Prospecting new business! It’s often a dreaded task for freight brokers that can lead to failure if not done effectively. Episode 77 of Freight 360 takes a deep dive into how to prospect with a purpose, but here is a quick read on 3 tips to use to be more effective when growing your book of business.
Prospect a Niche that Interests You
We all have interests in our life, and we all have things that we don’t really care for. This can be applied to the types of businesses that you prospect as a freight broker. If you can focus on a market or type of freight that really appeals to you, you’re more likely to find joy and passion in the work that you do. For example, if you are really into cars, you might want to learn about the auto hauling industry. If you love the agricultural industry, produce is likely a great place to plant your feel into. You’re better off learning about and prospecting in an industry that you enjoy versus dreading the next call to a prospect that moves products that you really don’t care for. Someone that doesn’t enjoy building things or remodeling their home probably doesn’t have a big passion for the lumber industry. If you make a list of the industries that you are intrigued about, it gives you a starting point to begin researching and compiling a list of companies that you can prospect.
Batch Your Prospects
Have you ever prospected like this? You research a company, and then you call them. You research another company, and then you call them. You research a third company, and then you call them. This process continues.
It’s extremely inefficient and can lead to much lower activity on the phones. Rather than modeling your prospecting this way, you can try to batch your prospects together. For example, let’s say you are prospecting steel companies. Instead of researching every company individually, you can do some market research to have a general overview of what’s happening in the steel market. Then, you can batch all your steel companies together to call them one after another without having to do extensive research on each company. As you talk to each company and learn how the market is affecting them, it adds to your list of talking points for the next call. This is a method that many successful brokers use which allows them to make 80-100 calls per day.
Avoid Common Prospecting Mistakes
There are a ton of mistakes that you can make in prospecting, so I’ve selected three big mistakes that rookie freight brokers can fall victim to.
Activity: You must make the calls and follow up. It’s as simple at that, sort of. If you’re not making a high volume of prospecting calls as a new broker or while growing your book of business, you’re not going to reach your full potential. Using the tips listed above will help you structure your prospecting time in a way that allows you to hammer out call after call after call. Once you get in the rhythm of things, prospecting calls can be a lot of fun. 80-100 calls a day is common for a new broker or even a seasoned broker that has certain days set aside for prospecting. Don’t forget to follow up either – it could take 10-15 contacts with a prospect before you make progress or begin to move their freight. Don’t be the broker that gives up after one call.
Method of Prospecting: It’s not always just phone calls or just in-person visits. You should find a healthy balance of ways to contact your prospects and customers. I always say that you should contact someone in whichever way they prefer to be contacted. Some people prefer texting, while others want a phone call, or even an in-person visit if you are local. Don’t rely on just one method; mix them up.
Failure to learn from others: None of us know everything. It’s important to surround yourself with others that you can learn from. Not only can you learn from them, but they can learn from you. It doesn’t even have to be in an office setting. Maybe it’s on the golf course, at a happy hour, or even on a Zoom call – whichever way you choose is up to you, but you’ve got to be sharing feedback with others that do the same work as you. If you work alone, network with other brokers in social media groups. Sharing success and failure stories amongst your team or network will help you grow. You can see how someone else is prospecting, and you might want to adopt some of their practices that you like but scrap some of the ones that you don’t like. Either way, there is power and value in networking, sharing stories, and mentorship. Learn from others.