It indeed is a challenging job for freight brokers to build a steady stream of shippers, especially for those who are new in the industry. There are countless stories of new, enthusiastic brokers whose excitement disappeared in just a few months of customer searches while securing hardly one or two shippers.
Establishing a new business and finding customers to keep it running is always a daunting task, no matter which industry you belong to. Freight brokerage businesses aren’t an exception to this. The type of services they offer may vary from other businesses, but the ways to find new customers, shippers in their case, is the same as in any other industry – with persistent doggedness and a devotion to excellence.
Following are some proven tips on how to find shippers who can bring in new business:
- Target a Specific Niche Before you start practicing as a freight broker in the truck shipping industry, it is vital to identify your niche. Once you know who your prospects are, you will better be able to build your expertise for this specific niche. Focus on a particular market will enable you to best fit your customers’ needs, build strong market reputation, and stand out in the crowd.
- Make Use of the Internet Once you know who your targeted audience is, the job of finding the potential customers amongst all prospects will become a lot easier for you. One of the best ways to conduct your search is through the internet. Most of the brokers these days use the internet to find shippers and carriers in their niche.
If you are an experienced freight broker or a well-established brokerage firm, you naturally have a good exposure in the industry, and you perhaps know who are the leading shippers and carriers in your industry.
However, if that is not the case with you, there are many websites over the internet that features a complete database of all top suppliers and shippers in the country. There are several directories that even allow you to see the website URL of the respective companies and let you connect with them via email.
- Be Visible on Freight Boards Both free and paid freight boards are available out there. To get a membership on these boards, you simply need to register your company name with them. There are a large number of shippers who look out for carriers on such boards.
Free freight boards allow you to surf their database without paying a single dime. Paid boards, though, offer incentives such as a credit score – perhaps the most reliable way to confirm if a carrier or shipper is legitimate.
- Cold Calling Still Works! Most freight brokers have cold feet for this tactic. But there is nothing like getting one potential customers at least out of 100 calls made to different shippers.
Often the successful callers have two traits in common: first they know why they are making a call before they call, and secondly they do comprehensive research about the company or individual they are calling.
While it’s rare to get through on the first call, one should not get discouraged. Gradually with time, you will come to know what works and what doesn’t. And this way you will be able to find techniques that will help you gain new shippers easily.
- Make Your Presence Known Online & Offline For creating an online presence, you can take advantage of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google-Plus and LinkedIn. And for an offline presence, it is recommended that you participate in local events, exhibitions, seminars, etc. in your trade. Staying active and ensuring on-time top-quality services to your customers at the same time will certainly gain you a loyal customer-base.
A good Freight broker program always helps greenhorn brokers learn the most effective and efficient ways of making customers, and helps them sharpen their networking skills.