Cold Calling, High Value Shipments, & More | Final Mile 48

Freight 360

June 18, 2024

Ben Kowalski & Stephen Ruhe answer your freight brokering questions and discuss:

  • How to get produce shippers
  • What happens when insurance lapses?
  • Insuring high value cargo
  • Do freight agents need an LLC?
  • Battling cold calling struggles

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Show Transcript

See full episode transcriptTranscript is autogenerated by AI

Speaker 1: 0:19

Hello, welcome everybody to Freight 360 and the Final Mile, where we answer this week's questions. So it's a Q&A session, right? And just a reminder we're going to answer. We've got five questions today, so whatever's in the title we will absolutely cover in this episode, as well as four other questions. We're going to have Steven with us this week, as Nate is at Army, but this should still be a pretty good episode. What's going on, steven?

Speaker 2: 0:51

Not a whole lot. Putting out fires, covering loads, trying to keep people on the same page, living the life of a freight broker yeah. Shaking off the sand from Aruba last week, yeah, how was the trip? It was good, it was really hot. I don't think I'd ever go back to the equator in june, but you know, the wedding was good.

Speaker 1: 1:11

so I did that once I went to I can't remember where it is where chichen, chichen, I can't even pronounce it. It's that really big pyramid that during the equinox it has the big snakes and the sun comes through it. It's Chichen Itza. It's in Mexico anyway, and we went there in June it was 20 years ago and I remember we went and hiked and went through all this cool stuff. I don't think I've ever been that hot in my life, that thirsty and that miserable on a vacation activity my entire life being that close to the equator and shit.

Speaker 2: 1:46

I live in south florida now and it was unbearably hot and yeah, I remember packing up the car on friday to go back to the airport at 8 am. It was 105 degrees out already and I was like I cannot wait to get out of here.

Speaker 1: 2:00

Yeah but hey, all's well that ends well. You guys had a great time. I saw you take the kids. They all look like they had a really, really blast.

Speaker 2: 2:09

Yeah, it was a good time.

Speaker 1: 2:12

All right, man, let's jump into it. So first one how do you get produce shippers, as most of them have their own fleet, or are FOB routed, meaning freight on board or customer routed? What's your thoughts on this one, stephen?

Speaker 2: 2:29

Yeah, so I know a lot of the customers that I've spoke with. It's a common line, not just with produce shippers but a lot of shippers and having your own fleet or customer routed. I mean trucks break down, issues happen, so you've got to get around the objection by asking them like what do you do in those events so you know if they have their own fleet and their truck's down or the guy doesn't show up to work or lady whoever's driving the truck or they're sick or whatever, they have to have a backup to get that product there and to think that their fleet covers 100% of their freight. If it's not time sensitive, maybe, but if it's produce shippers like the question's asking, I highly doubt that they don't have a list of backups to go to and that's something that you would have to pry open in your calls.

Speaker 1: 3:26

It's a really good point, right. And again, if you guys listen to this, listen to the interview that we did with one of my clients, sorov, because we talk about this, right, your tone of voice and how you say what you say is really going to determine how a person responds to you, just in any conversation, right, but specifically in sales. So, if you haven't been able to get them to connect with you, right, the likelihood is they're going to throw any objection that comes to mind to get you to go away so they can go back to doing what they were doing, whatever it is at their job, right? So I think the important part is one focusing on being authentic and genuine when you're trying to just use that statement or question alone, right, oh, hey, that's fob, oh, that's, that's great. Hey, if you mind me asking, like, um, fob, like, what does that mean for you guys? Does that mean like every single one of your loads, like a hundred percent, gets routed by your customers? Does that mean like some of the predictable stuff gets, you know, routed by them, but last minute shipments might move on like your trucks? Can you just tell me a little bit more about, like, how you guys, or what that means to you.

