Freight brokers understand that relationships are the key to their trade. In order to build relationships, one must master the art of intentional connections by creating opportunity on both sides of the industry. In this season, brokers are needed more than ever to bridge the gap amidst tense supply chain needs and high costs.
Supply Chain Quarterly reports that 74% of truck drivers anticipate rates will continue at their current pace, or rise further. With high rates and even high tension and bottlenecks, taking the time to master how to sell as a freight broker in 2022 may be the best thing a professional can do for their budding business.
Regardless of the freight broker business model, all experience resistance during initial contacts with shippers. Some shippers truly have needs that cannot be met by a new partnership. However, by becoming familiar with the core objections from shippers, a prepared professional gains vital tools for grasping how to sell as a freight broker. These tools provide preemptive preparation to answer objections before they’re even shared.
By taking time to get familiar with these objections, fewer of them become dead ends and more turn into committed clientele.
When pursuing another business partnership, novice and experienced brokers alike have to deal with the gatekeepers. Gatekeepers are employees who receive all initial marketing and sales communication to screen the best options for their company. This role is designed to prevent company owners and leaders from wasting time listening to pitches that don’t coincide with their business plans.
Although the title gatekeeper is likely not being used for people in this role, this employee is found at almost all major corporations. They may be paid under the title executive assistant, sales manager, or junior department member. Regardless of title, they are the first person a broker interacts with, and sometimes the last. Gatekeepers may brush off brokers attempting to make connections due to a lack of knowledge that can guide these preliminary business decisions. When practicing how to sell as a freight broker to gatekeepers, individuals benefit from considering this and more below.
When working with any company it’s important for brokers to first do their own research. Research can be started on the company’s own websites or through local news or industry sources. With this sales intelligence, brokers are able to prepare pitches that are personalized to the company or brand itself. This technique lends well into preparing multiple pitches that can address specific concerns, such as contract freight vs. spot freight rates or freight cost per mile predictions. By collecting company specific details and using those to infer what concerns they may have, brokers are better prepared for the actual time itself with gatekeepers.
As technology continues to expand, so do the options for meeting with gatekeepers. Flexibility is a large benefit whether meeting in person, on video or on the phone. In all of these scenarios, knowing how to sell as a freight broker means actively listening for vocal cues that imply resistance or curiosity. When in person or on video call, body language may even reveal a gatekeeper’s knowledge and influence. Their comfortability with prospective business partners plays in drastically to their choice of passing on options to decision makers.
Although it may feel as if the gatekeeper is in the way of the broker, brokers need to remember that the gatekeeper is their ally. Utilizing first names builds rapport and familiarity with these doorways to more business. When gatekeepers lack relevant knowledge, brokers should arrive ready to work with the current knowledge in a way that educates without belittling. Doing this while respecting their time by not trying to sell them on all of the details goes a long way. These pitches should be built upon clear, memorable, high level benefits and stats.
Amidst the many things that are considered by those investigating how to sell as a freight broker, it’s important for prospective brokers to maintain flexibility. Sales can be likened to professional improv due to the eb and flow of natural conversation. Although brokers are selling a service, it’s important to recall that ultimately what companies will buy into is the broker themselves, because relationship is the name of the game while middlemanning the freight industry.
Some gatekeepers just won’t understand or take the time to hear about what is being offered to them. Experienced sales techniques applied by those who know how to sell as a freight broker utilize out of the box ideas such as calling outside of business hours. By calling before 8am or after 5pm, it’s possible that gatekeepers will be less busy. This technique can be utilized to even gain access from the top down, perhaps communicating first with a Vice President and then being asked to be transferred to sales. Networking within other departments can be an additional way to gain sales intelligence and rapport.
Despite the advancement of technologies, cold calling is still an active and important step when learning how to sell as a freight broker. A cold call is the initial phone conversation with a potential lead that a broker has no current relationship with. Although cold calling is one of the oldest methods in sales, it can still be a daunting task for salespeople in all industries. Here are seven of the most vital tips to discern how to sell as a freight broker with cold calling:
It’s important to consider that frequent cold calling is characterized most in the early years of brokering. As freight brokers learn how to sell as a freight broker and build their book of business, attention can be moved to retention based customer service. Until then, prospective brokers must not grow weary cold calling by understanding the long term investment that these calls can represent.
Brokers who are near shippers and distribution centers, can take this a step further to do door to door canvassing. This face to face version of cold calling can sometimes be a breath of fresh air for companies who are only receiving interactions virtually. However, the rejections can feel worse considering the extra time and gas that is taken when a pitch isn’t received, or even heard. Although this option can be intimidating, this avenue of practicing how to sell as a freight broker can be an opportunity for brokers to show face-to-face what a great middleman they would be for the shippers.
Because the world runs on materials that have to be transferred across town or across the globe, the broker industry isn’t going anywhere but up. Verified Market Research shared recently on this growth: “[The] US Freight Brokerage Market size was valued at USD 1.164 Billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 13.78 Billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 36.2% from 2021 to 2028.” Professionals who are researching how to sell as a freight broker need to consider what choices they need to make today to ensure they have margin for growing business in the coming years. Make booking your client’s loads easier than ever by starting a demo with Newtrul today.