Imagine you are a Freight Agent relying on one main customer for most of your profit. What would happen to your agency if that customer was acquired by another company and that company already had their own agent or agents? The results could be devastating for you. The truth is, business acquisitions happen. Markets change. Customers who used to provide steady loads go out of business. How can you be prepared? Diversify your book of business. Let’s go deeper into why and how.
Why You Should Diversify
Landing a big customer is huge for your agency! It’s also great for your professional self-esteem. However, securing one big customer is not the way to build a diverse book of business. Agents often spend so much time servicing one customer they fail to continue diversifying their book of business. By doing so, they are unprepared for unforeseen circumstances that come their way.
As a Freight Agent you will likely lose a customer at some point. It’s never pleasant and it’s always stressful. Diversifying your business takes time and energy but provides consistent revenue streams. A conscious effort to develop your book of business will ensure your level of success. Avoid complacency! When things are going well, keep moving ahead.
How to Diversify
Having a diversified book of business means having more than one customer, ideally in more than one industry. At Kopf, we recommend having more than three customers while continually pursuing leads. Simply put, you should always be searching for new customers. Never get comfortable.
Many Agents don’t want to do this because it means they have to cold call. And no one likes cold calling (but this script and these questions might help). We aren’t going to sugar coat it. Building your sales pipeline and turning cold leads into warm leads takes hard work. But you must make an intentional effort to add sales into your daily routine. Evaluate how you currently spend your time and look for ways to add lead generation into your daily schedule.
Strategy 1: Cold Calling
“Cold” leads are those in which you have no common connection. Challenge yourself to cold call a certain number of leads or cold call for a certain amount of time each day. Start small, stay consistent, then increase your goal. The best way to overcome your fear of cold calling is to practice. Yes, dealing with rejection is not fun, but it does get a little easier over time. Don’t let fear get in the way of growing your business and preparing for a solid future.
A few ways you can find “cold” leads is by searching shipper lists, load boards, and destinations or industries of your current loads. Remember to follow up with “orphan accounts” who aren’t interested in your services now but may be in the future.
Strategy 2: Warm Calling
When you have a contact in common your call becomes warmer and sometimes a little easier. You can find “warm” leads by reaching out to your current customers and asking for referrals. This could include referrals for their suppliers, vendors, customers, or friends within their own network. Spend time researching these leads to learn more about their business, needs, and potential problems that you may be able to provide a valuable solution for.
Another way to find “warm” leads is to call customers you used to do business with but haven’t in awhile. If you still have a good working relationship with them, ask them for referrals within their network as well.
When you diversify your book of business, you set yourself up for continued success and increased profits. Successful Freight Agents view lead generation as a way of life. They are always prospecting, whether that’s through cold or warm leads. At Kopf, we’re cheering you on!
If you already have a book of business, become an Independent Freight Agent for Kopf. With 24/7 office support and generous commission splits, you’ll have the tools you need to succeed. Apply here or give us a call at 574.349.5600 to get recruited today.