When it comes to planning for success, taking that first step is always the hardest. This is where building habits come into play. Building habits of growth and success into your day will position your business to see results. A research study by Duke University found that 40 percent of the actions people performed each day weren’t actual decisions but habits. That data is pretty staggering! From our seats, we’ve noticed that our most successful freight agents have developed certain habits that propel them to success.
So, what ARE the habits of successful freight agents? While there are so many ways to build positive, growth-driven habits into your business, the key is to start with one. Find one habit below that you can start doing to help lead your business towards the path of success.
The key to continued growth and success is being proactive. If you don’t focus on growing your business, then your business is most likely shrinking. No matter how you choose to sell, it would help if you proactively surround yourself with potential customers and carriers, looking for opportunities to provide them value.
Being a good listener is a vital habit for an independent freight agent’s success. Listening well to the specific details around any shipment is essential and can make a huge difference. Making sure you fully understand what is going on and what is needed will allow you to better serve your clients. And when problems happen, fully listening to the issues with the intent of understanding will promote an environment of mutual respect and take your customer service even further
One of the best habits is to have a plan made every day. It may sound simple (most habits are), but many can end up getting stuck in a routine of going through the motions, and lose sight of what they are trying to accomplish. Instead, start every day by planning what goals you’re crushing today and how they fit into your long-term picture.
The best freight agents never stop learning. If there is one thing that successful freight agents know it is that they don’t know everything! Habitually find time to listen to podcasts, read, take a class or webinar. Subscribe to industry newsletters or take advantage of any freight agent opportunities provided by your brokerage. The freight industry is constantly changing. From new regulations to new technology, you need to stay educated to be successful.
Successful freight agents understand that their relationships are what keeps their businesses thriving. Strong relationships will have your shippers, carriers, and brokerage support members looking forward to working with you. Logistics is truly a Team effort, so make sure you put effort into those relationships. By building natural relationships, you’ll have mutual trust and always be top of mind. Psst..you’re good listening habit will help a lot here!
You may have an excellent book of business, with great repeat customers, but you should never get too comfortable. No company is immune to the ebbs and flows of the logistics industry and you never know when some of your current business slows due to shutdowns, new personnel, or other reasons out of your control. Because of this, it’s important never to stop networking and looking for new customers. Ask your current customers for any referrals, be present at tradeshows or keep memberships with certain trade organizations to help connect with others in your industry.
Most successful freight agents take time each day to communicate progress on any loads and speak to any current or upcoming changes. Make sure you always communicate both the good and bad news as it will continue to build trust. When bad news comes along, make sure you proactively communicate it and come ready with solutions. Most people appreciate the effort in communicating versus being left in the dark.
While this may not sound like a good habit to develop, social media is quickly becoming a great way to market yourself as an expert in the industry and network for new business. LinkedIn is a great place to get started if you haven’t already. You can use your brokerage’s marketing content and brand to help grow your presence as an industry expert online. Be sure to post regularly and engage in conversations online. Keep your online content and engagement professional, just as you would if you were in person.
You know you want to be successful, but what is it that defines that success for you? Determine what that is for your long-term goal and then make smaller goals to help you reach your end goal. Make sure your goals are SMART and follow through. And most importantly, continue to re-evaluate your goals so you can continue to grow.
Growth cannot happen without being uncomfortable. Take small steps towards something that makes you uncomfortable. The more you do it, the more comfortable you’ll grow to be, as well as more successful. Do you hate cold calling? Maybe start with a small goal of two per day. Do you want to do more face-to-face client visits? Start with the one closest to you. Take one small step towards something that is daunting in your business. The momentum from one small step leads to another and another!
Most successful people have a higher purpose than just the need to be successful. Knowing your purpose helps you push through the more challenging times and motivates you to accomplish your goal. Having a clear sight of what you want to do and why will only make your habits more positive and purposeful.
Even though your role may be as an “independent freight agent”, it doesn’t mean you have to go at it alone. Make sure you find a brokerage that offers you the support you need so you can grow and be successful.
As independent freight agents, the fires of the day can sometimes take away from your personal and professional development. It’s important to us at Trinity to help our freight agents find ways to keep their business growing, while still having the ability to handle the operations of the typical “day in logistics”.
Here at Trinity, we understand that running your business is hard work, so we have an entire Team here to help you. We have over 30 years of experience aiding the success of our Authorized Agents, with many seeing a 25 to 45 percent increase in their business over a two-year period from joining our network.
Let us help you get back to doing what you do best, serving your customers while receiving world-class support that puts you ahead of the competition. After joining, you’ll have access to a dedicated Agent Support Team to help you with your goals, business efficiency, development, growth, and encouragement. You’ll have full administrative support, many educational opportunities, and best-in-class technology available to serve you, your customers, and carriers.
We’re also ready to help you build the habits mentioned in this article into your daily routine. If you’re ready to be a successful freight agent with Trinity, join our Authorized Agent network today and get ready to see some growth.
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