The freight brokerage industry can be highly competitive and volatile. It is your job to secure new customers and develop relationships that will help you keep those customers. However, your customers may be all over the country making a personal relationship hard to develop. You can overcome this by keeping in close contact with your customers and touching in early and often to keep your company front of mind for each client.
Communication…Keep It On Your Mind
Hitting the phones and providing great communication seems like an easy thing to do but far too many of us don’t do it well. There are a lot of situations we can make end up differently if we offer the necessary information our customers need during every step of the process. A great freight broker or transportation agent of any kind knows, “if you’re not on the phone, you’re not on their mind.”
Communication…Staying On Your Customers’ Mind
As a freight broker it may not always be easy to touch base with all your customers all the time. Easy or not it is your role and the reason for freight brokerages. As the communicator between the shipper and carrier you may have to deliver news you don’t want to, play hard ball for better rates on both the shipper and carrier sides, and manage different personalities all while keeping everyone happy with you and your freight brokerage business. Practice different sales techniques to develop your method for juggling all these variables and making sure you are doing what is most important for your business: getting the margin you need and maintaining your book of business.
Communication…Changing Your Prospects Mind
A freight broker needs to consistently increase his or her contact list by seeking out more shippers for continuous business opportunities. It is imperative for a freight broker to continue building their book of business to ensure they can overcome the natural lows shippers goes through during the year. Lows are caused by things like seasonality, changes in the economy, or even just broker selection by the shipper. It is possible to plan for some of these while others come by surprise. Constant solicitation will give a broker a diverse customer base so they stay busy the whole year.
There are a lot of freight brokers out there. Many are much better than others but to a shipper it’s often hard to tell them all apart. It is your job to go the extra mile to prove to your current clients and prospects you are worth the risk. Brokers who can rely on name recognition and a solid reputation often find doors open for them. Those that fight to represent their company well and work to better their reputation every day find those same doors stay open.