The freight forwarding community has overly undervalued a process that is very important. The process of sales. In the process of sales, there is an input in which a result will be generated. However, what is the input in freight forwarding? How do we manipulate this input to get the desired result? Lastly, what is the final result?
Firstly, let’s clarify when the sales process starts at least from our viewpoint. For us, the sales process begins when the marketing process is finished. The inputs of the freight forwarder sales process are the leads and cold calls. Now we will take a look at the process of freight forwarding sales. The steps are simplified into the form of three questions.
Question 1: What Do Freight Forwarders Sell?
Not freight, as freight forwarders don’t own any freight. Transportation is not the right answer as well, as freight forwarders are not carriers.
These questions may seem silly to ask, but in reality, there are a lot of salespersons that tell their customers that they sell freight or transportation. What freight forwarders sell is the organization and management of various services that aim to properly move customer’s freight from one place to another.
Question 2: How Do Freight Forwarders Sell Their Freight Forwarding Services?
Usually, most of the salespersons eagerly try to close the deal by overwhelming potential customers with information about the freight forwarding service that they provide. However, this is an incorrect approach. The right process is to first think about what the potential customers are really looking for. Salespersons need to consider what kind of transportation they use. How they perceive broad notions such as “short transit time” and “low freight cost”, as everyone has a different definition for these notions. Selling freight forwarding services is not like selling clothes. Prospective customers will not be impressed simply by telling them how good the freight forwarding service is for shipping freight from Los Angeles to New York if they don’t have the need to ship in the first place. Potential customers must actually have shipping loads to make use of any freight forwarding services. The lesson here is to either make sure the sales leads are qualified or research your potential customers first before doing cold calling. In conclusion, what matters most is whether the prospects have any international loads at all.
Question 3: When Do Freight Forwarders Stop Selling Their Freight Forwarding Services?
There are two situations in general. The first case is when the prospects tell a freight forwarder that they are not interested in using the freight forwarder’s services. The second case is simply when the prospects have given freight forwarders orders.
Credit to: Georgi Stoilov
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