As we prepare to announce the 2016 Landstar Safety Officer (LSO) of the Year at this year’s annual Landstar Agent Convention, we take a moment to profile last year’s LSO of the Year, selected from the 12 LSO of the Month winners for 2015.
John Murphy remembers his first sales call in lower Manhattan. He says, that day he learned what cold calling really meant.
“I went in bright and early. These were the days before emails and cell phones,” Murphy chuckled. “I walked up and went in to pitch them and the man inside the office kicked me out.”
Murphy remembers standing outside the storefront, not really knowing what to do next. Then the man who had booted him out, called him back in and gave him advice that Murphy has practiced throughout his 40-year career.
“He said to me, ‘You don’t show up on a sales call before 9:30 a.m. or after 4 p.m. because nobody wants to talk to you then.’ That conversation, after that initial trial-by-fire is what gave me my first strategy in sales,” says Murphy. “In New York City, I learned on the toughest customers around.”
Several years and many successful sales later, Murphy met Landstar Agent Art Perry.
“It was June 2009. Art told me he wanted to grow his agency and asked if I knew what a Safety Officer was,” explains Murphy, who didn’t know the answer.
Landstar Safety Officers are agency representatives who promote safety, security and compliance initiatives, involving both BCOs and customers, participate in the monthly Safety Thursday Conference Call, and look for ways to prevent accidents and cargo losses.
Murphy joined Perry’s agency in Tampa, Florida, learning all he could about Landstar’s unique safety programs such as the Mutual Understanding of Safety Together or M.U.S.T. customer program.
“I started promoting safety throughout our agency and sharing safety ideas with customers and it was successful,” recalls Murphy.
He thinks the idea of putting safety first is a “no brainer.” When customers come to him with a safety question, Murphy creates a safety-first dialogue and starts solving problems.
“You’re not just selling services, you’re selling safety and that’s an easy sell. Safety is not only my best selling tool, it’s the most important one,” says Murphy.
Throughout the last seven years, Murphy has conducted dozens of M.U.S.T. visits with the agency’s customers, pointing out safety concerns and working with the customers to save them time and money.
“M.U.S.T. is so unique and such a great way to share ideas about safety. All of our customers know that every shipment has to ride correctly or we cannot pick it up,” says Murphy.
Murphy and Online Transport International LLC booked close to 2 million BCO miles with no preventable accidents in 2015.
“We are always putting safety first and we are continuously looking for ways to improve,” Murphy says.
After years of dedication to safety, being named the 2015 Landstar Safety Officer of the Year was a career highlight for Murphy.
“It was so rewarding to receive the Safety of Officer of the Year honor. This is what drives me – it’s all about the relationship you have with your customers,” says Murphy. “I am proud of what we do, and Landstar’s safety-first culture makes it so easy to provide good service.”
The winner of the 2016 LSO of the Year will be announced during Landstar’s Annual Agent Convention held April 5 – 9, 2017.