Speaker 1: 4:51

Right, that alone will usually get you more information, because most shippers, like you said, even if they are FOB, even if it's a lot of FOB, like most of it, there's still usually a percentage of loads that are not FOB that that company arranges. And furthermore, you want to ask who arranges their inbound shipments? Right, because it could be the place they buy it from. It could be them. Maybe all of their loads that leave their facility and go to customers are routed by their customers, or 90%, but maybe all of their inbound produce that they purchase they actually arrange the transportation. And again, asking more questions will get you closer to understanding what is really happening. And usually, if you're doing it in a way where you're authentic and you care and you do want to understand this, they will be more than happy to explain what and how and what scenarios fall under what situations. Right, which allows you to get one step closer to turning them into a customer.

Speaker 1: 5:51

And I think the other big takeaway for anyone out there is like, if you're hearing this right, like the other thing I do, is like I will follow up with that person on a different day, week or time, or maybe I'll follow up with a different representative at that company and see if they tell me the same thing. And then two or three people if it's a big company, I might call five people with the same job title and keep asking questions until I really do believe that there either is no opportunity or it's worth digging and building some more rapport to learn a little bit more. Right, it's all in the follow-ups.

Speaker 2: 6:24

And one thing to add to that, especially with, like the produce shippers or food product, is you know if they truly are a hundred percent customer routed. I mean that stuff's shipping in something, whether it's a Gaylord or pallets or something. So where I mean, where are they getting those cardboard from? Where they get I mean? So you may not have contact to ship something for them, but now you're getting leads to add to your pipeline. So now you can, you're going to have trucks going there and maybe you you open the door that way, because now you have a truck delivering product and it can take product out.

Speaker 1: 6:59

And I love that right Like to me. What's the image in my head is? They call it a supply chain for a reason, meaning there are lots of links in that chain. You are talking to one link and asking about what that one link does To your point. I want to know what's the link before and the link after in the chain, who and what happens with the outbound stuff and who and what happens with the inbound stuff? Right, and sometimes you work a link back. You go to the company or the vendor that ships their inbound and talk to them and then maybe they tell you that they arrange or don't arrange what comes into them and you work back In produce. You can work all the way back to the farm, right, and if you're shipping washing machines, you can work your way all the way from a finished product like a washing machine and you go back one step and maybe it's stamped aluminum. Maybe you go back one step before that and it's rolled aluminum. Maybe, if you go one step before that, it's an aluminum ingot that gets shipped to another mill, that gets rolled into a big coil that then gets stamped. There are lots of links and products don't get 100% manufactured, usually in one place, little things happen. They ship from company to company until they end up at a finished product, hence supply chain. The more you understand it, the more leads you uncover, the more opportunities you have to find and get new business right.

Speaker 1: 8:18

Number two I have only 10 months with my MC and I've already had six inspections. However, I'm pretty sure you guys are wrong, because if you don't have insurance, automatically your MC is deactivated. Okay, so I want to get into the weeds a little bit here. It's great that you're on because you also manage an asset side. So what insurance we are talking about? We're talking about insurance, that is, cargo or liability. Cargo insurance covers literally the cargo. In the truck Industry, standards are 100 grand. General liability covers what happens with that truck, right? That's typically a million in our industry. Then you also have auto and you've got workman's comp and some other insurances that a trucking company can have, right, and you also have what is called BIPD, right. So, stephen, do you want to explain what are the required insurances of a trucking company and which ones aren't required and aren't necessarily related to an MC?

Speaker 2: 9:24

Yeah, so for for the FMCSA, general liability and auto liability are your two major insurances that are required and they have set limits. So I think it's 750 K for auto and then, or general and then auto. I can't remember exactly what that is.

Speaker 1: 9:43

You are I looked it up yesterday and it goes by weight and sometimes it goes up with hazmat, but, like, the baseline is $750,000 and what is called BIPD, which means bodily injury and property damage liability insurance right, that's that minimum, and the minimum is like the same as when you drive just an automobile, right? Like states require you to have insurance, not to replace your car or to give you money if you wreck it, but to protect the other people on the road If you run into something or someone. They require you to have a minimum insurance to cover everyone else. That is what the FMCSA requires of a motor carrier for their MC. That does not have anything to do with cargo insurance, though Correct, and how?

