If you’re in the Freight Agent business, you have probably already searched for leads today, yesterday, and quite possibly the day before.  Lead generation is an ongoing daily process. Develop it as you would a habit with practice and dedication. If you view it as a habit, prospecting becomes a way of life and part of your routine. You are always prepared to take note of a possible lead or connect with a prospect on the spot.  Ideally, your list of prospects grows, you take the time to build relationships with your leads, and when you are ready to take on a new customer, you have a rich well of warm leads ready to call on. Ready to generate better leads? Fill your sales pipeline with these 5 tips!

1. Start With Your Current Contacts

Generating better leads begins with starting with the people you know.  Utilize your current contacts.  Make a list of friends and family along with their employers.  Do any of those contacts or their employers require shipping? There may be untapped shipping needs within your contact list that your business could fill!

2. Encourage Referrals

Referrals are still the best form of marketing (read these best marketing tips)!  At the bottom of every email you send, include a referral bonus opportunity.  For example, “Ask me about my $500 referral bonus!” Each time you send an email, you include the opportunity for a customer to send you a referral.  This will not be your main source of lead generation, but it is an easy one to implement. Have a sell sheet ready so if someone wants to make a referral, you can provide them with your information promptly.

3. Research Destinations of Current Loads

A great tip is to do a bit of research into your current loads.  Make a list of the destinations of your loads. Then research that destination.  Typically, there will be other companies in the same locations that will have loads needing to be moved.  Consider how you could offer a better rate if you are already shipping to another location nearby.

4. Research Industries of Current Loads

If your book of business includes customers in a particular industry, research competitors within that industry or a similar industry.  Use a search engine to find “competitors of __.” Make a list of prospects within that industry, and then research to find key contacts and pull statistics of success from your business pertinent to your perception of their needs before your cold call.

5. Utilize USDA, Manta, & ThomasNet

Professional websites like USDA, Manta and ThomasNet have a wealth of resources for potential leads.  Generate leads shipping farm commodities by looking at USDA’s Market News Reports.  It is a great source of information for shipping farm commodities.  The site also includes information about current agriculture trends, pricing, and other reports.  A little research could help land you a new client. If you are seeking leads for small businesses, Manta is a helpful site in your lead generation research. This site provides contact information helpful for generating new small business leads. ThomasNet is helpful for lead generation research within specific industries.  ThomasNet describes itself as “the product sourcing and supplier discovery platform” for North America.

Boost Your Lead Generation

Lead generation is time-consuming but crucial to a Freight Agent’s success.  When viewed as a way of life, it becomes a habit that naturally flows out of your daily routine.  Fill your sales pipeline by starting with your current contacts, encourage referrals through your email signature, research destinations and industries of your current loads, and utilize professional websites like USDA, Manta, and ThomasNet.  Try these tips to generate better leads today!

Do you have a lead generation tip?  Leave a comment! We’d be delighted to celebrate your success!

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