Are you ready to master freight broker sales? When I started my freight brokerage in 2003 I had already been selling for over a decade.
You may have heard the story, how in my first sales job I I was the worst sales person they had ever hired. No clue why they didn’t fire me but I am glad they didn’t. What I learned in that job would eventually help me to earn millions of dollars in my career.
Some people believe that sales people are born but I truly believe sales is a learnable skill. And is by far one of them important skills every freight broker and freight agent must learn.
Learn Proven Sales Strategies and Systems
The sales tips I cover in this blog are the same sales techniques I developed and have used over the past 30 years as an entrepreneur. The same strategies and system that helped me to do over $200 million in my own freight brokerage.
No matter how much experience you have, this post is full of actionable steps designed to help you build a successful freight brokerage.
You will learn how to bring new customers into your sales funnel, overcome sales objections, and leverage the best technology to make the whole process easier.
So get ready to be successful in this fast-paced transportation industry!
#1 – The Right Mindset for Freight Broker Sales
Mastering freight broker sales starts with the right frame of mind. Your thoughts dictate your mindset and can make the difference between running a successful business or a struggling one.
The most powerful mindset supports your business success rather than standing in the way of it. You can have all of the best strategies in the world, but without a winning mindset, you won’t see the level of success you want and deserve.
The biggest mindset challenge for most freight brokers is getting past the fear or rejection and what others might think of you. Now don’t misunderstand me, I know your fears feel very real to you. They used to feel real to me too.
But the fact of the matter is, the only way to achieve your goals in life is to quit allowing fear to keep you from going after your dreams, goals, and passions.
Don’t Be Afraid to Fail
Otherwise, you risk letting your fears keep you and your loved ones from experiencing the life you’ve always dreamed about. Most people do not go after their dreams because they are simply afraid. Some are afraid to fail, and some are even afraid to try!
Keep in mind that everyone is afraid of something. Fear is a normal and natural part of life. But how you respond to your fears is the difference between moving forward and staying stuck.
FEAR, in my opinion, is defined as “false evidence appearing real.”
The only reason you’re here reading this article is because you have a desire to be a freight broker or freight agent.
What I want to know is, what are you waiting for?
Don’t let fear keep you from achieving your goals. Taking action in spite of your fears is the first step in building the right mindset for mastering freight broker sales.
#2 – Filling Your Sales Funnel
Now you may be asking yourself “What is a sales funnel?”
A sales funnel can be thought of as a road map that shows, in this case, how freight broker get new shipping customers. The term “funnel” comes from the way it narrows down a large group of people who are interested in your product or service to people who will actually buy.
Most sales funnels have more than one step. It starts with learning about your freight broker services (awareness/attention), then they become interested to learn more (interest), finally they decide to take action (decision) and start doing business with you.
A sales funnel helps you understand the different stages that a buyer goes through during the sales process. This understanding allows you to be a better guide to your prospect (salesperson) during the process.
Basic Sales Funnel Stages
The purpose is to guide people through the sales funnel, giving them the information required to move from one stage to the next, eventually resulting in a successful sale.
Business is a numbers game and full sales funnels means lots of potential customers flowing through your sales funnel. The more prospects in your funnel, the higher your chances of success.
When you have a steady stream of prospects in your funnel, there is less pressure on closing any individual deal. You will also get to pick and choose the clients you want to work with instead of wasting time with less than ideal customers.
These are the exact sales tips and techniques I teach in my Freight Broker Sales Accelerator program.
There are a variety of ways to fill your sales funnel which I will dive into now.
The process of calling potential shippers without prior contact or an established relationship is referred to as cold call. This is in contrast to warm or hot leads, where a prospect/shipper may already be aware of your company.
Freight brokers and freight agent uses this sales call strategy to introduce themselves and they various services they offer. This is the awareness and interest component of the sales funnel described above.
Effective freight broker cold calling requires strong communication skills, a thorough awareness of the target market, and the ability to quickly demonstrate value and connection to the prospect’s business challenges and needs.
