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You may be a freight sales agent, but you aren’t really a salesperson. Your real job is to solve your customer’s freight and shipping challenges.The way we solve challenges for our prospects is to first figure out:
- What are their challenges?
- What frustrates them?
- What do they wish other freight agents would do that they don’t?
- What causes them stress?
The answers to these questions can’t be discovered when we do 90% of the talking. Instead, we MUST ask great questions, then close our mouths and write down the answers we’re given. Once we know what their challenges are, and we know that we can assist them to solve these challenges, do we start talking about us.
Ask These Questions To Your Shipping Decision-Makers To Build A Relationship With Them:
1. Tell Me About Your Business?
You should have already googled the company you’re calling. Ask this question to break the ice. Good companies love to talk about what they’re doing. Join in the conversation from the information you already have with them.
2. What Are Your Main Responsibilities?
The answer you want to hear is
I’m the Shipping Manager/ Shipping Decision Maker/ in charge of freight here. If they’re director of purchasing, simply ask for the name of the shipping manager. After asking for the shipping manager’s name, ask if you can speak to them. Once you get to the shipping decision maker, listen carefully to their responsibilities.
3. Who Else, Besides You, Makes Your Shipping Decisions?
Your goal is to talk to the person with the power. Everybody else has problems you can potentially solve, but the person who makes the shipping decisions is the only one who has the authority to let you assist him/her.
4. What’s Your Biggest Challenge Shipping Your _______________?
Ask for the biggest challenge shipping their products. Ensure you write down the answer to this question.
5. What Happens When ________________________________ Happens?
This is for locating their challenges beforehand, so you can solve them when they happen.
6. What Are Your Main Priorities While Moving Your Freight?
Another question you must write down the answer to.
7. What Qualities Do You Look For In A Great Freight Agent?
Your goal is to be excellent in this profession. Excellent results only come to excellent people with excellent work ethics. When you know what’s important to them, you’ll ensure them that you’ll fulfil their requirements.
8. What Do You Like Most About Your Current Freight Agent?
This question shows that you have class and that you don’t speak poorly of your competition.
9. What Would You Change About Your Current Freight Agent?
If they say,
I wish they would get their rates to me faster, then you ensure them that you’ll get your rates to them fast! With all of the information your prospects give you, write everything down. By taking action and giving them what their current agent doesn’t, you’ll stand out and be seen as both better and different than their current agent.
10. Do You Keep Your Options Open For New Freight Agents?
This is one of the main questions you MUST ask. This question qualifies your prospect.
11. What’s Your Criteria For Bringing In A New Freight Agent?
Some may have criteria, some don’t. Overall, their criteria is for you to solve their challenges. When you go to them with your solutions, you break their autopilot and comfort zone and they won’t be able to help but listen to you.
12. How Do You Measure Success With Current Freight Agents?
The main way is that their freight agent gets their freight picked up, transported and delivered. But always see if you can go deeper for other answers and insights.
13. How Would I Win Your “Freight Agent Of The Year” Award?
They might be reluctant to answer or tell you they don’t have an award like this. Use the phrase,
But if you did have an award, how would I win it to give them permission to open up and tell you what is most important to them.
14. What Freight Loads Or Lanes Are You Shipping Right Now?
Another question to note the answer to. Remember, success on the telephone goes to the person with the best notes.
15 What’s Your Email Address So I Can Send You My Information?
You MUST ask this question every time. We’ve already shown we’re interested in them and gotten to know their requirements. Don’t forget this final step where you capitalize on all the work you’ve already done.