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How To Grow Your Freight Agent Business: First Six Months at Tallgrass Freight

Ongoing training and support for freight agents is about as common as looking out your window and suddenly seeing the Northern Lights. Unless you’re visiting Iceland, we’re pretty confident it’s not going to happen. It’s unfortunate, but a reality in our industry. That’s why we invest so much time and energy in building the very best onboarding, training and professional development programs in the business. 

And here at Tallgrass, it starts from day one. Here, being an entrepreneur and building your own business doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. Our freight agents get to build the career they’ve always envisioned for themselves — while having unparalleled support, mentorship and resources at their disposal. 

So, what exactly can you expect during your first six months at Tallgrass? Here’s everything you need to know. 

 

Laying the Foundation for Your Business

Think of the first six months as your rapid-scale period. When you bring your book of business to Tallgrass Freight, your initial onboarding is quick and efficient, and you can hit the ground running right away. That means no interruptions in servicing your clients. Just the tools you need to scale up quickly! While you’re given the autonomy to build your own book of business, you’re never alone in that journey. 

For starters, you’ll have weekly one-on-one calls with Chloe Marshall, our Director Of Agent Development. During those calls, you’ll discuss your pipeline of warm and hot leads, strategies for overcoming obstacles and techniques to move the needle forward. 

“We’ll also discuss GM percentage, the target they’re striving to hit, how they’re pacing towards their goals, the number of shipments they’ve had so far and take a holistic dive into their current book and what that picture looks like,” Chloe says. “For instance, we’ll evaluate their customer base to identify potential new opportunities, ensure they’re properly managing needs and expectations and make sure tracking notes are up to date.” 

These meetings are what you make of it. No hand-holding, no roadblocks — but coaching and empowerment to achieve your goals. 

The purpose of these meetings is to ensure new agents are building successful habits to grow and thrive. And as we like to say here at Tallgrass, no one ever flies solo. Our entire culture is rooted in support and collaboration. 

An incredible asset to both new and veteran freight agents is Sean Richardson, VP of Agent Development. “A huge reason for my own success — and why I am here today! — is due to Sean Richardson,” Chloe says. “Learning firsthand how he managed his own book of business, and what steps he took to get there, was crucial to my own development.” 

Agents here at Tallgrass have access to Sean’s expertise, both in day-to-day freight operations and long-term business strategy. “Having a leader like Sean is vital,” Chloe says. “In receiving his advice and mentorship, our agents can stay motivated enough to take their agency to that next step,” Chloe explains.

Agents have access to an unparalleled back office support team that manages finance and billing, carrier relations, operations, collections, technology and more. In addition, the back office team is constantly mentoring our agents and helping them create successful strategies to grow. 

Ensuring new agents are putting the right practices in place to jump-start their success is a key focus during the first six months — from reviewing their aging reports and ensuring their loads are covered, to regularly checking their customer credits to see where they stand. 

Speaking about being a resource for new agents, Chloe shares: “I think something that makes Tallgrass unique is that the majority of us in the back office have all been in their shoes,” she says. 

“We’ve all made those 100+ calls a day to drum up new business and build those crucial relationships,” Chloe continues. “We’ve all done cradle-to-grave freight. We know everyone has those days where they’re on their 80th call and they’ve heard nothing but ‘no’s.’ But the beauty of it all is that you never know what that next call might hold.”

Chloe continues, “So I always make sure I’m showing them support, acting as a sounding board, an encouragement and voice of reason. Because that next customer could be on the other end of that phone, and you never know where it could take your book.”

And to be clear: we’re happy to be as hands-on or hands-off as you’d like us to be. It’s not uncommon to have an experienced industry veteran walk in the door and just hit the ground running like a rockstar. 

“If we see a newly-hired agent putting in the effort, everything in our CRM is copacetic and they’re managing their book effectively, then our one-on-one calls are used to discuss any additional support mechanisms needed, as well as how we can move them closer to their future goals,” Chloe explains. 

Then, it’s all about achieving goals. “What do they want their business to look like? Maybe when they hit the $20,000 mark, their vision is to hire an assistant to help them manage their book. So really, it’s just about learning what their goal is for their agency and where they want to end up,” Chloe says with a smile. 

 

The Building Blocks for Success

Every agent has their own ideal of the type of lifestyle they want to achieve for themselves (and their loved ones). That’s why we embrace and celebrate entrepreneurism.

No climbing the corporate ladder. No grueling days spent dealing with office politics. Instead, you have the power to cultivate your own success story and be your own boss. What makes this opportunity different is the camaraderie, resources and technology we provide our agents – right from day one. 

From professional development opportunities to providing the tools our agents need to expand their team (yes, that includes job postings and onboarding assistance too), the goal is to help our agents continuously celebrate new wins. 

In addition to Chloe, agents can lean on their fellow agents for advice, as well as connect with other members of the leadership team — like Sean Richardson, our VP of Growth & Development, and even our CEO, Damon Anderson. 

Seriously, how many people can say their CEO is truly invested in them? And not just professionally, but personally too. (Our CEO literally goes shopping for the burgers and hot dogs at our annual Bounce House Bash. No one else does that!)

“That’s what makes the culture here so unrivaled,” Chloe reveals. “Damon prioritizes touch point calls with our agents, and so I think that speaks volumes to who he is and who Tallgrass is. It’s not common in the freight world — or any business for that matter — to get a call from the CEO and he literally just wants to talk about how your life’s going. He really wants to understand who you are as a person and wants to see you succeed. It’s really amazing.”

And this type of all-hands-on-deck ecosystem really filters into every facet of the company. Our entire back-office team, like Chelsea Pike, our VP of Account Services, will always be there to answer your call. Yes, even if it’s an unexpected 10:00 PM freight emergency. 

“This industry is all about timeliness and efficacy,” Chloe shares. “And we really take that to heart. You don’t have to wait days or even hours for a response, as is the norm with many companies in this space. We want people to succeed and be able to grow their business, so we are always cognizant of getting back to agents in a timely manner.”

Within their first few days on the job, agents will also interact with other key Tallgrass leaders. “Mike Clemmons, our VP of Operations, does an incredible job with training and ensuring agents are prepared from day one, as soon as they get in the door,” Chloe says. “Todd Stanford, our Senior Manager of Credit & Collections, is there to make sure nothing slips through the cracks and customers are staying up to date with payments. I think it’s a huge piece of just giving these agents peace of mind and knowing that their business is covered by somebody other than just themselves.”

 

Take the Next Step

At Tallgrass, our focus has always been (and will continue to be) fueling the success of our agents through world-class support and resources. Unlike most freight brokerages, we see the BIG picture and support not only you, but your business too.

Discover how Tallgrass can help you achieve the lifestyle, income and career you’ve always dreamed of. Start a conversation with us today.