Ever hear the saying fake it till you make it? Well, one of the best ways to sound like a professional is to emulate what the professionals say and how they say it. You continue doing this until you find your own unique approach. In this blog we'll cover the 5 most common traits of professional freight brokers. So you can implement them today and start closing more customers!
I would say of all of the 5 tips we'll cover, the first two are the most overlooked. Many rookies roll their eyes when we'd teach this at the big box brokerages. They'd say this is fluff. It won't really help me get more customers. I can tell you from first and second hand experience, it's absolutely vital.. Drum roll please….
Tips 1 & 2
It's your tone of voice and rate of speech. Nobody wants to purchase something or do business with someone with no or low energy. Think about when you've made a purchasing decision with a sales person. Was that person as excited or more than you were about their product? The last time you purchased a car, was the sales person moping around the showroom and dragging their feet? Or were they standing tall, smiling and projecting confidence?
You can't get someone over the "buying line" in sales without a transference of emotion. And the prospect is never going to bring that energy. It's up to us to bring it and project it in the call. If someone is talking at this slow rate of speech, I'm going to increase mine slightly above theirs. Nothing crazy. I'm not screaming and yelling like a Memorial Day mattress commercial. Just enough to bring them up a bit from where they were.
Tips for executing
I really can't stress this enough. Here are few tips specifically to help bring the energy you need to close a prospect. Smile, stand up to make calls. Smiling automatically changes your tone of voice and brain chemistry. Standing up increases your blood flow and energy. If you're really feeling down after a rough call or issues, do a few jumping jacks. Seriously. And to execute the tone of voice pay attention to the regions of the country you're calling into. The North East tends to speak fast and to the point. The southern states tend to have a slower tempo. And the midwest has a tempo all to itself. Same with west coast.
Next up, connecting with a prospect quickly. How do the pros do it? Simple, they practice their small talk. The top performing salespeople around the world are masters at small talk. Again, this tip always elicits eye rolls from rookies and trainees. "how is talking about the weather or someone's weekend plans going to help me get load tenders?" Well, think about every person you've every met for the first time? Did you both jump right into talking about your deepest personal thoughts? Or did you do the small talk dance until you were both comfortable enough to take the conversation to a deeper level? It's no different in a prospecting calls. If you jump prematurely into asking questions without connecting in some way, they come across as pushy and intrusive.
The best places to practice this outside of prospecting is in your daily life. Spend time connecting with the person in line at the grocery store, have some small talk with your pharmacist or your barista at star bucks. Small talk is like everything else in life. The more you practice it, the more it becomes second nature.
This next tips goes hand in hand with small talk. And if you follow our channel you've heard me say this more than once. God gave you two ears and one mouth, use them proportionately. Most rookies think that the way to close or "sell" a customer is to talk them into working with you. Unfortunately, when we take that approach the only thing we're focused on is what we want. Not what's important to the prospect. You should never be talking about your services or presenting your company until you have uncovered a need. This is worth repeating. You should never be presenting your company or your product until you've asked enough questions to uncover their need. Or uncovered that there isn't a need to begin with. Both are equally acceptable outcomes. The goal isn't to make everyone a customer. Its to ask enough questions to determine if there's a fit for the two of you to do business together.
And finally, have something in it for them. If you want the person you've cold called out of the blue, and interrupted their day, to listen to you, you'd better be damn sure you've got something worth their time. This can be anything from "we send trucks into your facility and would like to see if we're a fit to handle some of your outbound loads." It could be that you service their vendors or customers. It may be that your company works only within their commodity niche. The point is, have something lined up for your prospects that gives them a reason to talk to you for more than a few seconds. If you're having trouble with this, try putting yourself in their shoes. Think about what would be important to you if you were responsible for their warehouse and pickups. Remember, that our prospects and customers are dealing with many of the same trucking issues we are.
Putting it into practice
What's most important about everything we've just discussed is practice and consistency. The more you practice these things, the faster you will progress in your career. We work with so many clients that believe you can put these tips into practice just by watching videos or listening to podcasts. There's a Ben Franklin quote, "Tell me and I forget, Teach me and I remember, Involve me and I learn." No one ever learned to ride a bike by watching a video. You have to get on the bike and do the thing. You learn by taking the knowledge you've accumulated and putting it into practice every single day until it becomes a habit. A part of you…
For more on becoming an advanced freight broker be sure to watch our weekly podcast on our channel and check out the description for links to group and private coaching. Because remember, whether you believe you can or believe you can't. You're right.