Junior Sales Specialist - Cold calling

Discussion in 'Sales, Marketing & PR' started by Nissenel, Nov 6, 2019.

  1. Nissenel

    Nissenel UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    24 1
    Hi all,

    I just started my first job, I'm a Junior Sales Specialist in freight forwarding company.
    I work from 8 am to 4 pm, so I do have 8 hours every single day. My job is to looking for new customers which would be interested to contract out their loads, so we can organize a truck for them. Company ears by adding margin, for example manufacturer gives us 33 pallets of frozen meat to ship and pays 1000 £, we organize a truck and pay a transport company 950 £, so 50 £ stay in our pocket. I'm kind of broker.
    I have been trained but I feel I'm not effective enough. These are my numbers:

    - I make 100 cold calls
    - 45 people say they are not interested because they already have a transport company and do not see additional value to change them towards us
    - 40 people say I need to send email to [email protected] and never come back to me
    - 10 people ask for tough stuff we cannot organize, like one pallet from UK to Turkey, they pay 100 £, I'm not able to organise that without my own logistics network like warehouses, own trucks etc., so they are wrong prospects
    - 5 people want to speak with me, but usually our price is higher than others gave

    The thing is current sales people and freight forwarders base on customers they found many years ago, they have been working with them since forever.

    Nowadays the market is hard, there is a big competition, a lot of freight forwarding company are calling and making ridiculous prices.

    Please help me with following questions:

    1. What is the best way to find manufactures or trading companies in food industry which can have loads for companies like us?
    2. We are not different than other forwarding agents, what value I can create and pull potential customers? What do they want to hear from me? What is the best coll calling script?
    3. How many times should I follow them up after cold calling and sendig company presentation and how should I act?
    4. What skills I can learn in order to be more effective?

    I need your advises!
    Posted: Nov 6, 2019 By: Nissenel Member since: Nov 6, 2019
  2. CharlieHooray

    CharlieHooray UKBF Contributor Full Member

    52 7
    5 people that want to speak to you out of one hundred is good numbers for cold calling in my opinion. It's a numbers game and you need to think how many calls companies get a day pushing the same services. Just keep slogging away :)
    Posted: Nov 6, 2019 By: CharlieHooray Member since: Oct 16, 2019
  3. Nissenel

    Nissenel UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    24 1
    Yes, but I feel I do not have right value proposition in order to attract new customers as a freight forwarding company. They want to hear about benefits (I'm not talking about better price) but I do not know the industry well enough to create the proper cold call script. What is your suggestion here? Why would company change their current freight forwarder if the price is the same or even higher? What is important for them I can provide?
    Posted: Nov 6, 2019 By: Nissenel Member since: Nov 6, 2019
  4. Simon Berry-Hill

    Simon Berry-Hill UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    8 1
    I have been in sales for 32 years, 20 of those in the print sector. In my experience, you need to understand the challenges that your prospects face surrounding their transport logistics and the also need understand the pain impact that those challenges have. You then need to create solutions to those pain points. So the conversation is then about the pain points and how your business resolves those issues for your prospects.

    Read the following books 'The Challenger Sale' 'Lifes a game so fix the odds' both available on Amazon.

    In my industry there are 5,000 competing companies that all do the same thing, some can do more than others but in essence all the companies in my industry are competitors of mine. We are a very commoditised industry just as much as transport. I have a successful business that creates client value by delivering quality product with minimum pain. I cold call on a regular basis to win new clients, my conversion ratio is a client every 10 calls. From retained clients our repeat success rate is over 40% or put another way an order for every 2 and 1/2 quotes. This is not down to an innate skill that I was born with, it is down to learning my industry wants, needs and its pain points. Price does play a part for sure, but if you are the cheapest you might win an order but to maintain the ongoing business all the pain needs to go away too.

    Sell a sizzle not the sausage and you will find the conversion rate goes up and your average margin will too.