The goal of a cold call is to start a conversation, establish rapport, and eventually move the prospect down the sales funnel toward a prospective business relationship.
Cold calling is one of the oldest methods for freight brokers to get new shipping customers. It is still one of the most common methods to connect with prospective customers.
Top brokers know making successful cold calls is a skill that requires the ability to quickly building rapport with potential customers.
Freight Broker Cold Calling Stages
- Research Your Prospect: Gather sales intelligence and craft a compelling sales hook
- Initiate Contact: Make the call and get past the gatekeeper
- Build Rapport and Qualify: Break the ice, qualify the prospect and listen carefully
- Present Your Value Proposition: Explain how your service solves a relevant problem and offer a solution
- Handle the Prospects Objections: Be prepared for objections and focus on benefits not features
- Secure a Commitment: Schedule a next step, meeting, call with the prospect
Remember, effective cold calling involves a balance of persistence, resilience, and adaptability. Not every call will result in immediate success, but each interaction provides valuable insights and opportunities for improvement.
The important thing to remember is that you will improve with time and dedicated practice, even if you don’t have any prior cold calling experience. After a few successful cold calls, your confidence will increase and customers will follow.
As the name suggests cold emailing is a cold outreach sales strategy of contacting prospects via email without any prior relationship.
Cold emails usually begin with a brief introduction, a value proposition customized to the recipient’s needs, and a call to action. I have found that Personalization is key for increasing engagement, therefore addressing the recipient by name and highlighting specific data about their organization can boost the email’s effectiveness.
The purpose is to start a conversation, establish rapport, and direct the recipient toward the next step, such as a meeting or phone call. Cold emailing is similar to cold calling in that it requires research, a compelling value proposition, and the ability to adapt to the recipient’s needs and preferences.
Basic Cold Email Stages
- Research Your Prospect: Gather sales intelligence to help you develop a compelling sales hook
- Craft Your Cold Email: Write a catchy subject line, personalize to intro, create a compelling sales hook, keep it short, add a clear call to action
- Send Cold Email: Pick the right time to send the email, schedule a follow up reminder
Think of networking as creating professional friendships. It’s all about making connections with people who have the same goals, interests, or are part of the same groups.
When you network, you’re basically making a group of friends who can help you, give you useful information, and lead you to great career or personal growth chances.
Face-to-face networking (also known as in-person networking) is frequently done at events or conferences and can be very effective for developing personal connections.
With over 50% of communication taking place nonverbally, relationships can be strengthened through nonverbal signs and spontaneous interactions.
It gives you a chance to put a face to the name and learn what your client really wants. Get yourself into the rooms where your ideal customers hang out. Be curious about their challenges, their needs to better understand how you can help them.
Countless deals have been made through face-to-face networking opportunities and and can be way to add to your sales funnel.
Online networking, on the other hand, makes it easier to connect with people across geographical borders. My favorite place to network online is definitely LinkedIn.
You might find this hard to believe but my freight brokerage was able to leverage LinkedIn and social selling to generate over $20 million a year in annual recurring revenue.
LinkedIn & Social Selling Stages
- Build a Strong LinkedIn Profile [Click here to see my profile]
- Grow Your LinkedIn Network
- Build Your Authority though Content
- Engage with Prospects
- Convert Connections into Leads
Combining both approaches can result in a well-rounded networking strategy that leverages each approach’s capabilities for a more comprehensive and influential network.
Referrals are often considered to be the gold standard in the freight brokerage industry. They come from satisfied clients who can vouch for your services.
The best ways to encourage referrals from your clients is by offering great service and asking for a testimonial. You never know when a referral can lead to a phone call to the exact person you want to connect with in the freight industry.
Getting Shipper Referrals
- Provide an exceptional customer experience
- Strategically ask for referrals when the time is right
- Reward those that refer you to new customers
- Build and leverage your network
- Measure your referral efforts
Fact is, referrals go way beyond just getting your next shipping client. You can use referrals for finding motor carriers, freight agents and W2 employees.
