that is looking for a salesperson who can develop new customers wants to increase its performance further.
I think it is good that you should try to look for a new sales position depending on it suits you or not. You can avoid mismatches by checking in advance what kind of sales position your new employer is looking for.
New business development sales that come in handy
However, it is the latter type of salesperson who can develop new business that comes in useful. Of course, it is important to follow up with existing customers. Still, it is not so difficult to sell to them because the company has already established a relationship and has a track record with them.
However, when it comes to developing new business, you have to be proactive and take on new projects by making full use of door-to-door sales and referrals.
In our company, we use the term “hunter sales” as an analogy. To acquire new clients, follow up with them, and increase our revenue, which is very important for companies that want to improve their performance.
Forwarder Sales Compensation Structure
Let’s talk about the compensation structure of forwarder salespeople here. In most cases, Japanese forwarders offer a fixed salary. However, some foreign forwarders offer a commission system.
I’ve never heard of forwarder salesperson with a complete commission, but it seems like there is a certain amount of fixed salary, and if you want to earn more than that, you have to earn on a commission.
Dreamy forwarder’s commission
The commission structure differs from company to company. It is difficult to disclose in public since it includes Know-How. However, the commission of our top Thai salesman is more than my salary as the president of the company.
Doesn’t that sound like a dream come true? If you are good at acquiring new clients, you may want to consider moving to a company that uses a commission system.
Consider the economy of the logistics industry
If you want to earn a high income, you also need to consider the industry’s economy. The international logistics industry is currently booming.
The bigger the company, the easier it is to secure space and the higher the long-haul sales, so the performance of major forwarders, along with shipping companies and airlines, is good.
However, it is unclear how long this boom will last. Even if the container shortage is resolved, the collective bargaining agreement of the International Longshore and Warehouse Workers Union on the U.S. West Coast, will expire after July 1st, 2022.
Personally, I think at this time, there will be another clogging of container flow at U.S. ports, and it will make ocean freight rates rise, and the industry will boom,
However, after that, it is unpredictable.
As I explained in another video, since the shipping industry has been in a recession for several years, there is a possibility of a rebound from the current boom. Even if it is a major player, it cannot rest assured.
Well, it’s the same in other industries.
By the way, I don’t know how to get hired by a major forwarder. I’m sorry. But if I were to try to get employed by a major forwarder, I would be actively working to make connections. What is called referral recruiting.
Even if I use a recruiting agency, there is a high possibility that they will not hire someone who has like my background. In my case, it may be difficult even if I use my connections.
I’m getting off-topic again, so I’ll summarize here.
I told you that it is easy to change jobs in the forwarder sales business. It’s because the flow of international logistics is the same in other companies. In that sense, I think there is less anxiety about the job.
And in term of the idea of raising your income by changing jobs, you can raise your income at once by changing jobs rather than the rate of salary increase every year. In some countries, people are ridiculed as “job hoppers,” while in other countries, such as the U.S., it is common for people to change jobs about 12 times in their lifetime.
Therefore, it might be fine to think casually about changing jobs.
Forwarder sales are mainly divided into following up with existing customers and developing new customers.
It is important to understand what you are suited for or not. If you are good at acquiring new customers, you may want to consider a company that offers commissions.
If you are aiming for a high income with a fixed salary, I think a major forwarder is a way to go.
However, salespeople are only as good as their performance. If it is a small to medium sized forwarder, it is possible to earn a higher income if you can achieve a high level of performance. In fact, I have told that the income of a salesperson is higher than the salary of the president. I hope this story will be helpful to you.
In another video, I’d like to talk about what employers are concerned about when interviewing for a job changer of a forwarder and also about changing jobs for customer service.
I’ll see you in the next video. Thank you very much!
Contact to IINO san