    Also be more selective in your prospect selection, if you haven't got international logistics don't have a conversation with prospects that need that service.

    Read the prospect website, get on linkedin and check out the likely prospect before you make the call. Volume of calls is no substitute for quality of call. Make half the calls to better prospects.

    Analyse the prospects that you do engage with i.e the 5% and understand why they engaged and what made them buy from you. Use that as your basis to build a suitable prospect base.

    Finally if having worked on the above and you still find no real solution to your challenges consider talking to your company, you can provide them with valuable feedback of their pricing policy within the sector. If you can show a pattern of determination and success based on the analysis of your efforts following my suggestions and it is pricing problem with your employer. If they don't fix the problem to compete, they wont be around for very long. In which case you will want to discover when talking to your prospects who are the competing businesses, go work for one of them. If a competitor doesn't want to talk to you I would be amazed especially if you can demonstrate at interview you know the industry, you understand its challenges and you have a methodology of generating enquiries.

    Good luck let me know how you get on.
    Posted: Nov 6, 2019 By: Simon Berry-Hill Member since: Aug 22, 2019
  5. Annoying Donkey

    Annoying Donkey UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,864 987
    You say you are a Junior Sales Specialist, presumably there is a sales team with some Senior Sales Specialists? What do they do/say to get a new client onboard?

    Why hasn't your company supplied a sales script?

    Talk to existing clients and find out what strengths your company has over the competition.
    Posted: Nov 6, 2019 By: Annoying Donkey Member since: Sep 13, 2009
  6. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    23,548 2,847
    As a business owner I can get a dozen sales calls in a day and another couple of dozen emails at times.

    Think of what you are selling.
    The benefit for me should be reduced time, reduced cost, better profit margin or better sales.

    Sell the person you are speaking to on how your offer benefits them, helps their business, solves their problems.

    Cold calling takes a lot of time. However each no is one step closer to the next yes if you are presenting well.
    Have done it, don't care for it but accept it is one way of gaining customers.
    Posted: Nov 6, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  7. Nissenel

    Nissenel UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    24 1
    Thank you very much for replies and all your support.

    Simon Berry-Hill - a lot of good stuff from you!

    Annoying Donkey - they rather have no time for looking for new one, they're taking care for current relationships with present customers, making quotation, getting in touch with customers which our company has been recommended etc.

    They do not have one and was not supportive at that stage, they simply haven't establish proper sales strategy but I'm ambitious and want to create my own way.

    Can you recommend some scripts / value proposition which works in this industry?

    Also, do you what is the best (except Linkedin) way to find food manufacturers / trading company from Europe (like Germany, France, Poland, Italy etc.) which can be my potential customers for getting loads?
    Posted: Nov 6, 2019 By: Nissenel Member since: Nov 6, 2019
  8. Financial-Modeller

    Financial-Modeller UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    748 258
    Do you follow-up this group?
    Posted: Nov 7, 2019 By: Financial-Modeller Member since: Jul 3, 2012
  9. Annoying Donkey

    Annoying Donkey UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,864 987
    If they're not supporting you, maybe you'd be better off elsewhere, in a company that does give proper support...?
    I don't have much knowledge of transporting meat, I don't like cold calling and I'm not a fan of robotic scripts.
    However you might try something like "If I could show you how [some big meaningful benefit], would you like to hear more?". You're after a fast yes or no, so you don't waste time on talking to people who have no interest.
    Don't know much about transporting meat, however, I believe meat has to be transported at a constant temperature. Any variation or thaw can harm the meat. So maybe some angle on that? Otherwise, you'd need to talk to existing customers or survey prospects to find a value proposition.
    Posted: Nov 7, 2019 By: Annoying Donkey Member since: Sep 13, 2009
  10. Nissenel

    Nissenel UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    24 1
    Not really, should I? Is calling again after one week good idea?

    Everything is good in this company except this one I menioted, I would like to stay there
    despite the obstacles...

