Operations

If You Want More Affiliates, Form Relationships First

Lexi Tucker
Posted on December 6, 2016

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Going Coastal Transportation (GCT) provides 24-hour executive car service seven days a week throughout the South Carolina low country. With everything from motorcoaches to van limos, this 10-year-old operation has its affiliates covered for tours, weddings, and everything in between.

Operations and affiliate manager Ashley Richey says farm-ins make up 57% of its affiliate runs, while farm-outs are about three percent. 40% of the company’s runs are in-house.

Her advice for handling affiliate work is to be patient and spend time building relationships with those you wish to affiliate with. “There are affiliates I have talked to for two years now, and we are now getting the work,” she says.

Ashley Richey, affiliate manager for Going Coastal Transportation
Ashley Richey, affiliate manager for Going Coastal Transportation

She also believes going to shows to meet potential affiliates and making sure to follow up with a personalized email or phone call is a must. “I think it’s important to not come off as overbearing when you are reaching out to affiliates to build your network. Showing them who you are and what you represent is an important aspect of creating and forming those relationships.”

Multiple aspects make the business a good affiliate, Richey says. They take duty-of- care seriously, and pride themselves on customer service, attention to detail, and execution. “It’s very important to promise a service, not just a product, and then follow through on that promise,” she says.

“We train our reservationists, dispatchers, and chauffeurs on checking the details and specific requirements of each affiliate; whether it’s a specific vehicle, newspaper, or brand of water. We ensure everyone employed with GCT knows the expectations of that specific affiliate and of GCT.”

LCT CONNECT PROFILE HERE

Richey has noticed more new companies attending shows and reaching out to build their networks, or joining groups to grow their business, such as Driving Results and Strategy Leaders. “However, the biggest shift I’ve seen this year has been word of mouth through social media. We have had a decent amount of work sent our way due to the recommendations of our current affiliates on social media. It’s become a mainstream way of finding out who to use where.”

GCT decided to become a part of LCT Connect because it’s a great way to access multiple companies in one place with the touch of a mouse. “It’s so quick and informative! For an affiliate manager, it’s an asset to growing your network,” Richey says.

The company has expanded into servicing many cities throughout South Carolina and Georgia. Its goal is to expand even further and grow its affiliate network to increase farm-out work in the coming years.

Related Topics: affiliate networks, Affiliate Report, farm-in farm-out, How To, LCTconnect.com, South Carolina operators

Lexi Tucker Associate Editor
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