Speaker 2: 10:29

and why does that matter? So the one thing I would point out and I think this question it could be relating to this, but I know so. I use my carrier packets to vet my carriers and if their insurance is up within 30 days, it will flag that carrier saying you know they're pending revocation, which is technically true because they still have to re-up their insurance. It's just 30 days prior. So the broker needs to be doing their due diligence to make sure that that insurance is accurate and up to date for the load when it's going to be running. But the carrier also has some responsibility to explain when they call a book. If that's what's coming up like. Hey, no, I have my insurance. This is the case, you know, and usually insurance isn't going to renew until the day of anyways. So then being able to explain that is, I think, is what this question was kind of going after.

Speaker 1: 11:24

For sure? Right, and I think it's important, right, because the thing you want to look at, right, is one do they have that minimum to legally drive, which is going to be their liability insurance? Right, usually $750, but it's usually a million. But the one we also really need to pay attention to is their cargo insurance, because they could have that liability insurance but no cargo or less cargo insurance. Because they could have that liability insurance but no cargo or less cargo insurance than the value of your load.

Speaker 1: 11:46

If you're shipping a $90,000 load of anything, you need to make sure the carrier has $100,000 in cargo insurance so that if there's a claim, that's the insurance that reimburses the shipper.

Speaker 1: 11:58

That's why that insurance is there. One ensures the cargo, the other ensures the risk to everyone else on the road and any damage that can happen. Right, very different things have very different reasons for very different purposes, and one you can legally drive without, one you cannot. And the one you can legally drive without is the one that covers the cargo and your customer's freight, which to me, I don't want to say is more important, but is more concerning to me, right, like that's the one I'm looking for, because if you got $750 in liability and at least you cover my cargo, like that's okay, usually right and again, that's our job as a freight broker. You need to be able to look and understand this is a part of hiring trucking companies and, at the end of the day, as a freight broker, that's our job to hire trucking companies with the same requirements our shipper would do if we weren't there, right?

Speaker 2: 12:52

Right and one of the things I've noticed and I mean I do it with my personal vehicles and I can understand why a carrier would do it as well. But a lot of these carriers are getting disqualified because the deductible on the cargo insurance is too high. So your deductible is typically $5,000 to $7,500. Some of them will have $10,000 to $15,000 deductibles and the shippers, they don't want it that high because it's too much, but it's cheaper for the carrier to have a higher deductible, just like with your health insurance or your car insurance or whatever and why is that a risk?

Speaker 1: 14:38

why do shippers care whether or not a motor carrier has a high or low deductible?

Speaker 2: 14:44

that's more money out of pocket and why does that matter? I'm gonna have to give that one back to you okay.

Speaker 1: 14:53

So if you've got a motor carrier let's just say you've got a small motor carrier and owner off one truck, one person right, if they have a fifteen thousand dollar deductible, right and there's a claim for, say, 30 grand, right, that insurance right is not going to pay that deductible amount, right. And if that motor care does not have the deductible in cash, the shipper doesn't get reimbursed for that money, right, the deductible is required to make the claim whole, like just in an insurance claim in any other scenario. Like that, motor care has to have that cash on hand to cover that portion of the claim. So if it's a motor carrier that has shaky finances or doesn't have a lot of reserves in the bank and they take a $40,000 claim, you're only ever going to get back the difference between the deductible and the insured amount, right, which means the brokerage and the shipper could potentially be out the deductible amount if the carrier can't pay it. And yeah, again, you could go to court and probably fight that and at the end of the day they would owe you. But that's a big difference between actually getting your money and maybe having to fight to get your money, which is why shippers care about deductible amounts Right. Yeah, that was a good one.

Speaker 1: 16:13

Next one this is a pretty long one, but I thought it was a really good one to include. Hey guys, big fan here had a question for the next final mile. I have a shipper who has an LTL shipment valued at $90,000, and they are asking me to quote it. The shipping coordinator says that he never pays for full additional insurance to cover the full value of the load. Okay, my question is this if I choose not to get full insurance which is the only way I can give him a competitive quote or rate to what he currently gets by finding them himself and something happens to the load, am I the one who is financially on the hook? Also, I was considering drawing up a contract saying that the shipper formally waives us of responsibility. Do you think this is enough for protection? Please advise. I'll toss this one to you. First question is if something happens to that load and the shipper says I know it's worth 90 grand, but I only want 50 grand worth of insurance, what's?

