The key to being a successful freight broker is to focus on business growth. One of the best ways to drive business growth is by conducting sales calls. However, it is more complex than just picking up the phone and calling businesses. Conducting sales calls is truly an art form that takes skill, strategy, and persistence. At First Star Logistics, we are committed to setting our freight brokers up for success. We created this guide with some of our top freight broker tips to improve sales calls.
1. Learn from Colleagues and Mentors
An excellent way to glean practical skills is to learn from someone who is achieving the goals you set for yourself. Consider the other freight brokers in your organization, identify the highest performers, and see if you can shadow them. Observe their processes and communication skills, and ask questions that arise. If a particular strategy works for a colleague or mentor, test it out, and see if it works for you. As you build confidence and gain experience, feel free to put a spin on any approach to make it your own.
2. Self-Reflect and Adjust as Needed
Self-reflection is a powerful tool that freight brokers can use to gain insight into the connections between thoughts, behaviors, and outcomes. For example, if a freight broker is scared of cold-calling, they may lack clarity and confidence on a call and prompt a potential client to believe they may not have the experience to meet their needs, even if that could not be further from the truth. Use self-reflection to evaluate your habits continually, understand your strengths and weaknesses, and use the knowledge to develop a sales style that brings you success.
3. Organize and Plan Your Workday
To maximize the time and energy for sales calls, organize and plan your workday. Designate time for administrative tasks and busy work so that you can spend most of the day talking to the right people. After all, the more people you connect with, your results will be better. Additionally, ensure that you proactively handle logistics and communication with existing clients to avoid unexpected interruptions to essential sales calls. It would be a shame to jump off a successful sales call to address an issue that could have been prevented with forethought and planning.
4. Persist with Discipline
A strong work ethic and discipline are the magic ingredients for a successful freight brokerage. Many sales calls do not result in deals, and building a solid network takes time and energy. The key to success is showing up every day, even when difficult. With persistence, you will get where you want to be.
5. Prioritize Lead Generation
When you first become a freight broker, you may wonder why colleagues and competitors spend so much time on marketing, research, and business development. All of these activities are essential to lead generation, which is the process of identifying, contacting, prospecting, and cultivating customers.
6. Clarify Your Value Proposition
Your value proposition is what sets you apart from the competition. Before making calls, clarify why shippers will benefit from your service instead of someone else. Often, this requires a deep understanding of the customer and what you can do for them. Consider the following:
- Do you offer specific services they need?
- Do your values align?
- Can you provide a better deal than what they are currently receiving?
7. Prepare Talking Points
Sometimes improvisation is necessary, but it should not be your primary strategy because you may only have one opportunity to make a strong impression. Take the time to learn about a prospective client, their products, and their shipping needs. Prepare a specific, clear, and concise pitch specific to their business. Once you verify that you are speaking to the right person, deliver your pitch with confidence and sincerity. It may be tempting to use a sales voice, but this can be off-putting to many people. Be yourself and be professional!
8. Use Active Listening
A sales call is more than just an opportunity to deliver a sales pitch. It is also an opportunity to build a relationship with a prospective customer. Use active listening skills to attentively listen to the person on the other end of the call. Reflect upon what is being said, ask thoughtful follow-up questions, and offer brief verbal affirmations to demonstrate understanding. Active listening skills can build trust, establish rapport, and show the prospective customer that you care. As a bonus, active listening can help you gain valuable insight into your target customers to improve lead generation down the road.
9. Join the First Star Logistics Team as a Freight Broker!
Finally, a great way to improve your sales calls is to work with a logistics company that gives you what you need to succeed.
Here at First Star Logistics, we are a unique, asset-based global logistics provider with more than 60 years of experience. We empower our freight brokers to succeed by allowing them to create their own goals, cultivate their own networks, and make their own money. We have a dedicated management team that offers complete back-end support across multiple departments, allowing our freight brokers to focus on one thing – growing their freight brokerage business.
To become a freight broker with First Star Logistics, submit an application today!