1. Start with who you know. Find out where your family and friends work. Eight out of ten companies require shipping. Finding out where your family and friends work can be a great source for leads. Find out who you can speak with inside the organization to assist with their shipping needs. Prospect other companies this way too. After building a relationship with the Shipping Manager, ask for references for companies he buys from and sells to so that you may expand your network even more.
2. Always have a pen and paper handy. As a freight broker, you can write down names of companies you see while driving. Use all your resources (including social media) to find a source inside the business to get you in the door.
3. Offer Incentives. If someone refers a company to you and that company books a load through your brokerage, give the referring company an incentive. They will definitely keep referring you if for nothing else, their “reward”.
4. Pass out business cards. Business cards are becoming obsolete, but they still work. A person may not remember your name, but a trigger word can remind him/her of meeting someone in this field. A business card is always a good source for others to go back to when they can’t remember anything else about you!
5. Be careful with Social Media. Social Media can make or break a company. It only takes one viral post for a company to land a target audience or scare them away. Stay away from politics and posting inappropriate memes and pictures.
6. Referrals. Most small businesses see more growth through referrals than any other source. Build your reputation on treating your customers with the utmost integrity and they will refer you. Once the referrals start going out, sales will come in.
7. Be persistent. Trying to figure out where Company A’s shipping from and to points are. Call and ask them and be persistent. Do not take a NO as never. It only means you need to call back at a later time and try again.
8. Leverage your Expertise. When you speak with a potential customer, explain what commodities you specialize in. Anytime you see a shipping label, read it. You will learn how this merchandise was shipped giving you more expertise to discuss with more potential customers.
9. Observe. Observe the brands around you. These companies are shipping this commodity to your area and other areas. Research and find a connection inside to get you in the door.
10. Use all the Search Engines you can. Search for company competitors. See who they use for shippers. Ask if you can be put on the list.