Turning Prospects into Customers: A Guide for Freight Brokers

Turning Prospects into Customers: A Guide for Freight Brokers

Freight 360 By Freight 360

As a freight broker, you’ve likely experienced the frustration of having prospects say they’d work with you but never send any business your way. You may have even built relationships and been set up as a vendor, yet weeks go by, and you’re still waiting for that first load. In this blog post, we’ll explore why this happens and what you can do to turn these almost prospects into customers.

Why Prospects Aren’t Sending You Business

Let’s assume you’ve been consistently making your calls, averaging 300-500 calls per week, and have been doing this for a few months. You have about 8 or 9 prospects who have said they would onboard or work with you, but you’ve only moved 2 loads. What’s the problem?

When you start prospecting, you spend about 75% of your time making phone calls and the other 25% sourcing leads, finding points of contact, and importing them into a CRM. Once you’ve got this process down, you should be averaging at least 70 calls per day. Most successful brokers start hitting about 100 each day. I average between 80 and 120 calls depending on the week, but at a bare minimum, I hit 400 per week.

If you’ve been doing this consistently for at least two months, you likely have 1 or 2 prospects who have sent you lanes to quote or their shipper agreement to set up. That’s great! You’re almost there but, those how do you turn those prospects into customers? If this were a football game, your team has driven all the way down the field to the red zone. You are within 20 yards and just need to punch it into the end zone.

The Red Zone Strategy

So, what’s the difference between scoring a touchdown and driving down the field from the other end zone? It’s the amount of field you have to play with. The more field, the more options you have to try things. It’s no different in prospecting and converting those prospects into customers.

When you start contacting a prospect, they don’t know you, trust you, or have any reason to spend time getting to know you. You have to tread lightly. Like dating or making a new friend, calling them daily would likely cause them to avoid you. Instead, play the long game and reach out every week or two, connecting over personal topics or industry challenges. After a month or two of consistent, meaningful interactions, they will trust you enough to set you up as a vendor or send you a load or two to see if you can help.

Frequent Follow-ups: The Key to Success

If you continue calling them only every other week, you’ll be out of sight and out of mind. They likely face problems at least a few times a week, and if they don’t think of you as a viable option, they’ll keep going back to their other brokers. This is the key to converting prospects into customers. This needs to change.

In the red zone, you need to push closer and closer to the end zone until you score. Shorten the time between your calls to every other day or every three days. Frequent contact increases the likelihood they’ll call you when they have a late truck or one that didn’t show up. Follow up about loads you’ve quoted but didn’t win. Call them when the load you quoted was supposed to deliver and ask how it went and if anything could have been handled better. This shows them how you’ll be as their broker and keeps you top of mind.

Matching Follow-ups to Load Changes

Match your follow-up timeframe to how often their loads or orders change. If a shipper gets new orders weekly on Tuesday, call on Monday or Tuesday to see how things went last week and if they need help this week. Call again on Thursday to check in. For shippers with daily new orders, follow up every morning and possibly at the end of the day to see if anything was pushed last minute to the following morning. This positions your follow-ups effectively, putting you in front of them when they need vendors the most, and increases your chances of converting prospects into customers.

ConclusionTurning Prospects into Customers

Using this technique of shortening the time between follow-ups will drastically increase your chances of moving loads with them and converting your prospects into customers. But remember, don’t call a prospect every day until you’re close enough to the goal line—meaning they are sending load details for your help or have set you up in their system.

For more tips on building successful freight brokerages, check out our YouTube channel and check out our Podcast. Also check out our Freight Broker Course, “Freight Broker Basics,” where you’ll learn everything you need to know to earn a living as a freight broker and build a successful brokerage.

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