The work of a freight broker involves many responsibilities. Freight brokers must maintain a rolodex of strong, reputable carriers, deftly navigate driver and equipment shortages, and cover loads as efficiently as possible. Amidst all the work to meet the needs of existing clients, there may not be much time to find new shippers. Competition is fierce, but strategies exist that can help you find shippers and outpace the competition. If you are a creative and advantageous freight broker, work you do now will pay off with long term benefits to your bottom line. Read on to learn how to find shippers as a freight broker.
Leverage Your Existing Network of Shippers
If you are a freight broker looking for shippers, you can begin by exploring business growth opportunities within your existing clients. Research your shippers to ascertain whether or not they have other locations. If they do, check to see if their transport zones align with your lanes or qualify for coverage within your network of carriers. If your research shows that you will likely be able to meet their freight brokerage needs, reach out to your contact if there are other needs within their company. Depending on the relationship and the shipping company structure, your contact may be able to make a recommendation or introduce you to the right person. Alternatively, you can bypass the research step and directly ask your loyal shippers if they have subsidiaries or other divisions in need of quality freight brokerage.
Solicit Businesses in Your Area of Expertise
If you specialize in the shipment of specific types of freight, conduct research online to compile a list of potential freight clients. Before cold calling the potential shippers on the list, familiarize yourself with the freight brokerage competition. If you can articulate the services of the other brokerage and present compelling reasons why your brokerage is a better fit for the shipper, you may be able to persuade shippers to change over to your firm. Highlight how your expertise can be a valuable asset to the shipper, and provide compelling reasons why your brokerage is the optimal provider of freight logistics for the potential client.
Offer to be a Backup
When you are a freight broker looking for shippers, you will often hear shipping leads say that they already have a freight broker. Instead of saying thank you and ending the conversation, a warm way to extend the interaction is to offer to be a backup. In the current climate of unpredictable and unprecedented logistics and supply chain disruptions, everyone needs as many potential solutions as possible. Ask the potential client if you can send your information so that they back up if their current broker is unable to meet their transport needs.
Offer Free Audits
Another strategy to utilize when potential shippers say they already have a freight broker is to offer a free, no-strings-attached audit. A free audit can show a potential client whether or not you can beat the current rates and exceed the current service standards. For freight brokers, conducting free audits is beneficial even if an audit does not result in new business. Conducting audits provides insight into competitor rates and offerings. This information can inform business decisions that ensure a competitive edge.
Establish a Referral Program
Positive word of mouth can be the most powerful marketing tool. If you are wondering how to find customers for freight brokerage, why not create an incentive for clients to bring on other shippers? A referral program requires a small amount of time and effort to design and promote, but once it is established, all you need to do is sit back and greet new clients. The purpose of a referral program is to create a clear and easy way for happy customers to bring business to you. Referral programs contain incentives to motivate clients to make business connections, but the benefit of acquiring a new customer far exceeds the cost of a nominal discount or prize.
Create a Loyalty Program
Loyalty programs can have a big, positive impact on business as they can strongly influence consumer purchase decisions. To improve shipper retention and fuel business growth, sponsor a loyalty program. A loyalty program provides rewards, discounts, or other special incentives to attract and retain clients. Loyalty programs can be about more than just rewarding repeat customers. Loyalty programs are great marketing strategies to distinguish your freight brokerage from others based on more than just price. Loyalty programs can be creatively tailored to fit the niche of your brokerage and communicate your company’s vision. Loyalty programs can also be a way to deepen relationships and show appreciation to clients.
First Star Logistics is a unique asset-based global logistics provider with more than 60 years of experience. To learn everything you need to know about freight brokerage and logistics, contact First Star Logistics today!