Freight Broker Sales 101

Sales Objectives

  • Open and Introduction
  • Body/Qualification
  • Sales Proof/Presentation
  • Closing the Sale
  • Customer Follow-Up

Freight Sales is Solution Selling

Solution selling is a methodology. Rather than just promoting a single product or service, the broker focuses on the customer’s pain points (missed pickups, lack of capacity, price) and addresses the issues with his or her freight services (truckload management, LTL options, TMS solutions).

How Do You Make it Work?

  • Identify the customer’s needs early in the buying process
  • Determine what is required to fulfill the need
  • Show proof to your prospect that you meet the need

Freight Sales Cycle

  • Freight selling is not a “one call close” sales environment
  • It involves multiple “closes”  during the cycle
  • Build relationships and trust
    • Build rapport
    • Provide multiple quotes
    • Ask a lot of questions, and show interest in your customer’s business
    • Provide awesome follow up service

How to Earn Business

  • Sell Yourself
    • People buy from those they know, like, and trust
  • Find their problems, and present solutions
    • Increase productivity
    • Improve communication
    • Improve service
    • Reduce cost
  • Ask for the business… Again
    • I’d love the opportunity to earn your business
    • Let me show you how I can reduce your freight spend/provide additional truckload coverage…
    • Be direct, aggressive, and persistent

Selling Yourself and Your Company

  • Open: Introduction – Find the Decision Maker
  • Body: Qualify the Prospect – Determine needs
    • How will your services benefit their current process?
  • Sales Proof: Provide the solution
  • Close: Ask for the Business
    • When is your next truckload shipment?
    • What are you planning next?
    • Provide a freight quote

Before the Call

Have an objective for every call

  • What do you want to accomplish with each call?
  • Not every call has to result in a sale, but it should move closer to the sale.
    • Objective 1. Find the decision maker.
    • Objective 2. Qualify and determine their needs. – Obtain email address for follow up.
    • Objective 3. Ask about their next shipment, and provide a freight quote. (Quote a previous shipment if they do not have a pending order)

A Quality Opening

  • Grabs the prospect’s attention.
  • Open dialog
    • Address the purpose of the call
      • Get to the point quickly
    • Be clear and concise
    • Relax, slow down, and be easy to understand
    • Generate interest

Download Opening Statements that engage your customer by clicking here. 

Outline of an Opening

  1. Greeting
  2. Identify
  3. Find the decision maker
  4. Generate interest

Click here to download opening statements to get your foot in the door

Freight Needs Analysis

  • Ask great questions! The more you know about a company, the better positioned you will be to present yourself as a viable solution for the prospect. (Be sure not to spend too much time researching a company though. Beware of paralysis by analysis. Don’t invest more than two minutes researching the company)
    • How often do you ship out of there? -What’s their volume?
    • What cities do you usually ship to/bring product from? – What are their regular lanes?
    • What do they look for in a freight broker? Quality of service, On time pickups and deliveries, Price?
    • What is there process for quoting and booking their freight? Email distribution list, call for rates?
  • Locations and geography. Understanding where prospects and customers are located allows for better conversations when in comes to capacity, pricing trends, and coverage expectations.
  • Size of company – Whether the prospect ships once a day, or once a month, it’s important to treat each opportunity as if it could become your biggest account. Seek to understand their current process, and what drives their decision making.

Questions to Spark Discussion

  • How many truckload shipments do you move a day/week?
  • How do you get rates from your current carriers/brokers? Email requests, phone, email distribution list?
  • How often do overflow loads come up? Who gets to quote on those?
  • What lanes do you run regularly?
  • What is your most difficult lane? What lanes do you struggle to cover? Is there a lane that you run where carriers tend to fall off a lot?
  • Are you responsible for inbound freight?








Four Keys to Success

Trust: No one will let you push them into buying a product or service, if they don’t trust you. You have to put your prospects and customers at ease, and help them feel some trust in the relationship.

Need: Your goal in any opening dialogue, pricing presentation, TMS/web demonstration, or RFP is to move your customer to change their mindset to “I feel some need to make a change”.

Help: No one wants to admit that they need help with doing their job. Help your prospects and customers see that you are an asset to their company who provides answers in areas where they may not be as informed as you are because this is your specialty, and you are the expert. You’ll need to change their mindset from “I need help” to “I want to improve”.

Urgency: Minus an emergency situation, few transportation decision makers are going to be in a hurry to change their process. Your job is to help them see that by taking care of the buying decision today, they will be better off than if they wait until later. Showing immediate cost savings is one way to bring urgency in order to take action.