Marketing? Wait, I thought I was just supposed to move freight. No one told me anything about having to learn marketing!
When it comes to brokering freight, you need to remember that you are running a business operation and with that comes the need to properly market yourself. We recently had the pleasure to sit down with Blythe Brumleve from Digital Dispatch and talk all about marketing for freight brokers on Episode 103 of the Freight 360 Podcast
In this quick read, we’re going to look at some highlights of marketing tactics that freight brokers should consider.
The way you present yourself with leads and prospects is more important than you might think. This isn’t just a website, profile picture, or brochure. It includes the conversations you have with them on the phone. Blythe recommends that brokers use a “lingo library” to keep notes as you talk to your prospects. What is a lingo library? You can use a simple Google Doc or Word Doc to take notes as you talk to prospects. Make sure you are tracking the specific keywords (lingo) that they are using when describing their operation and pain points. These vary across industries and shippers which is why saving this info to reference in the future is so beneficial. Think of it like this: you wouldn't talk to a full truckload (FTL) customer the same way you would talk to a less-than-truckload (LTL) customer. LTL involves many additional items such as freight classification, re-weighs, and dock inspections.
How You Source and Communicate with Leads
Some sales folks think they can cut corners by simply buying leads from a company like Zoom Info, enter them into a CRM like HubSpot, and placing the leads into an email sequence that is templated and generic for every lead. This is not an effective way to prospect. It might be efficient in the amount of touches you can have in a small amount of time, but how many of those leads do you think will actually turn into customers? Very few is my guess. Using a company like Zoom Info is great to gather contact info for a customer but emailing them out of the blue with a templated sequence is garbage since they aren’t expecting to hear from you in the first place. This is why we always stress the importance of personalized conversations and using the phone to prospect. If I receive a lead, and I can qualify that lead, I will personalize every conversation with them because they are truly valuable to me. No templated emails and no scripted phone calls – I actually try to relate with the lead and build rapport. This is all part of marketing who you are as a freight broker, and more importantly as the human that customer might decide to do business with.
Have a Target Audience
Whether it’s your website or the part of the market that you want to prospect, know who that audience is and tailor your message to them in a way that is relevant to their business. For example, if your desired website audience is shipping companies that you want to convert into customers, you shouldn’t fill your website up with just agent or driving recruiting material. You should be highlighting the services that you provide and showcasing the work that you have already done in this realm.
When it comes to prospecting, pick a niche and be an expert in it. You don’t need to be the jack of all trades that just tells a customer, “I can move everything.” Sure, you can move anything, but are you any good at it? Freight brokers that specialize in a certain market or industry tend to the be ones that excel and get recognized for their expertise. This generates referral leads. Digging further into this, if your company is growing and has multiple team members, the head marketing person doesn’t need to the be owner, an accounting rep, or a dispatcher. Marketing is a job that requires precision, experience, and understanding of the customers’ needs. Make sure you have the right person handling your company’s marketing, so your message and brand are properly represented. For more info on our discussion with Blythe, make sure to check out Episode 103 of Freight 360