Whether you’re just starting out as a freight broker or have prior experience, the most difficult part of your job will usually be getting new business/customers. Especially customers that will provide you with enough freight to keep your operation profitable through a sufficient number of shipments each month. That is why we have listed twenty-five ways different sales pitches/strategies that freight brokers can use in order to attract and secure new business.
Keep in mind, most freight brokers will typically stick with strategies 1-5, eliminating 75% of potential sales opportunities. We live in a day and age where there have never been more opportunities to connect with customers and it’s best to not let them fall by the wayside. Here’s 25 ways to deliver your next sales pitch:
Perform cold calls
Prospect to your warm market
Use email marketing
Attend trade shows
Join networking groups
Use LinkedIn advertising
Host small business dinner/event
Start a blog
Advertise in magazines
Collaborate on projects with similar companies
Advertise on social media
Leave marketing material with customers
Write letters of intent to companies
Sponsor a charity event
Participate in online forums
Send gift baskets to customers
Hand out business cards
Join Facebook networking groups
Send mailers to customers
Sponsor radio/television advertising
Tell me a bit about your business.
What is your role with the company? (Determine whether you’re speaking with the decision-maker)
Is there someone else aside from you that is involved with the decision-making process?
What is the biggest challenge in your shipping operation? (Identify the areas in which you can add value to their process)
What type of freight do you move? (Time-sensitive, oversized, temperature-controlled, etc.)
What characteristics are most important to you when working with a logistics provider? (Find out what’s important to them and offer a solution)
What do you like most about your current freight broker? (Copy the good, fix the bad.)
Do you keep your options open when it comes to transportation providers?
What does the process look like for bringing on a new freight broker?
How do you measure success with your current freight brokers?
What lanes are you currently shipping?
What’s your best email so that I can provide you quotes on your lanes that need coverage?
Don’t Say This To The Customer…
What kind of products do you sell?
Where are you located?
Let’s schedule a meeting to discuss business
I’m calling to talk about how my company help you with your freight
These questions/statements do not allow you to engage in rapport building and should be addressed during the qualifying stage of questioning.
1) Door-To-Door Sales
This is typically the bread and butter for freight brokers in their quest for acquiring new shippers. Brokers can better present value and handle the customer’s rebuttals when pitching their services face to face rather than through email or over the phone. Ultimately, dropping in to their place of work is the best way to get a moment of their undivided attention. Otherwise, lower to mid-level employees can act a barrier through phone/email communications, preventing you from making direct contact with the decision maker.
Dropping into the shipper’s place of work also shows them that you’re serious about their business and will transfer that enthusiasm whilst servicing out their lanes, if they choose to provide you with their shipments. Although, regardless of the outcome, it is never a bad idea to start off the potential relationship with a face to face interaction. Follow this door-to-door sales script template to increase your ability to get in front of the decision maker and leave your sales appointment with a win.
Door-to-door sales script:
My name is [Your Name] and I am with [Company Name]. Upon completing my meeting with [Customer Next Door] to discuss their shipping operation, I inquired about whether there were any other companies nearby that have a shipping operation similar to their own that I could be of value, to which they mentioned [Customer Name]. I wanted to drop by to see if you could refer me to the person in charge of shipping to learn more about your company’s logistics operation?
Continue to ask qualifying questions in the order they are listed above.
2) Cold Calling
This task is extremely important for freight brokers to complete in order to gain new business. Not every customer you want to contact will be within a commutable distance, therefore, cold calling can be a more efficient alternative to making appointments and creating sales opportunities with companies on your prospect list.
In order for freight brokers to be successful with cold calling, you need to focus on having the following outcomes from every call:
Get past the gatekeeper
Reinforce the company’s strengths
Uncover weaknesses in their operation by asking qualifying questions
Offer a solution to turn their weaknesses into strengths
See if they have an interest in using your services moving forward
Most freight brokers don’t necessarily enjoy cold calling due to its monotonous and mundane nature, however, you must still be effective with it if you expect to generate results. Follow this cold call script to improve your chances of getting past the gatekeeper and securing new business.
Cold calling script:
Hello [Customer Name],
My name is [Your Name] and I am with [Company Name].
