When you are prospecting as a freight broker, it’s inevitable that you will run into objections along the way. A good broker can understand what the objections really mean and respond appropriately to the prospect to keep the conversation progressing in the right direction. Let’s take a quick look at what objections are, some common objections, and how to overcome them.
Understand What Objections Really Are
Objections from your customer or prospect are not them telling you “No.” it goes much deeper than that. Often, the objection is actually a buying sign, but the prospect needs you to convince them why they should work with you. Rather than them saying “No, I don’t want your freight brokerage services,” it really means “I want you to assure me how you can solve my problems.” Many novice brokers will stop the phone call at the first objection and assume the customer is lost. The most successful freight brokers understand objections and the psychology behind them, leading to fruitful and successful conversations and ultimately new customers. As a buyer yourself, you probably give objections to salespeople on a normal basis, even though you do want the product or service that they offer. Most objections fall into one of four categories: price, procrastination, purchaser, and provider.
Price – “That sounds too expensive.” or “That rate is too high.” You need to justify the value in your price.
Procrastination – “I’m not sure if I’m ready.” or “We’re not looking to add new brokers right now.” You need to learn more about the situation by asking questions and discuss why you are worth the action now versus kicking the can down the road.
Purchaser – “I need to talk to my spouse.” or “I don’t get to make that decision.” This might actually be the case, and if it is you will want to get the decision maker’s information. If this is just a blow off, the use of probing questions can help you uncover more information about the customer.
Provider – “I’m happy with my current provider.” or “We really like using asset-based companies.” You could dig deeper into this one by asking them what they like about their current provider, and even what they wish was different with them.
Write Down Common Objections
Sense it’s inevitable that you will come across objections, proper planning will help you get ahead of the game. I’m a big fan of using Excel spreadsheets or word documents that have common objections listed on them with quality responses and probing questions to follow up with. I’ve also used flash cards in the past with this same method. If you are new to brokering, you will want to listen in on a colleague’s phone calls to hear how they handle objections as well. You will learn what you like and don’t like about their method which will help you create your own responses. Over time, you will find your voice and be able to overcome the objections much more naturally.
Get Ahead of Objections
The more prospecting that you do, the more objections you will begin to hear and learn how to overcome. If you can start to incorporate the overcoming portion prior to the objection being brought up, you will save yourself a lot of time and build a high level of trust with the prospects. How might that look? Let’s say for example you expect the price objection to come up on a call. Price and service have a correlation together whereas cheaper trucks tend to result in lower service levels. You can tell a success story about another one of your customers or even a colleague’s customer if you are still building your book of business. Talk about the carrier vetting that you do and the high service levels that results from your reliable carrier network. You don’t intend to simply find the cheapest truck, you intend to find the best truck for their situation which likely won’t be the cheapest, but it will be reasonable and reliable.
If you often get the objection of “we’re not looking to add any new brokers,” you can ask them first about their current providers’ service and how and when they go about adding new ones. There will likely come a time when their go-to brokers or carriers either don’t have capacity or fall off a load. Ask them what they normally do in those situations and offer to be an option for the next time that happens.
What objections do you get, and how do you overcome them?