Speaker 2: 17:12

your take. I'm going to do a call back to the freight claims episode, so if you guys haven't watched it, go back to that. And there's a section in there where Michael's talking about on the BOL, the parties responsible are who is listed on the BOL. So if you, as a broker, are going to be listed on the BOL, yes, you're going to be financially responsible at some point. If you're not listed on the BOL more than likely, you're not going to be financially responsible. However, the carrier is, they're on the BOL and if you want to keep that customer, you are financially responsible. That's how I would answer that.

Speaker 1: 17:56

And I think that is technically accurate.

Speaker 1: 17:59

Right, meaning that if you want to keep the customer and it's a $90,000 shipment and they only wanted to insure it for 50 grand, there is the potential that they come to you and say we need you to make us whole, to give you more business. The thing that I see that is common in practice and I actually have this situation come up pretty often. I have a freight forwarder who ships really expensive firearms for competitive, so a truckload of, we'll say, rifles are $400,000 or $500,000, right. Now there are scenarios, right, where his customer that is the one importing them and bringing them in from another country right Says hey, look, this is about a $400,000 shipment and I've quoted it and said, hey, here's the additional insurance cost for this 400,000,. Right, what I then do and make sure this is in writing, as I specifically tell them what is the additional cost for the insurance, how much we would be insuring it for, right, and then I usually tell them why I believe they should insure it for the full amount. Right, and specifically mine, like being firearms and things, it's a very high theft item. I'm like listen, you don't want to be in a scenario where you don't have this insurance and I specifically stated in my email you are only being covered for the value you want to insure, right? So I clearly state to them what the cost is at what they should be doing insuring it for the full value and in writing they tell me I either want this or not.

Speaker 1: 19:30

In a lot of cases they pay for the insurance for the obvious reason. But there have been some loads that I knew for them where they're like look, my customer is okay and they would rather save the whatever 150 or 200 bucks to not have this insured. And again, at the very least I have that in writing To your point. I'm not on the BOL. And again, it is literally written in the email that they are deferring the additional insurance. They're willing to take that risk and if something happens they're acknowledging it's on them. I've never had anything go wrong with those loads where I've had to see what happens in the claim process. But I will at least say from a practical standpoint, that's the way I've seen this done in a lot of scenarios when the customer refuses to have the freight insured.

Speaker 1: 20:16

The caveat I want to add is there's always the possibility that whoever is this person making this decision is making this without their supervisors knowing or without the company knowing, right, and they very well might be like listen, my boss wants me to get better and better rates. So, like I'm cool, cutting corners on the insurance to make my rates look better to my boss, he's very happy with this. But the boss might not know that they cut that corner and these shipments are being moved around the country with no insurance, right. And that's a scenario where, like I always make sure that's in writing if and when that could occur, right. So if the manager and there is a claim and the owner of the company goes, why am I only getting reimbursed for 50 grand? This is a $90,000 shipment. I can forward that email directly to them and say listen, I advise that be done this way.

Speaker 1: 21:02

I quoted the costs. I allowed your representative to make this decision. They intentionally and deliberately decided not to do this in order to save money. That is what we executed for them. There isn't anything I can do and, again, that doesn't mean this would work 100% of the time that you can't still be brought into the claim and some of them you might have to still pay to keep the customer anyway. But to me that's, from a practical standpoint, what I've seen done most of the time, what I've learned to do and what I do in those scenarios. But I would say this isn't that common and that's more than likely what I would do in the situation.

Speaker 2: 21:39

I'm definitely not an attorney and definitely not a claims professional, but that's a practical solution to the situation that I see used a lot, yeah, and one of the things that I think about is and some of the military taught me is I keep a CYA folder in my inbox and cover your ass folder and that's where all these conversations go, and, should anything come up, everything I need is right there and you document everything. Um, and, and it's not. It's not a like a a vindictive thing or whatever, but it's. It's just a way to protect your interest. Part of the job. Yeah, and you know customers come and go. Relationships are very important, but the last thing you want is to be on the hook for $40,000 because you did a favor.

