Freight Sales Agent/Broker Negotiating 101!

It’s can’t be overstated the importance of successful negotiating. Negotiation is totally important in most business situations, but it’s vital in freight sales. Here are 8 tips for improving your freight sales agent and broker negotiating skills.

Negotiating Is Not A Battle

Negotiation isn’t a battle with a winner and a loser.  Winning is great, however, carriers and customers aren’t your opponents.  You want a win-win situation – a mutually beneficial agreement that’s good for you, your customers, and your carriers.

Objection Or Request For Information

This is basic communication.  Listen closely for the difference between an objection and an information request.  They require different responses and you lose credibility if you don’t know the difference or respond inappropriately.  Objections must be handled by resolving the issue, while information requests must be fast and easy with your reply.

What Are Customers & Carriers Unknowns

Uncertainty is your biggest enemy in freight sales.  The more you know and apply, the higher your probabilities for success.  Always anticipate everything for your customers and your carriers.  Consider what they like and what they’ll push back against.  Consider what potential areas of concern they have and what they find confusing.

No Hidden Surprises

Surprises can ruin things for you, customers, and carriers.  Anticipate and prevent any hidden surprises.  There are details your customers and carriers must know about every load.  Make sure they aren’t met with the unexpected.

Know Customers End Goals

What does your customer require?  What do they really care about?  Knowing this tells you what things to prioritize in your negotiations.  It also assists you to anticipate how they react to what you propose.  Always remember: Not every freight customer has the same end goals, so always personalize your approach to them.

No Underhanded Closing Tricks

Your goals must always be to build long-term relationships with your customers and carriers.  Underhanded or hard-closing tricks are a fast way to ensure that this won’t happen. Be nice and honest and ethical, or risk losing your customers and carriers.

Read Between The Lines

What isn’t being said is usually more important than what is being said.  Pay attention to behavior and changes in behavior.  If a current customer or carrier is blowing you off, or ignoring your calls and emails, that means something.

Know When To Walk Away

There are times when you have to walk away.  For example, some customers will continually push for a lower freight price.  You must use basic business skills to halt them with a lowest-level price you can offer.  Instead of fighting with this kind of freight customer, walk away and spend your energy pursuing other customers who will pay you what you’re worth.

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