Calling Mistakes Making Freight Prospects Hang Up

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Freight Sales Agents are not strangers to rejection; you have to make hundreds, if not thousands of prospecting calls.  Regardless of how well you’re prepared, or how perfect the prospect was for your freight service offering, some of your dials result in hang-ups.

Getting hung up on is an unfortunate consequence of being in freight sales, but nothing to obsess over.  If hang-ups are the rule rather than the exception for you, something’s wrong.  Here are the top three reasons freight prospects hang up on freight sales agents.  If you’re making one of these call-ending mistakes, take corrective action immediately!

  1. You Mispronounce The Name Of Your Freight Prospect Or Their Company.

If you have an unusual name, you’ve felt the pain of mispronunciation.  When someone messes up your name, not only does your mood take a turn for the worse, but that person typically loses credibility in your eyes.

So, when a freight sales agent calls a shipping decision maker and they mispronounce their name or the company name, the freight agent automatically loses credibility.  Clearly, the freight agent doesn’t know the prospect and didn’t care enough before meeting them to practice their name correctly.  It’s no wonder the agent is tuned out immediately.  A butchered pronunciation signals that the rep didn’t do their research, and frankly, doesn’t care. *Click*

How To Fix: Mispronunciation is the number one reason prospects hang up on freight agents, and it’s almost impossible to recover from.  With this in mind, call the company and double check the pronunciation of your contact’s name before you dial them.  Asking for gatekeepers’ assistance up front can prevent a hang-up later.

When you go into a call and get a hold of your prospect with a difficult name, and you pronounce it correctly, what do you think they’re going to say?  Immediate joy will come out of their mouth because you made the effort to pronounce their name correctly. *No Click*

  1. You Ignore Your Prospect’s Objections.

Here’s a common cold call scenario:

Freight agent: “Hi there! I’m Ted calling from Logistic Dynamics and I’d like to talk about your freight requirements.”

Prospect: “Well, now’s not really a good time.”

Freight agent: “Okay, I understand it’s not a good time.  Logistic Dynamics can assist you in reducing your freight costs by 50%!  We’ve worked with Company X, Organization Y, and Firm C! They found that by partnering with Logistic Dynamics — ”

Prospect: *Click*

What happened?  Even though the prospect objected to my call timing, I steamrolled right past her concern and launched into my pitch.  This makes it clear that I wasn’t listening to my prospect.  When people feel they’re being ignored, they hang up.

How To Fix: First, listen to and respect your prospect’s objections to your call.  Maybe they’re telling the truth and maybe they aren’t, but that’s not for you to decide.  Great freight sales agents know they must never ignore their prospect’s feelings, and this rule holds from the very first call.

Second, before you even pick up the phone, define a few alternative paths the call can take and a number of results that are acceptable to you.  For example, if you’re going into a call hoping to identify the decision maker but the contact brushes you off with a quick “I don’t have time,” change your ask in the following manner:

“Ah, it’s a bad time, okay. Well, in that case, where can I find more information about your company so when you have time I’m better prepared for our conversation?”

This question accomplishes two things:

  1. It lengthens your talk time.
  2. It disrupts your freight prospect from thinking about time and prompts them to think about resources instead.

You may not have achieved exactly what you desired on the call, but these alternative results are promising.  In addition, you’ve set yourself up nicely for a follow up call.

When we make that first call, it can be a challenge getting your prospects time, getting them to listen to you, and getting them to pay attention to you. Yes, you’re impeding on their time. However, when we move their freight, we’re assisting them and giving them great rates in the process.

  1. You Sound Scripted.

Note that I didn’t write “You’re using a script.”  You might be using a script, and you might not – either way is fine.  But sounding like you’re reading from a script is typically death for a sales call.

When a freight sales agent sounds like they’re reading from a script, they don’t treat their prospects as individuals, and their own humanity takes a hit.  If a freight prospect feels as if they’re being talked to by a robot, they won’t feel bad hanging up the phone on you.

How To Fix: Don’t come off as a robot.  Ensure you don’t sound scripted by following three simple rules.

First, Lower Your Tone.  Often times, freight sales agents start their calls with an unnaturally high pitch.  Although agents may think they’re conveying excitement, your prospects come to a different conclusion – which is, the freight sales agent is being fake.  Strive to speak in your natural tone for the entire duration of the call.

Second, Slow Down.  Talking Fast can signal a scripted approach and the faster an agent speaks, the more likely it is that your prospect will hang up.  Instead of attempting to cram everything into a few seconds, slow your speech.  You’ll find it’s much harder for a prospect to interrupt someone who’s speaking slowly than for them to interject during a lightning-quick pitch.

Third, Sprinkle Pauses Throughout Your Call.  Pauses prevent the knee-jerk reaction of a hang-up and also indicate that you’re truly engaged in the conversation.  Not sure how long to stop for? I recommend roughly two seconds.

Remember: Getting hung up on every once in a while is normal.  If you want to reduce the hang up rate to zero, avoid these three common mistakes.


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