As an Independent Freight Agent, it’s important to constantly prospect for new customers which means cold calling as much as possible.  However, most shippers don’t respond well to cold calling so it can be tough to carry out an effective sales call. What’s the secret? Asking the right questions!


First impressions are just as important over the phone as they are when meeting in person.  Your first call will set the tone for your relationship going forward. To improve your chances of success, research your prospect and their company before making the call.

  • Company name 
  • Company phone number 
  • Physical address
  • Main contact and their role
  • Commodities


When on the call, listen, take notes, and address priorities, problems, and concerns.  Sell your ability to improve the quality of service they are receiving.  

The Right Questions

Here are 9 questions we recommend you ask on your next cold call.

 1. May I learn more about your business?

While it’s great to research before the call, you should also take time to listen to your prospect describe his or her business.  This gives you the opportunity to discern their needs and understand their concerns so you will better know how to be of assistance.  

2. What are your responsibilities?

Ask the person you are speaking with if they are responsible for making shipping decisions to ensure you are speaking with the correct person.  If the person you are speaking with is not the decision-maker, ask for the name of the person responsible.  

3. What’s your biggest challenge?

Ask the person in charge of making shipping decisions to share their biggest challenge; then, share how you would do things differently to provide the best solution to their current needs.  

4. What are your main priorities when shipping?

Not all shippers have the same priorities.  Ask what factors are important when choosing a logistics partner and focus on your ability to service their needs based on the priorities they share. 

5. What do you like most about your current Freight Agent?

Understanding what your prospect likes or would change about his or her current Freight Agent is a great way to assist you in closing the deal!  Listen and take notes and capitalize on your ability to measure up to their expectations!  Always ask this question, “How do you measure the success of your current Freight Agent?”

6. Are you open to working with a new Freight Agent?

By asking this question, you will quickly know if the prospect is open to working with a new Freight Agent.  Sell YOU and your ability to do the job better! 

7. What do you look for in a Freight Agent?

Ask your prospect to describe the “perfect” Freight Agent.  Listen carefully to understand what they are looking for in a transportation partner and discuss your ability to, not only meet their expectations but to exceed them!  Emphasize your strengths!  Do not focus on the mistakes of a current or previous Agent.  Sell your abilities! 

8. What lanes are you shipping?

This is an important question to help you better understand the prospect’s shipping needs.  It is also beneficial to ask about problem lanes as this can be an area they may need support. For more tips about this, read our post on the best cold call script!

9. What’s your email address? May I send you a free pdf that provides a solution to a problem you currently have?

Make certain you have the prospect’s contact information for follow up purposes.  Use common pain points to create a free document with solutions.  This will set you apart!  Always offer value!

We Believe In You!

No one likes cold calling;  but, YOU CAN DO IT!  Try using all or some of these 9 questions on your next call.  Make certain to take the time to research potential customers; then, listen…take notes…and follow up!

Wondering what to do to better prepare and follow-up? Here are 5 tips before and after the cold call!

Are you an Independent Freight Agent interested in Kopf’s Agent Program?  LEARN MORE – or – contact Jeanie today at 574.349.5600.

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