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Building a sales strategy for freight forwarders

Created on | Last updated on November 9, 2021 at 01:01 pm

Due to the grand extension of the forwarding and logistics industry, freight companies need to establish a solid freight forwarder sales strategy in order to succeed. However, building a sales strategy for freight forwarders is challenging and requires constant follow-up. 

For that reason, if you are starting or rebuilding your freight forwarder sales strategy the following steps are the ones you should always bear in mind. 

Maintain your clients and your partners in the center of your freight business

No matter what your business is, your clients are what moves the company, if you don’t have any customers you can’t function. This is why there are many many companies out there closing doors – because they don’t understand that their client’s needs have to come first.

So take the time to listen to what your customers have to say, ask them how you can make a better job, how you can help them, what you can do better, ask for suggestions, and be open to receive feedback. This is an important part of your customer success, making sure that your client’s journey is the best one possible. Freight forwarder customer success is an essential mindset to have inside your company if you want to succeed. 

Along with building a good relationship with your freight customers, it’s important to create a relationship with your forwarder partners, it’s time to visualize your partners also as a client. The reason for that is simple – your freight partners also give you business, so maintaining a good partnership with them is the key to keep receiving business. Once more, ask for feedback and make sure your partner’s journey is the best possible.

This shouldn’t be a surprise to any freight forwarder, after all, building a relationship with your customers and partners is the key to succeeding in the industry. Remember to always put your freight forwarder clients and your partners at the center of your company

Know your forwarder company’s strengths and weaknesses

When thinking of building a sales strategy for freight forwarders it’s important to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the freight business. Especially because of the variety of companies there are in the forwarding industry. 

Thus, to build your freight forwarder sales process you need to know what you can present to your clients as a strength. To do that you can simply create a list with everything you see as a strength and a weakness. For example:

  • Strengths 
  • Detailed information about the services offered on the website
  • Fast response to freight forwarder quotations
  • Cover different countries and cities
  • Cost-effective
  • Experienced 
  • Etc
  • Weaknesses
  • The competition is too big
  • Lack of marketing strategy
  • Product loss in the way
  • Lack of knowledge about the regulations
  • Etc

Those are some examples of things you can list for your freight company’s analysis, remember to acknowledge your real strengths and weaknesses to understand what can be improved, and what can be used as an advantage.

Set your freight forwarding company goals

Building your freight forwarder sales strategy without setting the goals your company wants to achieve can’t work, after all, you need to know where you want to arrive in order to know if you are succeeding. 

So go back to making a list of everything you think is possible for your freight forwarding company to achieve in a certain period of time, here are some examples:

  • Goals to be achieved in 3 months
  • make 2 new partners in China
  • start working on digital marketing
  • improve 10% of our sales
  • hire 1 more person to our pricing team
  • etc

After you’ve made your goal list it’s time to add the steps you need to take to make all of them happen, gather your team and start working on it!

Take a look at the OKR method to start setting your freight company’s goals.

Align your sales team with a freight marketing plan 

To increase your freight forwarding sales it’s important to set up a marketing strategy for your company. So, if your sales team is working on sending emails, and making phone calls, the marketing plan would go beyond, for instance, the marketing team could send some WhatsApp messages, Linkedin DMs, along with the improvement of your company’s social media accounts, contents for the website, ads, and so on.

Just make sure that the marketing strategy for your freight forwarding company is aligned with the strategies of your sales team. 

To learn more about how to build a marketing plan for your freight forwarder click here.

Networking is the key

As mentioned before, building a relationship with your freight forwarder partners is key to the success of your business, and for that, you need to create a forwarder network.

There are many options for you to start building your freight network, for instance:

  • Join a freight forwarder or a logistics network; 
  • Participate in Facebook and Linkedin groups; 
  • Attend freight forwarding events.

To give you a little push I gathered some options for each of the topics above so you can get started on building your freight forwarder network.

  • As an option for a Logistics Network, there is Parnity – the digital logistics network. Parnity’s network has over 1,200 members, and more than 3,000 users ready to make quotations in over 174 countries. More than 11,000 quotations are made in a month at Parnity.  
  • The Facebook and Linkedin groups are a great opportunity not only to improve your networking but to stay updated with the latest news of the industry. Here is a great Linkedin Group and Facebook Group you can join.
  • Attending freight forwarding events is not always easy, especially if you are not part of a logistics network, that is why the Forwarders Online Conference is an amazing opportunity for freight forwarders to attend because it is an open event for freight companies worldwide, check out their last event.

Get to work 

As you can see, building a sales strategy for freight forwarders is not an easy task, but with the right guidance, and following step by step you’ll get there! Just remember to go slowly and prioritize your freight forwarder partners.