Speaker 1: 22:24

I do this as a matter of habit in almost everything I do. Now. Just cover your ass, right, CYA? When in doubt, make sure it's in writing. Don't be okay with this being told to you over the phone. I've had customers that have said this over a call that I knew was recorded when I worked at a larger company, and that company taught me this too was, even if they say that over the phone and even though it's recorded and even though technically you could probably use that in court, right, Like it's a verbal agreement, what we always were trained to do and this has become a habit of mine is I literally will type that in an email and just say hey, if that's what you want me to do, it's your call. I send them a quick summary of what they asked me to do and I say listen, when I get off the phone, I'm going to shoot you a quick email. Just, they ask me to do and I say listen, when I get off the phone, I'm going to shoot you a quick email. Just respond, agreed, Because this way I have it in writing and, to your point, I save it in the load, so it's in the TMS forever and if something does go wrong. I know very quickly. I have the supporting document to share with, maybe their manager, maybe their colleague, who knows? Having that is going to save you a lot of headache in the future, right, so for sure, great tip and, I think, something we should be doing a lot and a lot more situations than we probably do.

Speaker 1: 23:40

Next up, Nate Bend, for freight agents, do you recommend forming an LLC while working under the broker's authority? I'll give you the short answer I do think you should do it. The main reason I think you should is because when you form an LLC, it is a limited liability corporation there are protections the government gives businesses that are different than a person you have a little bit of I don't even know what word I'm looking for Like you're basically shifting the responsibility from coming directly to you as a person to this LLC, which is helpful and, in addition to the protections that you get through just regulations and company structures is it like they're? Often makes it easier for tax purposes and also gives you some ability to have write-off expenses for the businesses you own and the things you buy as an agent buying a computer, for instance, paying for the phone line right those are all direct business expenses and if you've got a separate entity like an LLC, you can pay all of those expenses out of that company.

Speaker 1: 24:51

So you get the income that goes in and the expenses that go out. You'll have a lower tax bill when you're able to incorporate the expenses, as opposed to rolling everything into yourself as personal income. You pay at a different tax rate and you don't often get to write those things off in the same way, the same way. Again, I'm definitely not a CPA and this isn't tax advice, but those are the two common reasons why you would want an LLC if you're an agent, as opposed to just setting up yourself. Right, Anything you want to add to that one.

Speaker 2: 25:22

Yeah, and I would say I mean doing the LLC. The best way to look at it is it's a way to protect yourself and your personal interests. It creates that barrier between your business and your, your personal interests. Um, it creates that barrier between, uh, your business and your family. So, especially with people that you know, you have a wife you've got kids. You, you've got a house anything that, if you're set up directly 1099, they can come after your personal assets, whereas an llc, it's the business's assets.

Speaker 2: 25:53

So as long as you're not doing anything with your house, that's tied to the LLC, like there's those protections there which you kind of and they call that like those protections, right.

Speaker 1: 26:03

They are rarely pierced and they call those rare instances piercing the corporate veil, right. So there are lots of regulations and lots of things an attorney I'm sure could discuss as to how and when that actually happens. But there's an added layer of protection that protects any of your personal assets from what happens in that company and what that company does with the other company. And in addition to that, right like it's a pretty low cost thing to do, like you could spin up an LLC like Sun Biz in Florida. I think it's like a couple hundred bucks, like maybe two 300 bucks at most, to get an LLC formed To get your agreements. You can get them through a company like LegalZoom or LegalShield for probably, all said and done, less than 500 bucks. Do it yourself for sure. So again, I think it's really good advice for anybody out there.

Speaker 1: 28:07

Last one I am just doing 200 calls per day. Well, good work. First off, two different manufacturers and suppliers, but they just hang up or they said they've already been contacted. My company has an eye on me and I believe I've got a week or two left to save my job. Please help. What advice would you give them, stephen?

Speaker 2: 28:29

My first question would be where are these leads coming from? Because it's kind of buried in the question that these leads are coming from a list somewhere in your company that everybody else has access to and if they've already been contacted, they're going to see your number from your office and they that's why they're hanging up. So you need to venture outside of your local CRM and find your own leads that maybe haven't been touched, especially if you're, if you're at a CH Robinson or a TQL or some of these bigger players. They've touched a lot of people, they've made a lot of people angry and they're not going to want to talk to you. So it's it's, it's better.

