The Best Way to Prospect Shippers

The Best Way to Prospect Shippers

Freight 360 By Freight 360

For freight brokers, locating new shippers can be tough, and using the wrong methods to find leads might set you back.  We’ve discussed detailed prospecting techniques in some of our other content, but here’s a quick look at three ways you can prospect shippers with a purpose and help grow your brokerage

Three Strategies to Prospect Shippers as a Freight Broker

Find a Niche

We all have certain things that we’re truly passionate about, and then there are things that simply don’t click with us. This comes into play especially when deciding which businesses to approach as a freight broker. By channeling our efforts into a freight commodity that genuinely piques our interest, our work becomes not just a task, but a venture filled with excitement.

For instance, if you’re a car enthusiast, looking into the auto hauling segment could be an exciting venture for you. Similarly, if you have a liking for farming or the broader agricultural landscape, the produce sector could offer rewarding opportunities. It’s always more productive and enjoyable to surround yourself in areas you’re genuinely interested in, rather than forcing yourself into ones that don’t excite you. Take, for example, someone who isn’t into DIY or home renovations; they might find the lumber or building materials industry less appealing.

By thinking through the industries that interest you, you can start your lead generation on a positive note, leading to a better list of companies that fit your interests, making prospecting calls a much better experience.

Prospect Similar Companies Together

Have you ever found yourself caught in a repetitive cycle while prospecting? You dive deep into one company, gather information, and then make a call. Once that’s done, you move onto the next company and repeat the process. This approach, while thorough, is not the most time efficient. It can drastically reduce the amount of calls you make and limit your potential prospecting volumes.

Consider a more efficient strategy: grouping similar companies. For instance, if you’re zeroing in on steel manufacturers, don’t dive into exhaustive research for each company individually. Instead, start by getting a full understanding of the current trends and challenges in the steel industry. With this broader perspective, you can systematically call these companies in succession. Each phone call will not only expand your understanding of what’s going on in the steel industry but will also improve your pitch for the next call, and the next call, and the next call.

This method doesn’t just save time; it leverages snowballing knowledge. It’s a tactic that seasoned brokers swear by, enabling them to efficiently make between 80-100 calls every day, maximizing their outreach and potential growth.

Prospecting Mistakes to Avoid

There are many common mistakes in prospecting, so here are three major ones that new freight brokers might make.

Lack of Activity: The importance of making calls and following up cannot be overstated. To put it bluntly, if you’re not consistently engaging with potential shippers, especially during the early stages or while trying to expand your business, you’re likely missing out on significant opportunities. The tips we just mentioned can provide a roadmap, helping you to better plan and execute your prospecting efforts. Once you establish a routine, making between 80-100 calls each day can become second nature, and this isn’t just for the newbies; even veteran brokers recognize the value of dedicated prospecting days. And while it’s important to make that first call, it’s equally important to follow up. Sometimes, building a successful relationship or closing a new customer might take 10-15 interactions with a prospect. So, be the broker who’s remembered for their consistency, not the one who gives up after a single call.

Wrong Prospecting Approach: It’s not only about making calls or meeting in person. You should use a mix of methods to reach out to potential clients. Always try to communicate in the way they’re most comfortable with. Some might like texts, others may prefer calls, and if you’re nearby, face-to-face meetings can be effective. Don’t stick to just one approach; vary your methods.

Don’t Be a Know-it-All:  No one has all the answers. For freight brokers, it’s crucial for us to connect with other brokers in the industry. You can learn from them, and they can learn from your experiences too. This give-and-take doesn’t have to be formal; it could be over a casual round of golf, a social event, or even a virtual meet-up on Zoom or FaceTime. The key is to keep communication lines open with those who understand and do your job. If you’re working solo, consider joining broker social media groups.  We’ve even started our own on Facebook that you can check out. Sharing your wins and losses with coworkers or online communities helps everyone grow. If you can observe or just understand how someone else does their prospecting, you can take some things they do and use them yourself and simply ignore the things that maybe you don’t like so much.  Either way, there is a ton of value in learning from others.

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