Growing your freight broker business can seem daunting. You probably landed your first few clients fairly easily: you had industry connections and were able to negotiate solid contracts. Those first big customers were enough to launch you on your own.
Now that you’re established and have your existing customers solidly managed, you probably want to keep growing your business. This is going to take a bit of ingenuity and creativity on your part, but fear not; we have some proven tactics that you can implement now to help grow your business.
As we all know, generating leads doesn’t just happen. There are a few things required to earn qualified, quality leads.
Know Your Value Proposition
Don’t just tell people what your business does. Tell people why your business is the best at brokering.
Why did your first few customers originally go with you? Probably because you offered something their existing primary freight broker couldn’t. This might have been because:
- You were the most reliable contact to reach by phone.
- Your customer service was exceptional.
- You knew the industry better than anyone else they were dealing with.
- You connected them with a reliable carrier who is always in their area.
You personally provided exceptional value and someone wanted to work with you regularly because of it.
What was that thing (or things) you did so incredibly well? Feel free to even ask your best clients what’s so great about you. In fact, ask them for an answer in an email or by messaging them on LinkedIn. If you have a personal reference or testimonial in writing from satisfied past or existing clients, you have a concrete reference.
Just how important are these testimonials that express your unique value proposition? Here’s some food for thought: according to one Hawkeye study, 71% of B2B buyers in the awareness stage and 77% in the evaluation stage cited them as the most influential types of content.
Tip: Make certain you know exactly what your value proposition is, because it’s going to matter in this next step.
Present Your Value on Your Company Website
Do you have a website?
If the answer is yes, skip these next two paragraphs.
If the answer is no, why? Every single business should have a website, even businesses in logistics. Buck Ballard of The Trucking Podcast puts owning your own website as a high priority in this day and age: “You got a business, you need some real estate.” Websites are the new business card.
It’s easier than ever to have your own website. Services such as GoDaddy and Wix have free website templates to plug your content into. Free websites will have some restrictions, but if a website is acting as a placeholder for your company info, then don’t worry about it. If those restrictions bother you, then there are plenty of web designers out there for hire that will design and maintain a website for a fee. If you don’t have a website, get that sorted out now.
A web presence needs to include your value proposition, contact information, and a lead capture form. Make certain your website is easily accessible: it’s on your LinkedIn Profile, it’s on Facebook, on your Twitter bio; everywhere.
First, you want your value proposition in front of people. Carriers and shippers will work with you because you provide something exceptional. Remember those written references from your best customers? Ask if it’s ok for you to include a quoted testimonial from it on your website.
Second, your contact information needs to be prominently displayed on the website. As mentioned earlier, websites have essentially replaced business cards. Whatever you would have included on a business card, make certain it’s on the website.
Finally, make certain you have a lead capture form to collect a name, company name, email, and phone number. If you want any other information, you can add more fields. Most website templates include contact forms which can work as lead captures for your small business. It serves the purpose, as you’ll receive notifications to your inbox when someone sends you a contact form with their information.
As business owner and CEO, Donald Miller is quick to point out in his book, Building a Story Brand, a person’s email is one of the most private things they could give you. It’s their direct line and they aren’t keen on handing it out for nothing. In order to make leads feel comfortable giving you their contact information, give them good reason with your value proposition on the company’s website.
This takes some leg work, but it’s worth it.
First form of outreach: ask for referrals from your existing clients.
Make it clear that you are expanding your business because your resources have grown, not because you’re going to negate on the excellent service you’re providing. If your client enjoys working with you, ask them to pass along your contact info to others in their network.
This is where the website and lead capture form will come into play. Your clients will forward your website to those in their network and that new potential business will fill out your contact form.
People are incredibly uncomfortable handing out the contact information of others—I won’t hand out any of my friend’s information. However, we’re all quick to send a friend a business’s website. A friend of mine has been seeing a chiropractor for 20 years, so when I said I was looking for one, she messaged me the business website. I checked out the therapies, called to make an appointment, and now I have a chiropractor I’m very happy with. Since she trusted this business, I was willing to trust them too.
Second form of outreach: you may need to cold call. (But do your research first.)
No one likes cold calling, which is why LDI helps you set up your cold call process. Our agents receive a 90-day onboarding guide which includes step-by-step and scenario-by-scenario call scripts to find new prospects. Whatever the situation, you will be coached and prepared with call templates and guidelines to steer the conversation towards securing new customers.
Need More Help?
Start with these three things to improve your lead generation:
Be able to sell yourself: knowing what value you offer to this industry will help you secure customers and partners whose values align with yours.
Display your value proposition clearly: a website that says who you are, what you do, why you’re the best at doing it, how long you’ve been doing it, and how others can contact you will make the right impression. A website says that you mean business and you’re here not only to stay, but to grow.
Reach out: Ask your clients and partners to pass along your contact information to others in the industry. You’re looking to grow your business and want your best customers to pair you up with other fantastic customers. Short of that, pick up the phone and start calling to find other amazing businesses to work with.
Ready to start putting these freight broker lead generation tactics to use? With the help LDI’s savvy, experienced team, our handy onboarding guide, and our industry-leading technology, your freight brokerage will be on its way to becoming a lead generation machine.