With the freight industry booming, brokerage firms are jumping from company to company rapidly, leading to high rates of turnover. Often, brokers are starting the job with the promise of six figure salaries, but with little actual insight into the day-to-day demands of the position. In reality, new hires are ill prepared to face all of the rejection and underestimate the time investment required for success, leading many brokers to leave the field.
As a result, firms are faced with losses related to the cost of employee turnover. Customers are dealing with a constant stream of new contacts and forced to repeat conversations with new brokers every time they call to schedule a load. So, how can firms cultivate sustainable, healthy growth to the benefit of customers and new brokers? Below are three ways you can attract the right talent and help new brokers develop their skills.
#1 Provide transparency to applicants
During the interview process, it is critical to be very open and honest with candidates about the expectations for the position. Rather than promising an unrealistic salary, communicate what new brokers should expect to make in their first year and detail how their earning potential will grow with experience. It is important to properly vet candidates to determine if they are a fit for the role and if their skillset aligns with the demands of the industry. Seek out applicants who are driven, motivated, and hungry for success. Brokers with staying power are willing to go above and beyond and not settle for the norm.
#2 Focus on the customer relationship
Shippers are constantly being contacted by many brokers seeking their business, so it is important to differentiate yourself and move beyond scripted interactions. Focus on building long term relationships with customers and move away from the traditional transactional broker deal that does not encourage repeat business. This starts with establishing a strong foundation where customers know brokers care about their needs and will work to find personalized solutions to address their unique pain points. To create continuity and deliver the best service possible, prioritize hiring brokers who are motivated to build a career with your firm.
#3 Implement robust training programs
When onboarding employees, it is essential to train brokers and arm them with the right tools, so they truly understand their customers and cater to their specific needs. Job shadowing allows junior employees to work with a senior broker to receive an immersive education. During this stage, new hires are included on live sales calls and encouraged to take notes and review every step of the sales process, including the initial call, follow up, the presentation of the rate, closing, and post-sale follow up to identify upselling opportunities.
Educate new brokers with systems training and provide time to practice in order to reduce mistakes. Train them to ask open ended, detailed questions and actually listen to their customers’ responses. Teach them to research the customer before picking up the phone to contact a prospective customer. Armed with background knowledge and supporting information, brokers can demonstrate that they care about their business, appreciate their specific objectives, and have the expertise to help them achieve their goals.
Setting new brokers up for success helps to reduce turnover and enables customers to have a lasting relationship with contacts. With a transparent hiring process, a customer-centric approach, and strong training programs, Kenco’s brokerage team is properly vetted and well-positioned to deliver best-in-class service. Interested in joining the team? Visit kencogroup.com/employment/ to learn more.