If you’re an Independent Freight Agent, cold calling is familiar to you. Whether you are a new Freight Agent or a seasoned veteran, just remember…nobody likes cold calling. Everyone gets nervous. Everyone faces rejection. But, you can succeed! Rejection does not have to derail you. If you seek to improve your cold call game, try these five tips!
1. RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH!
Before the cold call, make it a priority to research the specific customer you’re seeking. Before you call or email, research what they manufacture or produce and who they currently use to move their freight. We recommend jotting down a few notes before you make the call. Better yet, create a template of important information for each lead to ensure you have the information you need ahead of time. Doing so will keep you organized and prevent you from adding “uhm” to every sentence. Plan what you’re going to say before you even pick up the phone.
Also, remember time is money. If you capture the attention of the person that answers the phone within the first 30 seconds by being organized and efficient with your words, your chances of generating a sale are much higher. As you plan your call, consider asking these questions or following this script template.
2. MAKE THE CALL.
Freight Agents often ask how many cold calls they should make per day. This question is difficult to answer because it depends on the level of success you hope to achieve. Instead of focusing on a number, focus on quality and closing ratios. In addition, set smart goals for the number of customers you hope to gain during a specific time frame and then put actionable steps in place to achieve your goals. After you have done the research, prepared what you are going to say, and set goals, you are ready! Even though cold calling is challenging, do not procrastinate. Take a deep breath and make the call!
3. FOLLOW UP.
After making the call, write any final notes, then plan your follow up. Why follow up? It is often difficult to know the other person’s thoughts. Sometimes, your thoughts are the same as your potential customer’s, and other times they may be completely different. This is why following up is critical.
Most Freight Agents miss opportunities after the initial call. Following up via email is single-handedly the most powerful way to show you mean business. It also allows the potential customer to have a copy of your contact information. You may be surprised how often someone transposes a number or misspells a name. One way to follow up is by sending a polite formal email thanking the prospect for their time. This will tightly wrap up the phone call and let the potential client know you care about their account.
4. DON’T WAIT FOR A RETURN TELEPHONE CALL.
After following up with a lead, you may be anxious for a return call. Sitting around waiting for a return call is likely to drive you nuts! Keep in mind larger accounts are busy and it may take them some time to get back to you. This is completely normal. Be sure to continue your research and call other prospective customers. Additionally, set a reminder to follow up in another week with your prospect either by email or phone. If you are struggling to press on, try one of these tips to stay motivated!
5. WHEN ONE DOOR CLOSES, ANOTHER OPENS.
Depending on how the previous steps went, this is a crucial step for you. Your conversation may have gone well and you secured a new customer. If this is the case, you should take note of what happened on the call so you can use it as an example going forward. Congratulations! Perhaps you haven’t heard back or the prospect communicated they are not currently in need of your help. Either way, if you stay positive, you’re one step ahead.
At Kopf Logistics Group, we believe to be successful, you need to understand failure. Failure does not always have to be negative. Understanding failure helps you refine your abilities for the next phone call. Not every person you call is going to be ready to give you their account. But, countless other companies need you. So, keep calling, keep pushing forward, and don’t let the negativity of today define tomorrow.
A SUCCESSFUL COLD CALL
Utilize these five tips before and after your next cold call and you’ll be well on your way to growing your Freight Agent business. Success does not happen overnight, but your consistency in time will pay off. At Kopf Logistics Group, we want to see our Independent Freight Agents succeed! If your business needs a boost, contact us to join our thriving team.