How you interact with freight brokers can quite literally make or break your business when it comes to getting loads booked. If you are a dispatcher or an owner-operator booking your own loads it is imperative that you maintain a good relationship with the brokers you will have to interact with. Here are four tips for building and maintaining a good relationship with your brokers.
Having good communication with the broker is the number one tip to building a great relationship with them. Communication starts with agreeing on a rate, and once you’ve gotten past that you want to keep them up to date with everything regarding the load. That means letting them know when you pick the load up, when you drop it off, and keeping them abreast of any difficulties you run into on the way. A freight broker is not going to want a surprise to come up so keeping them in the know is imperative. Keep tight communication with your broker and you will surely have a profitable relationship with them as they will want to work with you again.
2) Brush it off
Sometimes you will not be able to come to an agreement with a broker and you will have to accept it. It’s okay to turn down a load if a broker refuses to negotiate a better rate, but don’t let it discourage you. Politely decline the brokers' offer and let them know that you will search elsewhere for a load in a professional manner. Even if a broker is being arrogant and rude, stay calm and keep your demeanor peaceful. Getting into arguments with brokers can only serve to damage your, or your companies reputation.
3) Document everything/request written confirmation
This tip benefits you more, but always keep digital receipts of everything. Have a record of the initial contract and if any changes arise, request written confirmation from the broker, or write up something yourself and send it to the broker. Never accept word of mouth! If a broker promises something, get it in writing. This protects you in the event a broker fails to follow through on the aforementioned rate changes or any other amendments made to your original agreement.
4) Promptly notify of any issues
As stated before, you will want to keep the broker aware of any issues you run into during this process. This means any detentions, layovers, damages, or shortages need to be reported back to the broker as soon as you learn of it. This way the broker can immediately get to work handling the situation on his end while you deal with it on your end. Brokers will appreciate timely communication and it will help strengthen your relationships with them.
A relationship with a freight broker works just like any other relationship, and just like other relationships communication is key. Communicate well with your broker from start to finish and they will be more than satisfied. Focus on the things you can do rather than the things you can't, and don’t let losing out on bookings ruin your attitude. Stay positive and have great communication and your relationships with your freight brokers will be better for it.