    I was thinking about a value proposition but nothing came yet...

    After cold call, here is my email template, maybe there is something with that as well?

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    In connection with our earlier conversation I would like to take the opportunity to introduce to you our company and services.

    MY COMPANY NAME is a full-service logistics provider headquartered in HEADQUARTER. We work with clients in Europe to support their domestic and international logistics needs via road. We also offer services related to warehousing, customs, and purchasing.

    At MY COMPANY NAME, we proudly stand head and shoulders above our competitors offering similar logistics services. Our unique combination of experience, service, and technology allows us to provide logistics services that offer a high degree of reliability while remaining cost-effective.

    In attached presentation, you will find a summary of the services that we offer, along with examples of prior work by MY COMPANY NAME for clients similar to PROSPECT.

    I encourage you to review this proposal thoroughly, and provide feedback about:

    What is the demand for transport in Europe you currently have? Do you have some full truck loads?

    What are the important elements of logistics we can help with?

    What problems are you facing?

    On behalf of the entire team at MY COMPANY NAME, I thank you for the opportunity to earn your business. We look forward to supporting your logistics needs for many years to come!

    Best regards

    Also, I attach presentation of my company in PDF file. What do you think?
    Posted: Nov 7, 2019 By: Nissenel Member since: Nov 6, 2019
  11. MBE2017

    MBE2017 UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,845 640
    I used to sell international freight approx 30 years ago, both originally telesales and then as a regional rep for one of the major international companies, anything from a single parcel to complete loads. Even 30 years ago it was incredibly competitive, it was not unusual for a major company to receive hundreds of cold calls for freight every week.

    Which brings up the importance of Simon Berry-Hills advice of selling the sizzle, not the sausage. Cold calling takes persistence and you have a few seconds to try and identify what really matters to your prospect.

    It takes time to learn such things, you are just starting, you will get there. I landed a major client early in my career when I learnt they were looking for a later collection time than their current company offered. It took a bit of negotiating with my depot manager but by offering a 6pm collection in place of a 2pm they were obliged to accept, we took the contract at 15% higher price.

    Learn to ask questions, but more importantly learn to hear the replies, many do not listen. Once your prospects realise you are trying to improve things, they will start giving you orders as well. To increase your success rate, work on your elevator pitch, how to sell and put over what you can do in just 30 seconds.
    Posted: Nov 7, 2019 By: MBE2017 Member since: Feb 16, 2017
  12. Nissenel

    Nissenel UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    24 1
    This was very helpful, thank you, I just started to digging in the Internet about cold calling, I will buy a book as well. This is becoming more clearly for me.

    I have another type of question:

    How do you find companies which are you prospects? For example, If I would like to find trader or manufacturer of frozen foods from Germany, obliviously I put in google these words, but what else can I do? I know Linkedin.
    Everybody looks in trade fair so this is not an option.
    Posted: Nov 8, 2019 By: Nissenel Member since: Nov 6, 2019
  13. saythisinstead.co.uk

    saythisinstead.co.uk UKBF Regular Free Member

    145 30
    My advice? Run away as fast as you can and find a company that provides you with training.

    I must say that I admire the fact that you've come on here and asked some really sensible questions, and that shows that you take these kind of things seriously.

    You're doomed if you stay where you are..in fact where are you based exactly? I might be able to help you.
    Posted: Nov 8, 2019 By: saythisinstead.co.uk Member since: Nov 30, 2017
  14. antropy

    antropy OpenCart Experts Full Member - Verified Business

    3,638 622
    Do you have a script that you use? If not then this will really help get more people to speak with you and open up. If you have a script as to how to handle different rejections then nothing with phase you and you will find that you will have more and more positive conversations. There are a number of good books that you can buy on this and I would highly recommend doing this. Alex
    Posted: Nov 8, 2019 By: antropy Member since: Aug 2, 2010
  15. Nissenel

    Nissenel UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    24 1
    This was the only source of help I thought about.

