Truck loads are the bread and butter of the hotshot business. If you want to succeed, you should plan your strategies on how to get profitable truck loads. Whatever your strategies are, one thing is for sure: you need to master the art of selling your services. Here are some tips that can help you:
1. Project the image of success.
Shippers want to deal with reputable companies and this is why your image as a business is so important. A well-maintained fleet, neat office and professional-looking drivers will speak much about your business.
2. Be specific when answering questions that shippers may ask.
Why should we use your services instead of your competitors? Do you have what it takes to deliver our load safely and on time?
Many owner operators fail miserably at answering these two common questions. Their mistake? They use generalities without any support. Answers such as, “because I am professional” or “we offer the best service in town” or something similar, are too general and nobody buys it.
To answer the first question, you can say, “because I offer the best services in town.” You can then go down to the specifics by mentioning your significant portfolios or showing referrals from other shippers or brokers in the area. There’s no better way to back up your claim of quality service than what your past shippers have to say about your service.
For the second question, it’s okay to say, “yes, I have what it takes to deliver your load safety and on time because I am a professional.” You can then describe how you ensure safety and on time delivery to paint a picture of what they can benefit from hiring you.
3. Be clear on what you’re good at or what sets you apart.
When you approach a shipper, make sure to sell your forte. Can you accommodate hauling on irregular schedules and destinations that don’t fit regular routes? Do you haul chemicals, long poles or huge equipment? Many shippers especially those with specialized loads are looking to hire an expert to get the job done. To have an edge, be an expert at hauling loads that your competitors aren’t really good at. Expertise doesn’t just develop with experience but it also entails training and investment in specific hotshot equipment to do the job right.
4. Charge competitive rates.
Check the standard rate for hotshot in your area and then structure your rates so that it will be a win-win for you and the shipper. You may also create packages for the varying needs of the shippers. For instance, you can offer next-day delivery service at a slightly higher rate compared to the regular service.
The key here is to look at what services your competition is offering and what their rate is. You can also talk to your shippers and know their needs. From there, you can create logical and competitive packages and rates.
5. Strive to provide exemplary customer service experience.
A referral from a happy shipper or broker is the most powerful advertising you can get. More often, it will eliminate or reduce the need for you to advertise. If it will not cost you a thing, always go the extra mile to provide better service.
Getting a profitable load can be a challenge for both established and start-up hotshot businesses. With the tips we listed above, you should be able to effectively sell your service to potential shippers and brokers.