Of all the questions we receive on daily basis, this one is probably the one we get the most. How do I start selling? What are the things I should focus on when I'm just starting to sell. In this blog I'll cover 5 tips for beginners kicking off their career in Freight Brokerage. And at the very end I'll wrap up with a bonus tip that will help you close more prospects immediately. So make sure to read through the end.
One of the areas we see beginners struggle the most is developing the confidence to pickup the phone make a prospecting call. The confidence to develop rapport and trust with strangers. But how does someone set out to build confidence? Let's start with the definition: a feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities. So how do we set out a plan to achieve confidence and self assurance? We do this by creating habits and processes around the tasks we want to become more confident in.
Let's start with the two most important skills at this stage of your career, generating leads and making prospecting calls. It's where you will spend 90% of your time. And depending on how long it takes you to become effective at both, will determine how long it takes for you to actually succeed.
Batch Your Leads
And what does batching mean? It refers to the grouping of like activities. For instance, generating leads, the process of finding shippers and the points of contacts we want to speak with is a skill. And the more you repeat that task, the better you will become at it. So block out time where you will only be completing this task. Not dialing, then researching. Just researching and inputting your leads to be called at a later time. Because, when we do a similar activity over and over again, big surprise, we improve and gain confidence faster.
Batching Your Calls Together
Just as in batching your lead generation, we want to batch our calling time. We see so many rookies, and veterans for that matter falling into this poor habit of researching a lead for 5-10 minutes. Reading through the website, random reviews of the company etc.. And then making 1 dial, getting a no answer and starting that whole process over again. Remember that you need repetition to build these skills, habits and confidence. And it will take you far longer making 1 dial every 10-15 minutes to ever get into any type of rhythm or flow. The sooner it becomes a habit, the sooner you'll be able to make the calls without the fear and hesitation.
Group Your Leads By Category
What do you think would be more effective, talking to someone with a different profession every time you make a call, or talking to 10-20 bakeries or steel mills in a day? Obviously, the latter. So plan your calls this way ahead of time. Make calls to prospects each day that have 1 commonality. Maybe you'll be calling steel coil shippers in the morning, and pipe manufacturers in the afternoon. Doesn't matter which you choose. What matters is that you can take things you learned in one prospecting call right into your next conversation. So keep that in mind when you're generating your leads as well.
Have Enough Leads
One of the truths about being human is that we operate differently when we feel that resources are scarce or abundant. It's a subtle mindset that effects us all. So before you pickup that phone to make your first call, spend your first week generating no less than 200 leads. Pick 1 or 2 categories and generate a 100 of each. This should be enough for your first week of calls. Then you can replenish the leads you disqualified or weren't a fit as you go. You should be making 40-60 calls per day in your first few weeks. So a good rule of thumb is to have at least a week's worth of leads before you begin. This way you make your calls without the fear of running out.
Tone of Voice & Rate of Speech
People will rarely remember what you've said. But, they will always remember how you made them feel. In other words how we say what we say matters much more than what we say. A great tip is to mirror the rate of speech with the person you're speaking with. In warmer climates, people tend to speak slower. In New York, people to tend to speak sharply and abruptly. Let's go, let's go, let's go. Get to the point.. Right? They prioritize time and getting back to what they were doing. When you have the right tone and rate of speech, it goes a long way when trying to establish trust and rapport.
Bonus Tip: Stand Up and Smile
We all sound a little different when we're smiling. And who doesn't want to do business with someone enthusiastic and full of energy? The best way to make sure that you're delivering the right energy is to stand up and smile when you're making dials. It's also a great tip to getting through gate keepers. People are much more likely to be helpful to someone that's pleasant and energetic.
There is no magic line or silver bullet when it comes to sales. There's no special phrase that gets all of your prospects to say yes. But, there are a lot of little things we can do to improve our odds with each call we make. And the sooner you implement these tips, the sooner you'll be closing more business. And remember, whether you believe you can, or believe you can't, you're right.