Every freight broker wants to reach a broader audience to expand their brand and increase market share. It comes as no surprise that prudent business people work to have a plan of attack using proven strategies, growth and expansion for their business. With the current economic condition, it's become even more important to be on the offensive with a strategic plan to do this. Many of our own agents are looking to expand their customer base in order to diversify the mix of their client base, especially those with over 10% of their business coming from a single company or a certain industry. It's difficult to spread a book of business equally, but it only takes one bad experience of seeing a customer walk away that held 20% of your revenue to devastate your business. It can cripple you, especially if you don't have a plan to expand.
The question is, how? Here are two proven tactics to grow your customer base:
1. Reach out to current customers for referrals to their suppliers, vendors, or even customers and friends. After researching these potential clients and learning everything you can about their operation, try making some “warm” calls using your mutual acquaintance's name as your opener. There are still a lot of customers who prefer a phone call to gain their business over the “tech” ways of email or through LinkedIn.
Do you fear rejection? Have faith! Getting past the fear of rejection is surprisingly easy. The best way to get over your fear of “cold” calling is to practice. Look through your address book and start with clients you haven't done business with in awhile and expand to people beyond your immediate network and pretty soon, you'll have gained the confidence to dial and smile to perfect strangers!
2. Social media such as Linkedin is a valuable and cost-effective tool to promote your services. You can search for businesses that match your current top customer list, and extend invitations to connect in a non-threatening manner. And you don't need a paid account to do this! Groups are also a great way to connect with potential clients and exchange tips that can result in business. Don't join the groups of other brokers, join the groups your customers belong to! There's no purpose in joining groups filled with your competition, so be different. Blogs are a creative way to use social media to boost sales. At Trinity, our marketing department puts a big emphasis on providing our sales and agent teams with quality content to share with prospects and customers to exhibit our expertise and keep our services in front of them.
Trinity's agent program has existed since 1990, and nearly 30% have been with us over 5 years. Our most seasoned agents will tell you that a major difference of working as a Trinity broker is the feeling of support and care we give to each and every business to encourage and facilitate their growth. If you're interested in learning more, contact me at (208)-934-5325.