I hope your day is going well. I just had a few questions regarding your company’s shipping operation and I wanted to see if you were the right person to speak to about that.
Terrific! I noticed that your company specializes in [Service] and [Service]. I have always been very intrigued by companies with an operation similar to yours and wanted to see if you could speak more towards how you became involved in [Service].
Incredible! Well, I am very impressed on what your company has been able to accomplish. Could you tell more a bit more about your role with the company?
Continue to ask qualifying questions in the order they are listed above.
3) Warm-Market Prospecting
Warm-market prospecting will usually generate the highest success rate in securing shipments for your freight brokerage. This is because your warm market (prospects who you have already established relationships with) are more likely to trust you with their business.
Customers won’t buy what you’re selling if they don’t like or trust you.
When approaching a warm market lead, be forthcoming about your intentions about furthering the business nature of the relationship. You have already built rapport with this prospect and have hopefully established a sense of trust, so you can skip through that part and cut right to the chase. Your prospect will appreciate your honesty regardless of the outcome.
4) Generate Referrals
Referrals are always good to have regardless of the nature of your business, but that goes double for freight brokers. Prove to your customers day in and day out why they choose you to move their shipments and I can guarantee you that they will refer other customers with shipping needs similar to their own.
Don’t be afraid to ask your customers for referrals!
If times are slow and you are trying to leverage your customers to get referrals, use this soft approach to getting your customers thinking about who else they would recommend to work with you.
Hello [Customer Name],
I’m so glad to hear you’re happy with the results of working with [Company Name] so far. I knew we could help, and I’m pleased you’re seeing results so quickly.
Since things are going to well, I found myself wondering if you have any colleagues at similar companies who would benefit from our [Service]. I would love to help them achieve similar growth.
5) Email Marketing
While email marketing may not be what it used to in terms of open rate, it is still one of the most effective forms of marketing to this day and should be included in your top customer outreach initiatives.
No one ever got a new customer on their first email!
The follow up to an email is just as important as the email itself. Create an email list with all of the prospects you have gathered so you can regularly send out email blasts with quality content. Don’t always be sending emails asking if they have any lanes available. Rather, send out things that may be interesting or beneficial to them: blogs, current events, informative videos, etc. On the 10th email, you probably will be okay checking to see if they have any freight available, that way you avoid spamming them.
It also provides a reason to call or walk into a business in order to follow up on the status of your original message. It’s the same as if you were trying to get a job. If all you do is submit a resume, there’s a very small chance that you will be considered for an interview. But if you call to follow up and/or drop off a resume in person, your likelihood of landing an interview goes up tremendously.
Whenever you’re sending a sales email, it is important to understand that rapport still needs to be built. Try including some terms of endearment into the email in order to create a like/trust factor before getting into the bulk of your email.
Next, share how you can provide more value than the other 11 freight brokers that probably emailed them that day asking for freight. You’re email must stand out!
Follow this email guide to ensure you construct an email that will hopefully result in the customer giving you shipments, or at the very least, scheduling a call to talk about your services in further detail.
Email marketing script:
Hi [Customer Name],
I have been an avid customer with you guys for quite some time and I have to say, I don’t know what I would do without your [Service]. I find it to help me [Value Item] and [Value Item], which has brought me tremendous joy over the years.
I would really love the opportunity for you to get to know me, one of your loyal customers, as someone that can also help make your logistics process simpler. I am the [Job Title] at [Company Name] and I will work day and night to ensure I provide a more efficient shipping process than your current provider guaranteed!
I understand that most shippers are not getting over 90% of their needs met by their current logistics provider. I am offering to bridge that gap because that 10% that they don’t do is what separates me from any other provider you have worked with or will work with in the future.
I’d love the opportunity to get to discuss your operation further, and see how [Company Name] can help improve your transportation needs. I’m always just a phone call away, so feel free to contact me at [Phone Number].
I look forward to doing business together!
As you can see, there are many methods to deliver your sales pitch. You just have to try different ones and see which you enjoy and work best for your company. Just be sure not to limit yourself to the traditional sales strategies for that narrow-minded business practice will result in you missing out on a lot of potential sales opportunities.
We live an a day and age where customers have never been so accessible. Be sure to take advantage of it!