Speaker 1: 29:16

That's a really good point, right, like when I used to work at a big box brokerage, the thing that I learned really quickly because you could see all the previous notes right, every lead you're going to call and especially a company that's been around 20 years, that's got thousands of people working for them, right, there are very few companies that have been in business more than a couple of years that haven't been contacted was you get different friction? You hear people irritated because somebody literally called them every day, maybe twice a day, maybe had no idea what they were saying and just created a bad taste in their mouth. So now to even get them to talk to you, you've got to overcome this thing that you didn't do. Right, to even get them to talk, which is not an easy thing to do and that takes a lot of practice to navigate. For me in those scenarios it was trying to differentiate myself from the other folks. I would look at who else called them, what they put in their notes to get some cue. I might be like, hey, look, I know Jimmy and Paul have been reaching out to you and hell, it looks like you even reached back out to us to ask them to stop calling you hey, first off, I want to apologize and ask you like, hey, did they stop and has that been resolved? I make it seem like it's a customer service call almost at first, like hey, I see this issue because I know that's on their mind. And I go right at it and say, look, hey, how has everything been? Were you able to resolve this? Or just randomly people still calling you Because that's the thing they think you're going to avoid. And if you go at it and they're honest with you, I could usually get them to vent about how frustrated they were about the other two people. And then they'd usually open up to me yeah, like sorry, I was just so irritated, they just wouldn't listen, they just kept calling. They wouldn't listen to what I was saying, I just wanted to be done with it. And when you let them get that out and talk to you, oftentimes they would be receptive to talking to me because they felt like I approached the situation differently than they did and that was enough. Sometimes there's nothing you're going to do that's going to get that bad taste out of their mouth and they just don't want to talk to you. And I think that goes to your point.

Speaker 1: 31:12

Look for leads outside your CRM, look for leads that maybe haven't been called a bunch of times and honestly I think it's a good practice to go and hunt on your own. Anyway, it's great to use a company's CRM leads to practice, to find your voice and to just get reps to get used to making calls. But once you've done that for a while, I think you absolutely should be very quickly finding other leads to mix in with those and then to eventually replace those. You don't got to start from scratch and call only new leads. You can start working in a new 10, 20 every day until you got some fresher leads.

Speaker 1: 31:44

But that, would, be for sure, one of my first pieces of advice. The second would be like how you're actually following up, making sure that you're not calling the same 200 leads every day. Making sure that maybe you've got a list of 500 leads and you're calling maybe 150 a day, a different 150 Tuesday, maybe. Following up with some from Monday on Wednesday that didn't answer, and mixing them in a way that you're not just thinking about it from your own perspective, meaning like I got to get 200 calls, I don't care who they are. That's what my boss cares about.

Speaker 1: 32:13

Think about what it would be like to be getting the call right. And if you put yourself on that side of the phone, you start to think, well, like yeah, I wouldn't want to really connect with somebody that's called me every day. Like that's probably a bit much right, just like if you're going to date somebody and they called you every day, it's not going to make you want to see them more. Like there's some space in between the conversations that needs to feel comfortable and too much can create its own problem. Not enough the same. And you find that sweet spot just by doing it. And I think a good place to start is you should be following up probably seven to 10 days when your first couple of reaching out to a company as you got trust, you can maybe shorten that window. But those are some big takeaways. I think that would help you get there a little quicker.

Speaker 2: 32:58

Yeah, that was a one. Yeah, good, I think that would help you get there a little quicker, yeah. One last thing I was going to point out is just kind of the way the question was worded. It seemed like they were just going 200, 200, 200, and they're not cycling back to the first 200, which is a mistake. But the other thing I wanted to point out was if they're hanging up on you or not answering or saying they're already contacted, maybe try calling from your cell phone and not the office phone. Yes, give them a different number, something that's not already on caller ID, that's not blocked. You know, I don't know how your management will look at it if they want you to be calling from the phone but outside of hours, you know, call them on the cell phone.

