Being a freight agent has become a rapidly growing career choice in recent years. It doesn't get any better than working from your own home or office, choosing your own hours, and working at your own pace. Who wouldn't want to be their own boss? For some being a freight agent is their calling; for others, it may not come naturally and may take some extra work and practice. As a brokerage, we have learned through experience what works for freight agents in today’s competitive industry.
1. Be Personable: Clients prefer to work with someone they are comfortable with, making it imperative to build a rapport with customers and carriers. One may wonder, how do you create rapport with a complete stranger over the phone? Find something in common and tell a story; make it rememberable. Whether it be something about the commodity, a freight lane, or about your day; anything to spark a conversation other than about moving a load.
2. Follow-Up: Whether you move freight on your first contact or not, you should ALWAYS follow-up with customers. During your initial contact, your goal should be to get business; however, majority of the time, that won’t happen; hence, your secondary goal should be to obtain the direct contact information for whoever manages freight transportation. This will allow for you to stay in contact in multiply ways from phone calls, text, emails, and fax. Persistence shows that you are dedicated; it sets you apart from everyone else.
3. Discover Your Niche: Find an area of transportation that interests you, go into extensive detail and learn everything that is there to learn. Once you feel comfortable with your niche, target clients of your niche because confidence sells! You will leave quite the impression when you know all the details on how to meet a customer’s needs. Customers are more inclined to work with someone that they believe has the potential to provide solutions when managing the movement of their freight.
4. Utilize Technology: Technology provides many features that make everyones job easier such as transportation management softwares, load boards, and truck-stop scanning. In addition to making things easier, it attracts customers and clients to work with you because it makes the process of moving freight faster. Learn about the special features, such as sending mass mobile alerts to carriers that allow them to bid on your freight, and utilize it. Allow technology to create shortcuts for you so you can move more freight and make more money!
Becoming a successful freight agent isn’t easy. At times you may feel discouraged, but continue to stay focused. It takes diligence and hard work; but with time and experience you will get there. No reward comes easy; in the realm of freight agency, the harder you work, the more success you shall receive.
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