As a freight broker, you always want to be in a position to get more shippers. But how are shippers looking for freight brokers and what can you do to get found? Here’s what you must know.
How are shippers looking for freight brokers? Start with Google.
If you haven’t thought about how your website works to attract shippers, it’s worth your time. If you don’t have a growth strategy for acquiring customers, it would be worth your time to find someone who can help you. The fundamentals of optimizing a website so that, in this instance, shippers looking for freight brokers can find you easily, must be done and done right. With any search engine optimization or content marketing strategy, the key is to have thorough research done up front.
Good research will uncover the keywords shippers looking for freight brokers are using. Gain an understanding for the terms being searched for. Then, plug those into your website, in places like the page header, in headlines, in the body copy and as alt-text behind images. Don’t have time? Consider bringing on a growth marketing agency. They can implement search terms, optimize and develop content that will enrich your website’s volume of important keywords.
Shippers talk to other shippers when looking for freight brokers.
There are many ways for businesses to collect online reviews these days. But, when shippers are looking for freight brokers, talking to other shippers is still going to be a great way for freight brokers to generate new business. Do you have a referral program and a good one-sheet to send to shippers? Hopefully you have some shippers with whom you have developed good relationship(s). you can incentivize current customers to refer you on their behalf. Nothing is going to help you get more business than doing great work for your current customers.
Shippers are looking for freight brokers with a track record for covering their lanes.
Did you just have a great conversation with a shipper and tell them that, “Oh, yeah, we can definitely cover your shipment coming out of Albuquerque.”
Um, are you sure? Because you may have just set yourself up for failure. Albuquerque is tough. There’s not a lot trucks there. And worst of all, the shipper may smell your bs. In your study of new customers, what will differentiate you when you do get on the phone is having a solid understanding of the shippers current lanes. Try to find out the lanes they sometimes struggle to cover. Can you visually demonstrate the lanes that you’re currently in the process of covering?
Seek out this information, then decide if you can realistically supply trucks to meet the shippers demand. You may even want to have some phone calls with carriers ahead of time to gauge their availability given demand of varying quantity. If you have not covered a particular lane of a shipper prior to working with them, you can stand out by having a set plan in place.
Shippers are looking for freight brokers with a detailed process for vetting carriers.
There are a lot of fly-by-night freight brokers out there. If you want to seriously be in a position to be found be a shipper looking for a freight broker, you have to look the part of a real deal business. A big part of being a real deal business comes in the process you use to vet your carrier partners. Do you have a one-strike policy with carriers who don’t deliver, pun intended? Do you rank your carriers based on performance over time?
Can you easily pull up any bill of lading from a carriers work history? How you answer this question can go a long way in the eyes of a prospective customer. Spend some time outlining the process your freight brokerage takes when managing your fleet of carriers. This diligence and attention to detail will separate you from a large percentage of freight brokers. There are many carriers who isn’t as prepared to answer the tough questions.