Freight Broker, the two dreaded words a Transportation Manager hates to hear whenever they pick up their phone on a random call. If you’re lucky and actually get an answer, it usually starts with a “Hello?” in a questionable tone, followed by an audible sigh of annoyance and “No we’re not looking for any other help”. The phone hangs up and you are left with nothing. When it comes to the world of transportation, this might be how most cold calls start and finish.
However, I’m sure almost every other person in sales, no matter what industry who’s ever done cold calling can relate to this conversation in some kind of way. When it comes to sales and account management there are expectations to generate new business as well as maintaining customer relations and day to day operations. At first this balancing act can be both difficult and frustrating. It’s not fun getting hung up on while at the same time there are situations that are out of your control, something I am all too familiar with. For the past two and a half years I experience something like this almost weekly but even though these situations are annoying, they can be used as valuable learning experiences. Some of the most valuable information I have ever received when it comes to cold calling is to be different, a breath of fresh air to whomever you’re “selling” your service or product too.
Start the call off with a funny joke or conversation about a local sports team, we’re all human and not everyone wants to be sold to at all times. Get to know the person on a personal level and make a friend (for my customers reading this, you know who you are!), if you’re working in sales chances are that you’re a personable person. On the flip side there are plenty of times where this strategy might not work and that’s okay. No need to get down on yourself and just keep trying but be reasonable with follow-ups and try to avoid being a nuisance to whomever you’re reaching out to.
If you are lucky enough to get past the sales part and have the opportunity to work with your new friend make sure to keep a high level of service and to keep up with everyone. This all won’t happen overnight, just make sure to stay focused and to never give up.
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