    Area of Exeter.

    Yes, my scripts looks like:

    1. Going around Gatekeeper
    2. Good morning / afternoon, this is Sebastian from company XYZ. - STOP and waiting for reply
    3. I'm calling to you because I saw you produce / trade etc. the kind of food they specialize in, in your website. - STOP, usually they give back confirmation, rarely they give a little bit more information, like "Yes, it is frozen/fresh, Yes, not only meat but also fruits" etc.
    4. That is perfect, our company help clients to deliver their product on time with frigo lorries across the Europe. I would like to ask couple question to see if we might help you as well.
    - Do you use freight forwarding or transport companies?
    - Do you have groupage or full loads?
    - Do you import raw materials, if so, from which countries/areas?
    - Do you export your product via road, if so, to which countries?

    Once I have their profile, I tell them which areas our company is good in, for example:

    Customer said they have full loads to Germany, fresh meat, every single Monday.
    I tell him that is great because every single day we have trucks going from UK to Germany, as we launched transport line between these two countries. I ask him to send me postal code and details in order to prepare quotations.

    That is all basically...
    Posted: Nov 8, 2019 By: Nissenel Member since: Nov 6, 2019
  16. AstEver

    AstEver UKBF Regular Free Member

    104 20
    You haven't been trained properly if you do not know the point of your differentiation of the company. Marketing, Sales and Commercial departments should explain the value, competitive advantage, marketing and sales strategy, business strategy, trends, objectives, the rules and realities of the industry and so on. If they didn't, well, no surprise here.
    You need to speak with them (arrange 1-2-1s).

    As for sales skills, speak with HR and ask them to organise training for you. Also, mention that you need to speak with the people mentioned above and you would like HR to help you with that. This move will give you an argument against complaints about your performance should they ever occur.

    If you get no support educate yourself. There are many resources on sales techniques, models and frameworks (e.g. SPIN, PSS). As for the company's business strategy, they may have a strategic report available (if it is a big company), or other internal literature. Ask.
    Posted: Nov 9, 2019 By: AstEver Member since: Jan 10, 2019

    JEREMY HAWKE UKBF Legend Full Member

    5,069 1,712
    Agree with the above you are not getting the right training and guidance

    This is an enjoyable industry when you know what you are doing and confident selling your product

    If you are planning on staying stick at it and gain as much experience as you can . You will pick up more as you go on and you will become good at it of you put in the effort .

    If you do become good at the service you will be in demand and you should always find lucrative employment
    Posted: Nov 9, 2019 By: JEREMY HAWKE Member since: Mar 4, 2008
  18. antropy

    antropy OpenCart Experts Full Member - Verified Business

    3,638 622
    The best thing is to keep everything short and make them talk as much as possible. Some of your questions are not open ended and thus they could just say yes or no to. So maybe something like 'what are your thoughts on using freight forwarding companies over transport companies'. This is the kind of question they cannot just say yes or no to. Hope that helps. Alex
    Posted: Nov 11, 2019 By: antropy Member since: Aug 2, 2010
  19. Nissenel

    Nissenel UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    24 1
    Hi all,

    Here I got much more support than during my studies!

    Thank you for advises. I have been posted to basic sales training for 2 weeks by my Manager. I learnt couple interesting things, including techniques, how to make conversation properly, how I should ask questions, how to follow up etc.

    Also, my request for value added our company provides has been responded. The below is what from my management's perspective our freight forwarding company can provide to the customers. I cannot imagine talking about all the stuff during the first phone call.. How do these sound for you? If I provided below values to you, would you give me a chance and send an order?

    1. Reliable delivery thanks to live GPS-tracking monitoring
    2. We only work with trusted people
    3. Quality of service at every stage
    4. Flexible approach to the problem
    5. Reliability and communication
    6. Saving customers time

    So what I do now, is I'm talking about above things and try to describe them as much as possible. After that, I sent company presentation in PDF and below e-mail:

    Dear Madam,

    Thank you for requesting information on XXXXXXX.

