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The Last Call Script You'll Ever Need

Cold calling remains THE best practice for generating new business as a freight broker, but it certainly is not easy. There's no silver bullet to landing every prospect, but these tips and script have been proven to significantly increase the success rate of moving from introductions to closing business.

What's the rub?

Telemarketers rank among the most hated professionals on earth.


No one appreciates being called out of the blue trying to force a gimmicky sales pitch. Especially when the caller doesn't know or understand them. We've all been there.

The unfortunate truth is that many new freight brokers come across as "telemarketers", interrupting the days of people who could have turned out to be their biggest future customers.

That won't do.

"Faith in large numbers" is another common pitfall. Most managers will encourage brokers to hit a certain number of calls per day. But ripping calls all day with a less-than-stellar script leads to overwhelmingly negative interactions.

That causes burn-out and churn-out for even the most promising brokers.

So how do you turn cold calls into new business?

1) Scheduling and consistency

If you want to be successful, you have to show up.

Just like sports, relationships, or any business; nothing good will happen without effort.

Setting time and goals to "get the reps" on a daily bases will be a prerequisite for building new business through cold calling.

Ambitious new brokers should schedule 1-2 hours per day, every day, during normal business hours, dedicated solely to making cold calls.

You can aim for 10-50 calls during that time frame, assuming you have decent leads prepared.

2) Prep before calls (but not too much)

Outside of your allotted calling time, you'll want to generate a solid list of leads with a few points of critical intel.

There are countless strategies for doing this research. Most brokers will recommend subscribing to or purchasing leads based on company and job title such as LinkedIn, CareerShift, or A-Z.

Next you need to prioritize and enrich your list of leads. Go to each potential customer's website. Confirm that they have physical goods to transport. Find out what those goods are, where they're located, and general information on how they do business.

Basically, you don't want to be clueless going into the call. Assuming your contact is available to talk, using the first few minutes of a call to solicit information such as product/lanes/modes can kill the conversation.

With good intel, those moments could be used to build rapport and validate your knowledge of their problems (and how you're about to solve them).

While every decent broker has their own methods, you'd be hard-pressed to find a freight business research tool as effective and easy to use as CargoPro. Within seconds, CargoPro brokers generate lists of thousands of companies with existing freight; including information on volume, patterns, product, location and contact information for the individuals managing the load. You can also look up company profiles to have this information in front of you during a call.

It doesn't get much better than that.

Take care not to fall into "analysis paralysis". While it's important to have a solid baseline of information coming into calls, the most critical step is actually picking up the phone.

Phone posture

Appearances are crucial to making a good first impression. The same rules apply over the phone.

Everyone has a "sixth sense" for people with bad energy. Your prospect can tell when you don't want to be there.

Don't be that person.

When you're on the phone, it helps to be put together. Put on your business outfit, wear a confident smile, and stand-up straight with your shoulders back.

You'll be shocked how much different you sound on the other end of the line.

The Script

A first-contact script with a high response rate would look like this:

broker: Hello [prospect]! This is [your name] from [freight company]. How's your day going?
prospect: ["good" / some generic response about how it's a Monday or their football team lost over the weekend]
["Great!" / empathize]
[prospect], I'm not interested in taking up your time. But while researching freight movements, I came across an opportunity to [save money, improve reliability, consolidate modes, etc.] for [prospect company].
Specifically, I specialize in [modes you researched before the call] moving [the prospect's freight, also from research] in the [the prospect's freight location] area.
Are you opposed to exploring opportunities to improve operations in this area?
No, not opposed.... or... We're satisfied with our carrier for that load.

Response to "No, not opposed":

OK, that's great!
Are you currently working with a transportation partner?
What are your top freight priorities at the moment? (time, cost, reliability, something else...)
What modes and lanes are you currently shipping? And how is that going for you?

Response to "We're satisfied with our carrier for that load":

OK, that's good!
So are all of your freight priorities being 100% met? (time, cost, reliability, something else...)
And what if you loved our service, made more money, saved costs, and, most importantly had less headaches to deal with still wouldn't want to work with us?

Now listen take notes on your future customer's challenges, concerns, and priorities. Affirm any statements but be sure to let the customer talk. This is your chance to gather the exact intel you'll need to close the customer on your next call.

[prospect], this is great. I know for a fact that we can be of value to you, especially since we've improved freight costs, efficiency, and made money for companies just like yours. It sounds like if we can give you better service and make you money, you'd be happy to do business with us. Is that correct?
I'm not going to keep you on the line, and I'm grateful that we got to talk today.
Is there a good email to send over some info?
When do you want me to follow up to provide more details?

A few notes:

  • You'll rarely make a sale on the first phone call (though, it's not unheard of). The main goal of a cold call is to qualify the prospect (determine that you're a good fit for them, and them for you). With a solid base of qualified prospects, closing business becomes fun.

  • Be efficient with your words. It should only take a sentence or two to convey the value you bring to the table (especially if you have good research and some idea of their current freight needs).

  • Follow-up, follow-through. Have an email prepared with information on your company and services. Reiterate your closing points, and immediately schedule the follow-up call.

  • "No" means nothing. At least at this stage, "we're not interested", "now's not a good time", or "we're already working with someone" is oftentimes a default reaction and rarely true of their situation. A great way to handle such objections would sound like this:

That's understandable and the last thing I want to do is waste your time. You probably get tons of calls.
But, [prospect], it is crazy how many of our best customers said the same exact thing at one point. Now, they're our most satisfied business partners. [now cut to the chase]

Ready, set, dial

While tools like CargoPro will get you more swings at the plate... consistency, persistence, and a solid call script will give you an unbelievable batting average.

And you'll be well on your way to becoming a "million dollar broker"...

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