This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.

Sales people

Discussion in 'Starting a Trucking Business' started by Paul Shteyn, Apr 25, 2016.

Draft saved Draft deleted
  1. theman

    theman Well-Known Member

    A good inside customer service rep is really an inside sales rep. But most of what is called CSRs are just order takers. I do agree that a great deal many of transportation companies don't need full time salespeople because they are simply don't have the resources to support one until they ramp up. The same for a lot of brokers out there.

    A salesperson (and I do this to) blends time by making new prospecting calls and account maintenance calls ... it doesn't matter so much whether these are FtoF, phone or email. As far as I'm concerned, I work at the customer's comfort level and that is the secret to building business.
     
    Freight Broker likes this.
  2. whatiship

    whatiship Well-Known Member

    My suggestion would be that instead of a full time sales person you may be better off to hire a good inside customer service rep. Service the hell out of existing clients, communicate every move good or bad, and grow from within. You would be surprised at the amount of business you are not getting from your existing customers. Appointments for cold calling are harder to get than ever and sales people tend to "sell by price" once they finally get a person on the phone or a face to face meeting. A customer service representative is making "sales calls" all day long.
     
    Shakey likes this.
  3. Freight Broker

    Freight Broker Well-Known Member

    Yes, getting the "right" person or people would be the key. For a small business like mine, a wrong hire could very quickly put it down.
     
  4. theman

    theman Well-Known Member

    Yep ... 600k a year isn't going to produce enough margin to justify a good salesperson's salary and income expectations. I don't make 30 cold calls a day, put try to touch around that many people in a day every day. If you're spending that much time making cold calls, you're not building relationships. I have no problem with the expectation of producing upwards of $500K margin per year as long as I'm getting a piece of it as I get there.

    You're not doing badly ... just pointing out that with the right people, it can go that much further.
     
  5. Freight Broker

    Freight Broker Well-Known Member

    Well, you're doing much better that most, and congrats to you. Most of the sales guys I've stayed in touch with over the years level out at 600K a year... some go on to make millions, but they are the few and far between. I do 4 million a year in sales and attribute a lot of that to luck..right out of the gate I found good customers who ship a lot. I'm not a good salesmen and really don't enjoy sales at all. Reaching out to 30 people every day is something I force myself to do every day.
     
  6. theman

    theman Well-Known Member

    I can tell you that I have been through a few places over a long period of time, and have reached that level every time. If someone is moving a lot of LTL at higher margin, then they can get away with a lower number because the margin will be there. But I will add usually between $1M and $2M of incremental sales volume every year (occasionally more if I'm really lucky) and when you figure on some attrition, you end up with a number in the $5M range within 3-4 years time. I do it mostly over the phone and am face to face with customers on an as needed basis.

    And you're right, I would say that at least until not long ago, most of the brokers out there have been businesses of $10M or less, heck maybe $5M or less. There is probably not much more than a dozen freight brokerage offices in the GTA or Ontario in general that are doing more revenue than that per year. But the consolidation in our industry is going to continue so it will be interesting to see for how long that model will stand.
     
  7. Freight Broker

    Freight Broker Well-Known Member

    I'm afraid a lot of sales reps, after reading that, are going home deflated this afternoon. I personally don't know of any that make 5 million a year in sales. Hell, most brokers I know don't even do that with a staff of telemarketers. Now I'm feeling really down. Really down..
     
  8. theman

    theman Well-Known Member

    Substantial would be considered anything $10M and above. Personally, once I'm settled somewhere I usually have somewhere in the area of $5 million sales per year recurring. Working for anyone long term unless you are a full commissioned rep that is pretty much what is expected from reps once they are established.
     
    Igor Galanter likes this.
  9. Freight Broker

    Freight Broker Well-Known Member

    Hey wait a minute.. did you say substantial? I know people who do less in sales than I do yet have a staff of 10 people and a real office located in the best strip mall in town. A lot of my customers are the same way.. very few staff but well organized and productive. Big staff and lots of assets often mean a lot of cost with no attendant sales and profit to offset. Lots of people milling about a rented strip mall office does not equate to a substantial undertaking in my mind.
     
  10. theman

    theman Well-Known Member

    Doing it all yourself is fine as long as that is what your scale is and it's sustainable. But if you want to do anything substantial, you can't do it alone whether it's sales or operations.

    The trick to hiring staff is the same as finding a job. Everybody has to be like minded and have a strategy. This is why so many companies are fans of hiring the people straight out of school and grooming them. They're cheaper at first, but once they perform they have to be paid too or they'll move on to greener pastures. Hiring experienced people whether it's salespeople or dispatchers just brings in the people a few steps ahead ... salespeople have good established buying contacts, dispatchers have good carrier relationships. If your environment is a fit for the person, it works. If the two parties are operating in different worlds, it is not so good.
     