    I’m pleased to share the following details.

    XXXXXX is a full-service logistics provider headquartered in XXXXX. We work with clients in Europe to support their domestic and international logistics needs via road, no matter what: single pallets, part loads or full truck loads. Ambient, ADR or temperature controlled. We also offer services related to warehousing, customs, and purchasing.

    I’m also delighted to let you know how our logistics service has helped other customers. Some of the main benefits they had included:

    1. Reliable delivery thanks to live GPS-tracking monitoring
    What does reliability of delivery mean to us? It's more than just punctuality. The advanced GPS-tracking system informs us of any delays or breakdowns, so we can react quickly and find a replacement car with an experienced driver.
    A diverse fleet of vehicles and a wide range of contacts throughout Europe make it easy for us to organize replacement cars to meet short delivery times and failures. We find solutions that save our customers time. We are flexible when it comes to sudden changes in the place of delivery or loading hours and the customer is always guaranteed to receive the goods on time.
    2. We only work with trusted people
    Are you looking for a company you can trust? Our company cooperates only with experienced and properly trained drivers. These are people we can rely on. We are always verbal and keep our promises to our customers. We don't promise them something we can't do, and we're always honest in communication.
    We understand the business of our customers, so we offer more than just transport and forwarding services. We know how important it is to deliver shipments on time to avoid delays and financial losses.
    3. Quality of service at every stage
    We are distinguished by our quality - how many times have you read such a sentence? In our company, it is above all the awareness of how quality affects our services, so we constantly monitor it. Every experienced driver is supervised by XXXXXXX's QMS, a reliable quality management system that monitors the condition of shipments and ensures that orders reach our customers safely and without damage.
    Our fleet consists of vehicles no older than 2 years - we deliver goods in cars that meet the requirements of the transport law.
    4. Flexible approach to the problem
    What distinguishes us? This is a flexible approach and commitment to our customers. Our employees are committed to solving logistical problems before they arise.
    We are flexible if you want to change the time of loading or the place of delivery and you can always count on our support.
    5. Reliability and communication
    We like to establish good business relations with our customers and we are always honest with them. We present solutions that are possible to implement. We cooperate with competent people. We never make promises that we can't deliver. In our company, every customer has an employee who is responsible for specific tasks to be performed. We believe that in this way it is easier for us to communicate properly. We serve our customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
    6. Saving customers time
    We check the correctness of completed documents and parcel insurance, which saves time and worries for customers. They do not need to know the law, because they can entrust us with all the duties related to formalities.
    We use XXXXXX's POD system, which makes it easier for us to send documents online, which speeds up their acceptance and guarantees our customers that they are in good hands and do not have to waste energy on familiarizing themselves with the transport law on an ongoing basis.

    You can find further information in attached presentation.

    Please let me know if you need anything further and I would be happy to help.

    Thank you,


    Any advises?
    Posted: Nov 28, 2019 By: Nissenel Member since: Nov 6, 2019
  20. MBE2017

    MBE2017 UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,845 640
    You are beginning to build a foundation, BUT, do you think your client really wants to know what reliable delivery due to GPS tracking means to your company, or them?

    Your prospective clients want to know what benefits there are for them, not you.

    So using the latest GPS tracking technology means that they will know when the delivery is made. GPS does not mean the customer is guaranteed to receive all deliveries on time. Such claims will cause you many problems. I would change cars to trucks, it’s hard to fit a pallet in a car.

    I would be inclined to ask a simple question, would it be useful to you to know when and who signed for the delivery to your client, emailed to you automatically? With your system that is something you can do that maybe their current carrier cannot.

    I won’t comment on the rest, think of everything from the clients point of view.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2019
    Posted: Nov 28, 2019 By: MBE2017 Member since: Feb 16, 2017