#3 – Following Up Like A Pro
They say the fortune is in the follow up and I’ve found that to be true countless times over the years.
According to Hubspot Sales Statistics, 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up, yet 80% of sales require five or more follow-ups.
This is a huge disconnect between the actions salespeople take and what prospects need. Those who persist with follow-ups have a higher chance of success.
Building a thriving freight brokerage is hard work and consistent follow-up is a master key of successful freight broker sales. Once you’ve initiated contact with prospects, your follow-up method becomes your secret weapon in nurturing and deepening these connections.
Below, we discuss the importance of following up and give you some great tips on how to make a follow-up plan that works and puts you at the top of potential clients’ minds.
Why Follow-Up Matters
Think of your first contact as the start of a journey. Think of it as an introductory handshake. You can think of the first contact as the introduction, as a “Hello, I’m here to help you solve your business challenges.”
Follow-up is what turns that initial greeting into a conversation, a friendship, and if you do it correctly with the right person into a full fledged partnership.
Follow-up is important because it shows that you care about the client’s wants and needs and are committed to serving those needs long-term. It is one of the most effective methods I’ve used to build a multimillion-dollar business.
If you’ve had a past experience with a pushy salesman, you might not feel great about following up. However, the pushy salesman wasn’t doing a proper follow up. The best follow ups are a great way to help your customers feel tended to and helped, it isn’t pushy customer service.
Components of an Effective Follow-Up Strategy
- Multichannel Approach
- Quality over Quantity
Skilled brokers know it is best to follow up as soon as possible after the initial interaction. To keep the conversation going, send a follow-up email or call soon after the first time you talk.
Follow up with each client in a way that fits their wants and preferences. Show that you’ve been paying attention by bringing up details from past conversations.
The follow-ups you send should be useful. Share articles, thoughts, or data about the business that might help your prospect with their logistics issues.
Don’t depend on just one mode of communication. Follow up in different ways, such as through email, phone calls, LinkedIn and even text messages.
It doesn’t take a lot of time to follow up. Set a time frame to follow up, and then stick to it. Consistency builds trust.
Following up on a regular basis shows that you are committed. If your follow up process has these components, you’ll see great results.
Want my help developing your follow-up process? Get on the Freight Broker Sales Accelerator WAITLIST!
#4 – Overcoming Sales Objections
In the world of freight broker sales, objections are an inevitable part of the journey.
It’s not a matter of “if” but “when” objections will arise. Recognizing and effectively addressing objections is a skill that can set you apart as a top-performing freight broker.
- Not enough time
- Happy with current provider
Handling Sales Objections Like a Pro
Dealing with objections isn’t as difficult as it seems. Follow these steps to improve your chances of getting past objections, even if you’re caught off guard:
Step 1: Pay close attention
Pay attention when you listen. Do not talk over them. Let them say what’s on their mind. This shows that you care about what they need.
Step 2: Get to Know Their Point of View
Because people are complicated, repeat their question to make sure you understand them. Ask, “So, you’re worried that the color of our logo doesn’t match your brand, right?”
Step 3: Give an Answer That Shows You Care
Take their concerns into account, even if you don’t think they’re major problems. You should take care of what you can and talk about the rest with the team. Set up a time to follow up.
Step 4: Make sure everyone agrees
Repeat their objection and make sure that solving it will allow you to move forward. Know the difference between a brush-off and a real objection.
The ability to handle objections effectively is a sign of professionalism and problem-solving skills. When objections are viewed as opportunities to gain a deeper understanding of your prospects and build trust, you can turn potential hesitations into strong customer partnerships.
#5 – Closing the Sale
The primary financial responsibility for a freight broker or independent freight agents to be good at is closing deals. It’s the result of everything you’ve done, from the first contact to getting past resistance, and it takes a special set of skills.
