Are you a licensed freight broker or considering joining the industry? If so, you'll likely come across the challenge of acquiring more shippers. So, how do you get shippers to be your customers in the first place? This blog post will answer these questions and more.
Understanding the Freight Brokerage Sales Process
Once you have your brokerage license, you might wonder what you need to do to get your first customer. Or perhaps you're having trouble pinpointing the right leads to pursue. It's possible that you're stuck in a cycle of overthinking, preventing you from taking any action and making those first calls.
We'll tackle these questions by outlining the processes that are the foundation of freight brokerage sales. Once you grasp each stage, you can enhance your performance in each of them.
Misconceptions in Lead Generation
Typically, brokers spend 5-10 minutes online searching for the ideal lead. After perusing the website, bio, and LinkedIn page, they finally make the call, only to find... no answer. Discouraged, they're more hesitant to try again, and this reluctance shows up again in their next lead search.
There is no such thing as a perfect lead. Focus on developing your sales processes, not hunting for the ideal lead. Another common mistake is to focus on quality vs. quantity. We've all been there—I have too. That's when we start to put off making the next call by investing more time in research, convincing ourselves that we're finding "better leads." We prioritize quality over quantity and feel better making fewer calls. In reality, we need both. That's why we separate the tasks of finding shippers and contacting them.
Remember, it's crucial not to search for leads during your call time. Allocate specific times for lead generation and making calls. If you're not meeting your call targets, there's no one else to blame but yourself.
Tips for Effective Lead Generation and Sales Calls
Here are some tips to improve those calls and help you secure more shippers:
- Learn from Others: Know your brokerage's competitive advantage—whether it's intermodal, shipping building materials with flatbeds, or vans and reefers for produce. The specific advantage isn't important; what matters is that you have one. For those working in an established brokerage, learn from successful team members and adopt their strengths until you have your own.
- Leverage Your Interests and Past Experiences: If you're a solo entrepreneur and are starting your brokerage yourself, think back on past job experiences, hobbies, or interests. If you have an interest in a specific hobby like gardening, it will be much easier to have a conversation with a nursery company that ships plants. If you used to work in construction, try your hand at building materials.
Remember that this industry is about relationships. And no matter how great a lead is, you'll still need to build rapport and get them to know, like, and trust you. For more tips and training, be sure to watch our weekly podcast on our channel.