03/22/2023 by Holly Cooper
We’ve recently covered ways you can find prospects and warm up your cold calls. You’ve got your eye set on a business you can help, so, how do you go from phone calls to closing a sale as a Freight Broker Agent?
A few weeks ago, we held our first educational and virtual Agent Conference of 2023. We had a great line-up of sessions hosted by members of Trinity’s Leadership Team as well as our featured guest Blythe Brumleve of Digital Dispatch, and Everything is Logistics podcast.
This conference focused on winning sales and growing strong customer relationships as a Freight Broker Agent. Sessions took us through the complete sales cycle – from winning your first shipment from freight leads to moving your customer towards dedicated freight, and then providing them with full freight management services.
Let’s start at the beginning; and share some smart, simple, and practical advice on closing a sale and winning that first shipment.
First, develop your strategy for handling freight leads. Here are some suggestions from our top sales experts on how to effectively get your prospect’s attention, work your pipeline, and turn your freight lead into a new shipping customer.
When initially contacting your prospects, you often don’t have a lot of time with them. For that reason, you don’t want to be too generic. Just saying you’re with a third-party logistics (3PL) company with solutions and you want to talk about their shipping process won’t get you time on the phone with them.
You need to find ways to differentiate yourself and your services, so you stand out and get their attention. So, make sure you always have a reason for making that first call! Here are a couple of ideas to get you started.
Let’s say you have consistent capacity within a certain area. Try to find more prospects within that region and work with the same equipment. You can sell that capacity right away on your first phone call. Let them know who else you work with within that area, that you have capacity available that you’re looking to cover, and how you can help them.
It can be as simple as saying, “Hi new customer. I work with ABC Company in your area five days a week and have more trucks and equipment available that I think will help you.”
Pick an industry to focus on that you are having success with or have specific knowledge of and target those prospects. Then, by having repeat conversations with similar prospects, you’ll develop a flow using industry-specific “lingo” and your knowledge of any unique scheduling requirements, equipment types, or loading/unloading procedures for those commodities.
You can say, “Hi, new customer. I work with this industry often, and I noticed you’re in a similar industry. I know the scheduling process or loading process needed within this industry well and I think I can help you.”
Both examples give your customer a specific reason why they should have a conversation and start building a connection with you right off the bat.
Remember, the goal of your initial call is to gather information and start a conversation. Most likely, you won’t get the decision-maker on the phone during your first call. That’s okay. If you can’t get on the phone with the decision-maker, try talking to someone in sales.
We know salespeople love to talk. They know their product and their customers and often have a relationship with the shipping manager. So, you’ll be able to learn more information about the company and its current process, and any objections they may have, that you can later leverage when you finally land a call with the decision-maker at the company.
So now we have some ideas on how to approach prospects but where do we find the folks we want to call? Here are a few proven tips.
The most important thing is to keep it simple and establish a consistent rhythm. Quality over quantity is always the best approach and makes it easier to manage. Try focusing on a smaller group of qualified prospects with high intensity and a sense of urgency in your communication to gain quick momentum in turning over new shipping customers.
This means not holding onto stale leads. You’ll find not every prospect is the right fit and that’s okay. Let them go.
A good rule of thumb with mid-size companies is that if you aren’t talking to the decision-maker within two weeks, then move on. This helps you keep up the momentum in closing a sale by removing old leads for new potential prospects.
When you finally get connected with the decision-maker at the company, use your initial conversations as a point of reference to buy yourself a few minutes of their time. For example, “I recently spoke with Holly Cooper from your sales team and came up with some great ideas to help with your freight”.
Just like in your initial call, define your reason based on facts you uncovered and sell into your capacity or industry expertise. Too many Freight Broker Agents will get to the decision maker and go back to the general 3PL solutions selling. Remember your unique connection on why you can help them.
As a Freight Broker Agent, running your own business can be hard work on top of winning over new customers. That’s why we have an entire Team here to help you.
Let us help you gain more time to focus on what you do best, building relationships with shipping customers and motor carriers, while we handle the rest. In fact, many of our new Freight Broker Agents see over a 50 percent increase in business growth within their first two years at Trinity Logistics.
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