Speaker 1: 33:39

And I wouldn't announce the company I'm calling from either. Right, the last thing, and I just hit me right If I've only got a week or two and I got to show some results or I might lose my job, I would. When I'm searching for the leads I'm going to call, I'm going to look for urgent characteristics of those leads. That makes it more likely they'll need help right now. So one example would be finding produce that is in season or peak season right now, because those shippers are more than likely to have issues with either more loads than they expected or trucks not showing up and will need help in the short run. That will make it more likely you can get a win pretty quickly.

Speaker 1: 34:20

The other one is looking at areas of the country that are very tight on capacity, meaning there aren't enough trucks for where there are loads. It's just a little statistically more likely that that shipper will need your help sooner if you target those areas, as opposed to calling, example, a pumpkin shipper or a Christmas tree shipper in June. Right, I know nobody's probably doing that, but that's a really good way to look at it. Right, if I'm calling a shipper whose peak season's in the fall, whether they like me or not. I don't have any loads that they're going to need help with. If I'm calling in the second week of June, I'm looking at what is produce or what is shipping at peak season right now, because they're the most likely to need help from a broker right? So if you kind of pull all those things together, that should be some really good tips to be able to help you execute and close some customers a little quicker.

Speaker 2: 35:10

Yeah, and one thing I would add to that a tool that I use quite often to look at capacity, like you had mentioned, is DAT. Has their rate view, their market capacity index it's. If it's a map united states it's blue and red and I'll keep my eye on that. And if a region the united states becomes red in a very short amount of time overnight, the people in that area are having problems because capacity has tightened up and they're going to continue to have problems for the next few days until capacity evens out. And that's a great way to just geographically isolate your prospects and target them for a few days. Be like hey, I know capacity is a little tight. The last couple of days I see rates are going up. Is there anything I can help you out with? Missing trucks, stuff like that?

Speaker 1: 36:00

For sure, Sweet man. I want to wrap up with. There was a post on Freight Caviar that I really liked and I wanted to share. Right, and it's related to fraud. And it's also related to taking personal responsibility, which I'm a huge advocate of, Because I think if we don't look to ourselves for the solution before we look at others, one, you aren't going to learn and, two, you're not going to see a lot of the solutions that are available if you're only looking outside your own behavior for that solution, right? So I'm going to read this one. It says brokers do not want to own this, but most of the freight fraud that we are dealing with today is due to brokers. I don't know that. I agree that it's caused by brokers, but I do agree with a lot of the sentiment.

Speaker 1: 36:46

You opened that email from the spoof ITS or DAT and gave up all your information without doing your own due diligence. Now Don Juan is selling Amazon loads pretending to be you. You can blame Don Juan, but you're the one that let him in Be accountable. Mcchicken Express has your freight and both drivers' phones are text now and going to voicemail and they're two days late. You heard McChicken Express dispatcher's background noise phones ringing in the background, a dozen people talking. They've got one truck and you didn't think to question that. You did not call the drivers and make sure the numbers were real phone numbers.

Speaker 1: 37:26

This is on you Jack Smith Trucking just called and said they took a load from Jim Beam Brokerage and that has you on the BOL. You didn't call Jack Smith's drivers and confirm locations on the name and the name on the door Also a broker problem. Billions can go into startups trying to solve this problem and it won't change the real answer, which is stop being lazy, pay attention and take some responsibility. I mean, that was pretty well written for a post and I think it hits some important points, which is before you start blaming anyone else, start looking at what you can do to avoid this problem in the first place. Any takes from you.

Speaker 2: 38:05

A caveat to that is the person that load, the truck that that load got loaded onto, got a call from that same person. They didn't get that same information. I mean, this industry is there's two sides to this industry. There's a carrier side and there's a broker-shipper side and we all share responsibility. And if we're all not vetting our business partners appropriately in all three areas shippers, brokers, carriers we're just opening ourself up for fraud and it's very easy to get complacent as things get tight or things get loose because things are going. It's that middle ground where people start to get real specific, because things are kind of going good or kind of going bad and you got to pick up the pace so you can slow down a little bit. But complacency is what kills the industry.

