Growth is always top-of-mind, especially in the freight and logistics world. To expand your book of freight business, it’s tempting to look for a quick fix or a new strategy or a new technique. But we’re here to tell you that there’s power in getting back to basics. Success doesn’t mean recreating the wheel!
For both quick wins and to thrive long-term in the freight industry, you don’t have to make it complicated — in fact, freight agents who stand the test of time never forget the building blocks. “You have to do the fundamentals correctly to be successful,” explains COO and co-owner David Barnes. “If you don’t have the fundamentals down, then you’re walking uphill. You’re going to burn yourself out or you’re going to fail.” But when you remember the essentials, success is within reach. Go back to the basics for success with these five steps.
Communication is the foundation of success! But it’s about more than managing your inbox and sending efficient emails. Communication (and that includes listening well!) builds every part of your business and it comes down to two things: clarity and consistency.
When you communicate with your team or your customers (which you should do every day!), make sure you are being clear every step of the way. From expectations to updates and next steps, be thorough and consistent. Follow up with your clients and check in on a regular basis with your team. Identifying your communication style and strategy can help you uplevel how you communicate and develop your success strategy.
Stick to Your Schedule
Planning your day — and sticking to that plan — is essential for a successful freight career. But when you walk into your day without a strategy, it’s hard to know where to start and things can feel overwhelming in a heartbeat. That’s why a great day actually starts the day before!
To begin your day poised for the most success, end the previous day by planning your next one. This means you’ll come into work with a clear path moving forward.
Not every day will look the same, of course. You should spend the majority of your time on the tasks that will enable you to see the most success and deliver the greatest ROI. And those tasks may look different based on your current environment and freight load. Flexibility is key! But regardless of what your day holds, sticking to your schedule is key to success.
Make Prospecting a Regular Practice
The freight industry is anything but predictable. Market conditions, plus changing supply and demand . . . something is always changing. Because of this, it’s not wise to rely on any one client for your success. You need to always be prepared to build a new customer base. And that starts with prospecting.
Make it a habit to connect with potential new clients every single day. Set a goal and stick to it. Then make the follow up. To create a success-oriented perspective, you have to reframe your mindset. Quit seeing yourself as bothering new customers. You have a service they need, and you can provide for them better than anyone else! However, don’t forget about yourself along the way: not every client will be a perfect fit for your business. Ask qualifying questions and make sure you find a win-win for both you and a new prospect.
It sounds simple and that’s because it is. Work hard. Work harder than anyone else around you and you’ll see results like no one else around you. You really cannot imagine the depth of your talents and success unless you dig deeper day after day.
When you stay hungry, stay focused and stay positive, you’re at your best as a freight agent. David Barnes, our COO, says it comes down to discipline: “Self-discipline is key in working in this industry. Make a plan, set your schedule, build your routine. Then work really hard. After 100 days, something becomes a habit. It’s that simple.”
Go the extra mile
Freight isn’t a typical 9-to-5. You’re going to have to make yourself available. If your clients know that they’re your priority when they need you, you’ll not only win a bid, but you’ll keep a client. It’s not easy. But thriving in this industry never is.
Going above and beyond means leaning in where others don’t. Get out the stationery and send a personal note to thank customers for their partnership. When something goes awry on Friday night, don’t wait for Monday morning to fix it. Order a pizza delivery to your customer’s office when you know their staff is working overtime. Opportunities to go above and beyond are around every corner, and that kind of dedication can solidify your book of business.
Tallgrass Freight is where agents come to thrive. Our independent agents enjoy all the perks of being your own boss, plus the joys of being part of a team. Experience the TGF difference and become a freight agent today.