Feature Article: Beyond the Rate
Work with brokers you have rapport with. Listen for problems, Rutherford says, “and become a problem-solver.” Here are a few of his ideas to build a profitable relationship:
1“What is your worst load?” Everybody has the load “that is a thorn in their side,” says Rutherford. “It either doesn’t pay very well or is multiple stops or touch freight. Find out what makes it so bad, but then find out what might make it good enough for you to handle.”
2“What can I do to bring more value to you and your customers?” “You have to start looking at the broker as your customer if you’re going to rely on them.”
3“Do you have regular freight you’d like to negotiate a long-term solution for?” Though this freight might not come at the best rate, it may provide access to an area important to you. “Look at it for the big picture,” Rutherford says.
4“Would you be willing to work as my sales agent in an area?” This question takes advantage of the murky nature of the middleman’s role to help ensure for the broker a consistent source for his shipper. “You negotiate maybe one time for a fixed percentage and let that broker go out and work for you,” says Rutherford.
Learn more about negotiating
Log on to www.TruckerWebinars.com for a free download of “How to negotiate with brokers and shippers,” Overdrive’s recent webinar with trucking radio host Kevin Rutherford