Speaker 1: 38:54

I think it's a good point, right, like. The nice thing is like we have clients on both sides of that. Right, we have carrier clients and broker clients right and shipper clients. But for me it's the one thing I talk to. The carriers that I coach the most is especially the ones that have been victims of fraud is like if you see loads and they don't appear normal, standard or anything, looks a little off.

Speaker 1: 39:19

One simple phone call to that brokerage it's like hey, got a load from you guys. Look up their phone number. Don't call the number on the BOL. Take the MC from the brokerage or the brokerage's name. Just do a quick Google search and find their website right. Just find the phone number for that broker, call them. Be like hey.

Speaker 1: 39:36

I just wanted to confirm a few things. One is this your load number. That alone will avoid most of the fraud, because they don't know that company's load number sequence and they're probably way off. Is the first thing. The second of all is just that 30 seconds or two minute effort right, avoids hours or days of work trying to fix a claim or days of work trying to fix a claim, fix a theft, fix fraud. After attorneys, the money, the time wasted like that may always last, right, but it's an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, meaning like two minutes of effort at phone call prevents days or weeks worth of headaches, problems and lost money. Right, pick up the phone, don't be complacent.

Speaker 1: 40:20

Whether you're a carrier or a broker, ask more questions, right Again. Great tools out there for fraud prevention. I think Quickscope is one of the best tools out there for sure to be able to prevent fraud on a per load basis. There are other tools that are great Highway is a really good vetting software but none of them are perfect. I think Quickscope is very close to being almost at 100 percent because of the way it functions. Right, like, I'm very confident that if I'm using that tool, I am not being using a fraudulent carrier.

Speaker 1: 40:51

But beyond that, I'm still going to ask the questions, I'm still going to call that driver's phone number and I think the other thing I want to point out right is how you ask these questions to verify to a driver or a carrier. Most people will pick up the phone and call that number on the BOL and it's the person that is the fraud that is actually reading and telling you. It's them. So that's not going to help. But even when you call the company or even when you do a check call with a driver, I hear brokers when they start doing this, they go hey, are you in Memphis? I know you should be in Memphis today, just wanted to check and make sure you're there. The driver's going to be like, yeah, I'm there, right, you don't want to ask a yes or no question where you give them the leading. You're leading the answer in the question. You want to ask that question in a way where you're like hey, jimmy, just wanted to see how things are moving with you where you're at. Can you tell me where you're at? What's your location? What's your last mile marker? Where are you approximately? Right, now they have to give it to you. You're not telling them the answer, you want them to tell back. Right, because now that's where you catch a lot of the dispatcher said one thing and the driver sees another. Right, it is the way you ask this question.

Speaker 1: 42:02

To verify is often going to tell you whether or not the information is true or inaccurate. Right, and I think that's true in a lot of scenarios, whether you're calling the driver talking to a dispatcher, talking to a shipper as well, right. Or a carrier, or a carrier talking back to a broker, right? Like in any of these scenarios, asking them to provide the information to you is going to give you a more accurate response that you can compare to where they should be, as opposed to going hey, you're checking at that shipper, right? Yep, they're 150 miles away. Your shipper's yelling to you going they're not here, I don't see them. I'm standing out in the lot right now. Right, we've all had that happen to us. Asking them where they are is going to again give you oftentimes a better ability to find what is or isn't true.

Speaker 2: 42:46

And I'll butcher the comment, but I worked for a doctor when I was in the Navy and he used to always tell us you know, yes or no questions will give you an answer. It could be a lie, it could you know, but you'll get an answer. It could be a lie, it could you know, but you'll get an answer. Open-ended questions will give you an answer, but you get the details around the answer that you can form an opinion, and that's what you should be asking is open-ended questions.

Speaker 1: 43:09

For sure, even with prospects, open-ended questions, they don't give you much feedback or information to go on when you even get an answer to them. The whole goal of asking a question is to learn right, and if you get a yes or no, you didn't learn much for sure, Sweet man.

Speaker 2: 43:29

Well, that wraps up Final Mile. Any final thoughts from you? No, have a good week. Can't wait to catch up with everybody next week and we'll see you on the next episode.

Speaker 1: 43:35

Sweet, and whether you believe you can or believe you can't, you're right.

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Freight 360
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