Approaching a direct shipper/customer

Discussion in 'Refrigerated Trucking Forum' started by Marmon110P, Apr 21, 2022.

  1. Marmon110P

    Marmon110P Light Load Member

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    Hey fella's,

    Ive done this lots before, just looking to see other ideas that work for future reference. How do you go about approaching a new lead once you've found their info? Do you call, send an email, arrange a meeting in person, or just show up on their doorstep and make your pitch? Explain your steps so that others can see how this is done, this could help alot of guys who are actually serious about running a business here.
     
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  3. ProfessionalNoticer

    ProfessionalNoticer Road Train Member

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    If you want the account bad enough you’ll do all of the above.
     
  4. Short Fuse EOD

    Short Fuse EOD Road Train Member

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    I have two. The first I called about 3 times over a month. Finally spoke to owner. He referred me to one of his employees and now I’m in. It’s been going well since beginning of the year.

    The other I was recently solicited to by an internal Broker/traffic manager. They liked how I perform and they asked if I could take care of care some of their produce and ice cream lanes directly. If you are set up for ice cream or know how to provide a produce service, sometimes work comes to you. Even if you are a one truck feller like myself.

    So 2 via phone. My next plan is to go to front door and do a meet and great with a micro brewery. Worse thing is, they say no or we don’t come to terms.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2022
  5. GreenPete359

    GreenPete359 Road Train Member

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    looks like you got your answer. Both of the above are the right way to do it. Research the customer, figure out who to talk to if you can then make a call. If the calls don’t work show up.
    If it’s a smaller-mid size single location company i’d knock not call. A large scale multi location operation you need to make calls & send emails.

    Be confident when in person. Even if you don’t have a darn clue what you’re doing. Sell yourself.
     
  6. Lite bug

    Lite bug Road Train Member

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    IMO now is a good time to contact as a lot of shippers are having challenges finding carriers. Like Short Fuse EOD said one truck operation people see you working and they like you. The work finds you , may take a while.
     
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  7. Marmon110P

    Marmon110P Light Load Member

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    From talking to a buddy of mine, and this is just one guy, but contract rates may not be better then spot rates at alot of shippers since they may put it out for bid with these big brokerages knowing that they can move it for 2/mile so they bit it that much cheaper to get the work. Do you guys think this sounds right? Ive read in other sources that contract rates are still at what they were a couple months ago before all the BS started with fuel etc.
     
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  8. Lite bug

    Lite bug Road Train Member

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    IMO contracted will remain the same until renegotiated. So getting carriers may be harder for the brokers to find depending on load densities. So the spot market may be short term more advantageous to deal with the price of fuel.
     
  9. Marmon110P

    Marmon110P Light Load Member

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    Well seeing as how the spot market has dropped by about 40% roughly, I think the way to go here is by trying to get direct contracts. If contract rates havnt changed then thats a good thing since the FSC takes up any slack in overpriced fuel. It may be a day late for contracts, but I think with these low spot rates, brokers may be struggling some and their customers will definitely see that. More opportunity for the small guy who has his finger on the pulse of the operation to step in and save the day.
     
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  10. Lite bug

    Lite bug Road Train Member

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    I think you are headed in the right direction. Last week I carried for 2 direct shippers for the first time. I only have 1 other that I have carried from time to time. The merry-go-round with brokers from my dealings is when the broker you have been working with for years loses the contract where does that leave you? A couple of times I was on vacation and didn’t know a change occurred. My previous broker knew when I was returning so when he didn’t call I did not think much about it. So after some time a fellow gets curious as why no call. So when I call and found out well you got to start looking to build up your clients. This happened like 3 times once when a grandchild was born in that case I determined which broker by reading the load board I knew where the shipper was located and see how the broker writes the post. I think having abundant direct contacts will be more stable.
     
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