  11. ShawnR

    ShawnR Site Supporter

    @Rob nothing to do with money or how they book trucks, has to do with overall person, they seem to want to talk to drivers or just have habits that don't work in a brokerage atmosphere. I'm not knocking on anyone just saying that hiring people with experience in dispatch or in sales is not always the way to go. training them from scratch and getting them to go along with your model is usually easier since they don't know any other way.
     
    Freight Broker likes this.
  12. Freight Broker

    Freight Broker Well-Known Member

    I know.. I used to manage employees for a carrier.. a lot of fun to work there according to the corporate website.. but in reality a toxic environment full of misfits, assholes, posers, incompetents, and oh yeah, the occasional solid worker.. OMG I'm starting to sound like Donald Trump.
     
    jonny-chicken likes this.
  13. Freight Broker

    Freight Broker Well-Known Member

    I'm not kidding, and congrats to you and your family and what you've achieved over the years. I'm not down on hiring people.. just saying hire as a very last resort. Over the years I've always told myself next year I'm really going to have to hire some help with this. And then a technological advance comes along.. I'm more efficient and the hire is pushed off. At some point though I'm going to have to stop growing or hire someone.. At that point I will have to get a "real" office and safety procedures, a policy on sexual harassment etc.. wow looking forward to all that. Coming out of the basement and into the light of professionalism ain't easy!
     
  14. lowmiler88

    lowmiler88 Site Supporter

    Freight Broker don't do it managing employees is the hardest part of the job and the bigger you get the more disappointed you get and they are expensive.
     
    Freight Broker likes this.
  15. Rob

    Rob Site Supporter


    I'm curios what is the difference in dispatching. I buy and sell freight all day everyday.What difference would there be in a brokers office. When selling a broker wants to make a margin. The shitty one's want it all about them and to hell with the trucker tell him just enough that he takes the load and let him learn the hard way that the broker was full of shit.

    The good ones tell you all of the story and pay a fair rate have no problem paying justified waiting time and don't take 150 calls on one load looking for the guy that will drops his pants just to move the load.

    FB,

    I like the 30 cold calls a day deal. We have used that way of doing it and we as a small carrier can boast to over 65% of the freight we haul is ours direct. Another 10% or so is broker customer freight we do every week and the rest is general freight from our small list of brokers we deal with regularly with the occasional one off load thrown in. If a broker has a bad reputation or is a known double broker they make the DNU and we will not deal with them.

    Too many scoundrels, finks and Mahoneys in this business. Direct freight is where it is at, getting it is hard, servicing the hell out of it keeps it so you don't have top live and die buy the link because I have did that also and it sucks.
     
  16. ShawnR

    ShawnR Site Supporter

    I'm never sure if you're kidding, but growth is a lot of fun, slow/steady growth. slowly going from a team of 14-15 to 20-22 with success and good performance.
    this is basically how we've grown in the last 5 years or so, and this again, is by hiring & training our people from scratch. all bad habit people don't last, the bad habits always get in the way of their success inside our organization, not everyone can change to fit our model.
     
    Freight Broker likes this.
  17. Freight Broker

    Freight Broker Well-Known Member

    Not having staff can also be very liberating.. no staff to oversee.. no staff meetings.. no energy invested in getting staff to do what you want them to do etc.. The power of one person working alone by leveraging technology to the max is very much under rated. I guess one day I'll hire someone.. but people are so expensive.
     
  18. ShawnR

    ShawnR Site Supporter

    not sure if that first part was a joke or not, but yeah we have 6 sales people & 2 sales interns, all hitting the phones & doing customer service, we have to spend a lot of time managing, answering questions, & overseeing people in general, so as a manager it's hard to actually make calls

    @Paul Shteyn I'll say it again, hire someone green, put them on dispatch for a week or two to learn the lingo, and then train them to be who you want them to be. buying a sales person has very seldom worked out for us, they just seem to have bad habits. same as a truck dispatcher going to work for a broker in dispatch, from one office to another it's hard to get them to change, plus their salary demands don't make sense when you have to start all over with them.
     
  19. Freight Broker

    Freight Broker Well-Known Member

    Good point Shawn. We made the Profit 500 a couple of times and its really just me working out of a basement office..The problem with most sales teams is that they don't make the prospecting calls on a regular basis. They'll go gunghoe for a while and then nothing. 30 calls a day done religiously by one person will outperform most sales teams over time. Now if you've got a bunch of salespeople who make those 30 calls a day each then you've really got something.. But generally that doesn't happen. They get to where they're comfortable and then they coast on repeat business. Not all of them of course... but a lot them.
     
  20. ShawnR

    ShawnR Site Supporter

    @Freight Broker that's good in a smaller shop but with 15-20 people you can't expect yourself to manage the office and be a sales guy

    best thing to do is hire them and groom them yourself, this is how we do it
     
    Igor Galanter likes this.

Share This Page