Strategies to Effectively Close Deals
- Setting Clear Expectations
- Negotiating Skillfully
- Closing Techniques
- Building Trust
Make sure that both you and the client know exactly what to expect in terms of services, costs, and schedules.
Bad communication can lead to broken trust. A big part of closing deals is negotiating. Get ready to find something that both sides can agree on. Focus on making a situation where both you and the prospect benefit, so it feels like a win-win.
You should always be professional and polite, answer questions quickly and keep your promises. Show your track record by providing testimonials, references, or case studies from previous customers.
The most important thing is to be available for your prospects. Talk to them about any worries they may have and be available to answer their questions or give them more information to ease their worries.
Closing a deal isn’t just about signing a contract, it’s about the beginning of a partnership. It’s the moment when trust is solidified, and a commitment is made. It’s the culmination of your efforts, and it should always be conducted with the highest professionalism.
#6 – Customer Retention and Development
The most important thing in your freight brokerage business is your relationships with customers. If your customers are happy, they are more likely to come back to your business again and again. Even better, they will tell their friends and network about you.
Keeping these relationships going and making them stronger is important for many reasons:
- Increased revenue
- Word of mouth advertising (referrals)
- Long-term partnerships
It is easier and more cost-effective to keep and grow an existing customer than to acquire new customers for several reasons:
- Established Relationship
- Familiarity and Trust
- Reduced Marketing Costs
- Lower Acquisition Costs
- Repeat Business and Loyalty
- Word-of-Mouth Marketing
When you build long-term relationships with clients, your business is more stable and reliable. It cuts down on the need to keep looking for new clients just to keep the lights on and lets you focus on taking care of the ones you already have.
In summary, the cost-effectiveness of retaining and growing existing customers is rooted in the established relationship, trust, and reduced marketing expenses associated with customers who are already familiar with and committed to your brand.
Focusing on customer retention and satisfaction can result in long-term profitability and business success.
Tactics for Exceeding Client Expectations
- Exceptional service
- Easy communication
- Proactive problem-solving
- Added value
- Feedback and improvement
It’s not enough to just give great service to keep and gain clients. Successful freight brokerage sales require the ability to build and maintain trust.
Extraordinary service means going above and beyond. Plan ahead for possible problems and take action to solve them before they arise if possible. When problems do come up, act quickly to solve them. Clients like it when problems are solved quickly. It helps build trust and shows your professionalism.
The best thing to maintain trust is to keep the lines of conversation open and transparent with your clients. Provide them with tracking information and keep them up to date on their shipments. Also, be ready to answer any questions or address any concerns.
Ask your clients for opinions often. Use what they say to make your services better. This shows that you care about meeting their changing wants and needs. Your goal is to be more than just a transactional service provider for your client. Aim to become a valued partner in the success of their business.
#7 – Leveraging Freight Broker Sales Tools
Technology is revolutionizing the freight broker sales world by providing tools and solutions that make operations more efficient and boost total productivity.
The most successful freight brokerage operations make use of all technology solutions available today.
Here are some important ways that freight broker software and technology can transform your freight brokerage:
Specific Tools and Software for Freight Broker Sales
- CRM Systems (SalesDash CRM)
- Shipper Lead Database (Apollo.io)
- Sales Intelligence Platforms (Lusha and Owler)
Freight brokers that leverage software and tech are more competitive, provide better service, and remain adaptable in an industry that is changing quickly. Adopting technology not only makes freight broker sales easier, but it also shows your clients that you are a forward-thinking and flexible business partner.
Mastering freight broker sales is more than simply closing deals. The right mindset, techniques to establish rapport, grow trust and provide exceptional value and service to your prospects and clients.
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P.S. If you want to, “Learn How to Become A Freight Broker or Freight Agent in 30 Days or Less”, check out my online freight broker training program. 60 day 100% money back guarantee!
Owner, Freight Broker Boot Camp
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