Prospecting & Lead generation is one of the most important aspects of your business. The more leads you have in your business, the more opportunities you get to move more freight and the more money you will make.[spacer height=”20px”]
Here are 10 places you can generate leads to grow your business.[spacer height=”20px”]
1. Start with people that you know: Ask friends and family where they work. Not every company requires shipping, but many do. Your current contacts are a great source for leads, and once you get a lead inside an industry you can prospect other companies in the same industry.[spacer height=”20px”]
2. Keep a notebook with you: You can write down names of companies you see on the road. Write down the company, any nearby landmarks, and any other information you can use to establish rapport.[spacer height=”20px”]
3. Ask for Referrals: As you get more customers and build a reputation, they will refer other customers to you. Companies that you’ve picked up from and shipped to are another good source, but wait until after the shipping is complete to contact them so you have success under your belt.[spacer height=”20px”]
4. Companies in the same industry or companies you work with: If you tell companies you specialize in produce, or lumber, you can establish expertise in the client’s eyes. Check shipping labels on produce or food for information on how they are shipped.[spacer height=”20px”]
5. Check customers’ credit reference sheets for new leads: Once you start sigining up new customers you can see who they use as referalls and you can contact those companies and mention that you were referred to them by the customer.[spacer height=”20px”]
6. Look at where current loads are picked up or dropped off: Once you begin moving loads you can call these places. Usually they will tell you they do not have any loads that need to be moved, but if you are persistent, you will find they have loads that need to be moved.[spacer height=”20px”]
7. Research the destination of your current loads: Companies in these cities will have loads to be moved, and know that they will get a better rate if you are already shipping to their city.[spacer height=”20px”]
8. USDA produces a valuable resource at MarketNews.usda.gov: Prices and freight information are updated every Wednesday.[spacer height=”20px”]
9. Trade Associations: Are also a great place to look for a particular industry you are looking at. Some trade associations even put the names of their members on their website.[spacer height=”20px”]
10. Look at online directory’s: Start calling the customers on their lists. There are 10’s of thousands of them. If you’re not comfortable with this, pick an industry you are familiar with and start there.[spacer height=”20px”]
Some online directory’s include:[spacer height=”20px”]
ProduceMarketGuide.com: This site is regularly updated information on the produce market.
CareersInFood.com: also has resources about food manufacturing.
Manta.com: gives in-depth information about companies, including email contacts.
MacraesBlueBook.com: industrial directory to find product manufacturers.
SeaFoodSource.com: directory of seafood companies.[spacer height=”20px”]