Logistics sales can be a tough sales environment to thrive in. Any shipper you talk to is going to have reservations about giving a new person freight. Without a demonstrated history of successfully moving their freight, you’re going to have to be patient.
Logistics sales is about overcoming objections and quelling fears. But not all of shippers’ fears are different. You can focus on becoming a master and overcoming a few common objections, then watch your logistics sales soar.
Logistics sales: overcoming a shipper’s fear of change.
Your shippers have a seemingly simple job: ship freight out of the facility, on time. But the need for simple execution of this task, over and over, means shippers can be very fearful of disrupting the status quo. The shipper who you are trying to win business from probably has a slew of carriers just waiting for one of the incumbents to slip up and fall off. So, what are you, the new guy on the shippers radar, going to do to earn enough respect to capture your first load?
Overcoming logistics sales objection: fear
What you need to do in this logistics sales situation is demonstrate how you are similar to the prospect’s current needs. Have you already managed aligning 10 trucks into a 2 hour pickup window on a Sunday? Do you already have great carrier relationships in the Paducah Kentucky region and know you could cover any load even on two-hours notice? Bring these similarities to your prospects attention, either on the phone or in a series of successive follow-up emails.
With email open tracking being a common feature of marketing software tools today, you can even wait to place your follow up calls until you know your prospect has clicked to view your website. Once your prospect has become more familiar with how similar your service capabilities are, you can move towards strategically asking for the order, or, asking to ship a small amount of freight for them, to start.
Logistics sales: Overcoming perceived lack of “size of benefit”
You may have had a great, charming opening convo. Maybe you made a connection with them about how you are both Cubs fans. They’ve actually answered three of your follow up calls, and you feel like you could be on your way to becoming friends, maybe even making a sale because of it. But for some reason, the prospect has yet to place an order, and they seem evasive when it comes to any freight-related questions. The problem? They just don’t see enough of a benefit to need to make a change!
Overcoming logistics sales objection: size of benefit
The best course of action in this situation is to shift the conversation towards understanding the metrics behind the shipper’s business. But, do so by leveraging a case study that speaks to a large size of benefit. Were you able to help another customer cut 2 hours per day off of their loading time because of more efficient truck arrivals?
Did you save them thousands in overtime costs through this efficiency? Don’t think of size of benefit as, “size of cost savings”, because you don’t want to cut your own margins to try and pump up the “benefit” of being able to save them $50/load. Focus on building up the size of benefit through other things that don’t involve cutting your own price. A great way to quantify the size of your delivered benefit? Pull statistics from your freight broker software so that you can use real data in your pitch to get a new shipper to see the benefit in working with you.
A great way to communicate the size of benefit enacted is through case studies put together my your marketing team. Don’t have a marketing team? Consider paying a freelancer to come up with a great one-sheet or short pdf doc outlining the size of the benefit you created. Some good looking sales collateral can make a big difference when attempting to stand out from a crowd of other freight brokers.
Logistics sales: Overcoming the “ive been burned before” fear of failure
So, what happens when a load doesn’t get picked up or a load doesn’t get delivered? No, it’s just stressful phone calls for you and your team. Over on the shipper side, your client is having to answer questions. Tough questions from their boss. They may even be naming their new grey hairs after you. Shippers have been burned by brokers before. They may have already asked you, fairly early on in your relationship, “are you an asset-based carrier?”. You’ve probably even seen a few call notes in your logistics CRM system of past prospects who have indicated over the phone that they want: “NO BROKERS!!!!!!”. The fear of failure or fear of getting burned again is very real.
Overcoming logistics sales objection: fear of failure
Again, it comes down to you the freight broker being able to display a level of expertise and professionalism that leaves no room for a shipper to wonder wether you can handle their business or not. There’s a saying, “the proof is in the pudding”. While, that doesn’t mean you should starting sending pudding to your shippers (well, maybe not right away). Leverage the outcomes you’ve experienced with other clients. These are the reasons you have for a shipper to believe you won’t fail them. Unlike other brokers have in the past.
Be specific in your examples you provide of how you’ve succeeded for other shippers in the past. Does your prospect need refrigerated trucks early and often? Then you don’t want to drone on and on about how you can get low-boys and straight trucks all day every day. That’s not helping them. Which is not helping you.
If you can’t close a sale because you gave great examples of past success, don’t worry. You may have made the sale, but the shipper is just waiting for the right opportunity to test you out.
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