How to Manage Underperformers: A 4-Step Guide for Freight Brokerages

How to Manage Underperformers: A 4-Step Guide for Freight Brokerages

Freight 360 By Freight 360

Welcome to the Freight 360 blog, where we dive deep into the nuances of the transportation sales industry to bring you the latest tips, training, and insights to help you accelerate your success. Today, we’re tackling a common yet challenging topic every freight brokerage faces: managing underperformers.


Have you ever been excited about a new hire, only to start doubting your decision a few months in? It’s a scenario many of us in freight brokerage have encountered with underperformers. Making the call on whether to give more time or to part ways with an underperforming salesperson can be daunting. But, what if there was a structured way to address this, offering a path to improvement or a graceful exit? Let’s explore a four-step process designed to tackle just that.

Step 1: Open the Conversation About Fit

Start by gently suggesting that the person consider whether this career or position is genuinely right for them. It’s a tough conversation but necessary. This step is about opening up a dialogue and setting the stage for personal accountability.

Step 2: Encourage Commitment to Improvement

Often, when faced with the possibility of not being a fit, the underperformer will vow to improve and request more time. It’s critical at this juncture to support their desire to turn things around, emphasizing your belief in their potential to succeed.

Step 3: Define Success Together

This is where the magic happens. Ask the underperforming individual to outline what success looks like in their role. It’s vital that they create these criteria, not you. This approach fosters ownership and makes future accountability more straightforward and effective.

Step 4: Set a Date to Reevaluate

Agree on a time to revisit the conversation, with the understanding that if the success benchmarks are not met, a serious discussion about parting ways will occur. This step ensures clarity and sets a clear timeline for evaluation.

Why This Process Works

This four-step strategy to managing underperformers shifts the responsibility for improvement onto the underperformer, creating a necessary framework for accountability. Whether they evolve into a top producer or decide to move on, it becomes a journey of personal responsibility.

Encouraging employees to take ownership of their successes and failures is not only a leadership strategy but a growth opportunity for everyone involved. Sometimes, recognizing that someone isn’t the right fit for a position, industry, or type of work is the most beneficial outcome for both parties.

At Freight360, we believe in empowering our team to succeed or learn valuable lessons in the process. This methodology is part of our commitment to not just building successful freight brokerages but fostering a culture of continuous improvement and personal development.

For more insights into creating a thriving freight brokerage and navigating the challenges of the transportation sales industry, explore our Freight Broker Basics course and other resources at or watch us over on YouTube. Together, let’s build a future where every team member can achieve their full potential.

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