Whether business or personal, starting a new relationship with someone has its challenges. When it comes to freight brokers contacting new prospects and building a new relationship, it may seem daunting if not overwhelming. What do you say to your new contact? How often should you be in touch with a new prospect? How do you know if you are making the right choices moving forward or setting yourself up for failure?
Here are 6 lead generation tips to help freight brokers obtain quality leads:
1. EVERY DAY, obtain THREE new business contacts (and call them): FACT – As with most any industry, you will lose business for one reason or another. These new contacts will help to replace business that you will eventually lose or business that will never get off the ground (like the dreaded 1-shipment only customer). Some customers will not have any loads for 6 months or a year and then recontact you. Others will fall through for other reasons, so it’s important that you continually seek and pursue new prospects.
2. Do your research BEFORE you make the call: Cold calling people without doing any research tells them you did not consider the call important enough. The key here is to understand that it is not about you – it is all about them. Make sure the conversation is about them, not you. Use sales intelligence to turn a cold call into a warm call. Sales Intelligence refers to technologies and practices for collection of information to help sales people keep up to date with clients and prospects. Use Google and other search engines to gather relevant information (i.e. articles featuring the company and/or executives, recent awards or recognitions, and company locations).
To get information on your prospect’s company, begin by calling their sales department. Salespeople are great individuals to talk to when you want to know everything about a company and where it’s going. You can gain a great deal of knowledge from salespeople, so use that opportunity to ask them questions about what they do and how they do it. Ask them what lanes they ship, or what states they operate in.
3. Build a relationship: Establish rapport with your contact and foster a connection. It’s no secret – people are more likely to buy from a friend than from someone they view as a salesperson. This can be difficult to achieve at first when making cold calls. One way freight brokers can establish rapport is to start the conversation based on the lane they are running or the weight they are moving. This is great information to use to help make that initial connection with prospects. You will naturally learn how to build rapport as you learn the ins and outs of their business and the individual him or herself. Try to think of the process as being on a football team: you start as a freshman and build your skills through training and practice.
5. Take ACTION and follow through: You’ll build proficiency through ACTION. The process will get easier and you will get better at connecting, but you have to put in the time and effort.