#1 Freight Agent Tip: Building Relationships in Business

01/13/2023 by Jennifer Hoffman

#1 Freight Agent Tip: Building Relationships in Business

Building relationships in business is the number one way a freight agent can succeed.

Relationships are the key to success as a freight agent. You may think this concept is nothing new, but now COVID has changed the way we meet people and build those relationships. Gone are the days when you could walk into many companies and catch someone in the hallway or bring them lunch; many offices and buildings aren’t even open to visitors, and the person that you need to speak with works remotely. So, how do you genuinely build relationships to meet your customer’s goals and grow your business and network?

TIPS FOR BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS IN BUSINESS

Genuine Care

This can’t be faked. If you don’t genuinely care about helping someone meet their own needs or goals, there isn’t any other tip that will work. This also means that not every customer may be the right fit for your business, and you are not the right fit for them. That’s okay – because if you don’t genuinely care about the well-being and success of the other person, it just won’t work!

Learn About Your Business Relationship

I love asking new salespeople what it takes to build a relationship in business. I hear things like knowing birthdays, knowing what sports they like, or if they have kids. This is all great information to know, but when a customer is entertaining another broker, knowing their birthday won’t help very much! It’s all surface information.

Learning means knowing how you can help them. Find out other information, like what’s important to their business or what threats there are to their business. What are their company goals and values? What measures do they use to check performance? And most importantly, learn how their business works, from procurement to end user sales. This kind of information will prepare you to be the person they’re looking for when their business needs help.

Offer Help Before They Ask

Don’t you love it when someone goes out of the way to buy you lunch in advance, ultimately solving your unknown problem of figuring out what to have and making it? This same idea works for your customers and goes hand in hand with learning more about your customer. Spend time taking that knowledge to figure out how you can help your customer’s business succeed. By being proactive instead of reactive with your services, you can further strengthen your business relationship and show your commitment to your customer’s success. Solve those problems that they aren’t even thinking about solving yet.

Have Excellent Customer Service

Customer service is a top priority in building relationships in business. Perfecting your interactions with your customers so that they leave floored by your service will not only improve your relationship with that customer but open the door to new ones.

Be An Educational Resource

Learning about your customer’s business is key, but they also rely on you to be the subject matter expert on all things supply chain! You want to be a helpful and educational resource for your customers to rely on.

Keep Up With Your Contacts

You may not have the bandwidth to keep up with all your contacts, but routinely checking in or engaging with them is important. Of course, you don’t always have to call or email. There are many other ways to engage with them, such as commenting on something they shared on LinkedIn or sending them a congratulatory card for a career milestone – every small interaction shows them that you’re keeping them top of mind and making them feel valued.

Go Beyond One Load/One Truck

Learning about a company’s business gives you the opportunity to help their supply chain process. Find out their real needs instead of just serving the load in front of you. How can you partner with them to solve the needs and goals of their business? Is saving on freight costs the most important thing?

Work with them to provide dedicated shipments that can be serviced more efficiently and effectively. If on-time delivery is most important to your customer, then work with motor carriers to make sure that they understand the importance of delivery and become familiar with their freight so that the customer gets exactly what they’re looking for.

Ask for Feedback

Instead of assuming your business relationships are happy, ask for feedback. Having open and transparent communication is the basic factor in building relationships in business. When you take the time to ask your relationships how they feel, you promote a conversation to uncover areas of improvement and further prove your commitment to them.

Don’t Forget Motor Carriers

Having a strong relationship with the motor carriers that you work with is as important as the customer! Motor carriers are the heartbeat of the industry, and can teach us so much about what is happening day in and day out. By building great relationships here, you also gain great insight into their business and they into yours. This makes communication during the load process so much better for everyone.

WE’RE HERE TO HELP YOU WITH BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS IN BUSINESS

Our tagline is People-Centric Freight Solutions for a good reason. Our culture and services focus on people and building relationships in business. And we’re here to help you succeed. It’s important to us at Trinity to help our freight agents find ways to keep their businesses successful and growing.

Here at Trinity, we understand running your business is hard work, so we have an entire Team to help you. With over 30 years of experience aiding in the success of our freight agents, many of them see a 50 percent increase in their business over a two-year period from joining.

Let us help you do what you do best, building strong relationships with your shipper customers and carriers while receiving world-class support that puts you ahead of the competition.

Spend less time on those back-end tasks and more time learning about the people behind the sale and winning their business.

JOIN TRINITY’S FREIGHT AGENT NETWORK