March 31, 2021
Selling freight for the best profit is the ideal objective for carrier sales professionals working in freight brokerages across the industry. The fast-paced and deadline-driven environment are challenges carrier sales reps face when trying to secure capacity for their customers using their carrier networks.
One of the skills carrier sales reps need to be successful in freight sales is their confidence and ability to negotiate competitive rates that create higher margins in return.
The number one answer is their ability to gain knowledge and understand the product they are selling, which is matching freight with qualified trucking companies in a free enterprise market.
In order to gain knowledge, you have to understand the supply and demand market and gather the necessary data from dependable resources to predict more accurate freight rates
If there is enough data to analyze the rate history and interpret the frequency in which brokers do business with carriers in their internal network, carrier sales reps will gain more confidence in knowing the current market rates, which will allow them to develop stronger carrier relationships.
Understanding the load to truck ratio in different markets allows sales reps to have the advantage of recognizing the negotiation strength when hiring a carrier. Understanding capacity strength in busy markets will create more tolerance and awareness while negotiating.
During sales negotiations with carriers, it’s important to understand the load details of the shipment being offered by utilizing positive details that can be highlighted during the sales pitch.
If the customers have flexible shipping/receiving hours, short loading times, low risk commodities, and fair rates, then it will be easier to negotiate with carriers and convince them to accept better rates. Carriers like shipping the “easy” freight combined with decent rates that will help reduce objections and increase success during negotiations.
Here's an example of how I use knowledge and data to build confidence to predict the best freight rate for contracted shipments by using the broker’s TMS historical and current data.
For example, if a carrier sales rep books 10 of the same shipments within the past few weeks at around $2000, then the data and trend is indicating that there should be no reason to pay more than $2000 when negotiating with the next carrier that requests for more money during that time.
Sharing that knowledge with carriers will create a demand and produce relevant data to help win the negotiation. The goal is to create an environment where the carrier has no objections to your rate and eventually compromise due to the knowledge and confidence displayed by the carrier sales rep.
In conclusion, gaining knowledge leads to gaining confidence when selling and negotiating freight because it allows that knowledge to improve the overall negotiation strength. Confidence creates a winning atmosphere when the carrier agrees to the rate. Having knowledge is the key to winning more negotiations.
Isaac Moreno is the director of Carrier Sales for Lean Solutions Group, currently working out of the Barranquilla, Colombia office. He graduated from the University of Tampa in 2011 and has worked in the freight brokerage industry for over 8 years. He has worn many hats in the industry, but primarily has extensive experience in the Carrier Sales role. His main duty is to help grow the carrier sales division by providing exceptional training and expertise in providing quality carrier sales candidates to logistics companies in the United States.
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