Friday, August 31, 2007

Be Labor Free

It’s free Friday at Brooke Training – a great day for all the students, a great day for my resource providers and a great day for me. At the end of each Freight Broker Training course week my students celebrate graduation by networking with their fellow graduates, established freight brokers who might offer them an agent position and freight broker service providers. I find great contentment in being with my students on this day and dreaming alongside them as to where they will take their newfound knowledge.

At the end of a week of training I am a bit drained, but a good drained. I’d say this was the best class we’ve ever had (but I tend to think that after every class).

So now I’m gearing down to enjoy the Labor Day weekend. Join us in taking the day off. We won’t be answering our phone until Tuesday. If you’re interested in a course follow the instructions on line. I’ll return any messages on Tuesday.

Labor Day was proclaimed a national holiday in 1894 by President Grover Cleveland to honor all working people. So if you work, take a moment to feel honored. The holiday is celebrated in Canada, Puerto Rico as well as the U.S. Enjoy your day off. Go golfing, tennis, shopping, or whatever makes you happy.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Honored for Doing My Job

One of my long time customers, Navarro Pecans is celebrating their 30-year anniversary. They have asked me to come join in the festivities because they want me to be one of the honorees – go figure. Like Brooke Training, Navarro Pecans premiered with humble beginnings. They first sold pecans in 1977 out of a trailer. Brooke began in my garage. As their pecan sales grew, the trailer became a plant. Now that plant has been replaced by one double in size, with a huge retail store on site. Now they ship around 1 and a half million pounds of pecans a month both to individuals and to other food manufacturers who use pecans in their products.

Over the years we have both experienced ups and downs, having to adjust our way of doing business along the way. My contact Helen Jordan thanked me for always coming through and getting the pecans delivered on time. She says she never missed a wink of sleep worrying about a shipment.

George Martin, owner of Navarro Pecan felt that 30 years of staying afloat was reason for a time of reflection and appreciation. They will be honoring those who have remained loyal even through the hard times. Employees like Helen who has been there 25 years will be recognized. They say I performed trucking miracles with on time deliveries, so they want me to join the fun. I was simply doing what I was hired to do. It is a great honor to be recognized by such an outstanding company with an excellent product.

Is it just me or are you hungry for a pecan pie about now?

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Career Switch

Some people are content to stay in the same career their entire working life. Others jump jobs about as often as they change their skivvies. Then there are those who make a thought out decision to try their hand at a new career, at becoming an entrepreneur. And there are our disabled vets who have no choice but to start a new career.

Since at Brooke Training we are certified and train many disabled vets for a new career this article from USA Today caught my eye. As sited in the article many vets can’t simply go back to their old career. Some didn’t have a career path started before they went to serve our country. We are honored to be able to work with this group of vets, to teach them what we know and try to inspire them to seek the path God has prepared for them.

Entrepreneurial lessons offered to disabled vets

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Before enlisting, Christina Hill delivered the mail. In the Army, she was a Blackhawk helicopter mechanic.

After a 127mm rocket explosion in Iraq left her with shrapnel wounds, bone loss in her right arm, nerve damage in her leg left and post-traumatic stress disorder, neither of those careers was still open to her. Or much else.

"If an employer sees you have a disability, they believe your capabilities are minimized," said Hill, 24, of Royal Oak, Mich.

"I don't want a job like that. I don't see myself having set limits so I figure I should work for myself," said Hill, who served four years in the Army — including a 15-month tour in Iraq — before leaving as a sergeant last November. Read the whole story

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sales Role Playing

You are a lot more likely to play out a situation calmly and in an orderly fashion if you’ve thought it through, and better yet played it through beforehand. Bryan Flanagan outlines Sales call role- playing in his book NOW GO SELL SOMEBODY SOMETHING.

Here’s a training method that most reps tend to avoid: the dreaded “role-play” exercise. This practice is very effective, yet at the same time it produces the most anxiety. Why? Because we feel pressure when performing in front of our peers and our boss. However, if the manager sets the stage correctly, you can achieve great results from role-plays. Here are some guidelines:

• Emphasize that the purpose is to practice techniques not results. When I work with clients, I point out that “You want to learn in class so you are not penalized in cash!”

• Make the role-play real, giving it as much a real-world flavor as possible. Instruct both “the customer” and “the rep” to stay in role for the duration of the role-play

• Give feedback based on specific, observable behavior. Emphasis should be placed on what was done well and the areas that need to be improved. This requires the manager to take detailed notes and provide specific examples in order to add value to the debriefing session.

Create a learning atmosphere by giving specific objectives for each role-play exercise. Clearly explain those objectives. If the purpose is to practice questioning skills, sell benefits or close the sale, you should clearly communicate that to the participants.

Obviously, you will have to modify these topics to best fit your environment; however, that is well worth the effort. Once you do so, your sales meetings will address selling and selling skills!

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Monday, August 27, 2007

Pump Up Your Sales

This week I’m going to pull excerpts from NOW GO SELL SOMEBODY SOMETHING, Inspiration for Sales People by Bryan Flanagan,

2 Great topics for a sales meeting

1. Sales Objections – create a list of common objections you receive from customers or prospects. Categorize into topics: financial, features, functions, competitive concerns, or contractual issues. Assign one category to a team of reps and instruct them to discuss effective answers for their assigned objection. Each group then reports to the entire team on specific ways to answer those objections. Ask each team to submit written answers so that you can distribute these to each sales person at the conclusion of the meeting.

2. Referral Practice – prior to meeting, assign each salesperson the task of creating five ways to ask for referrals. Each person will then share thopse ideas with the rest of the team. You may want to give an award for the sales rep with the most creative method of securing referrals.

I recognize some of you don’t have a sales team. You can do these exercises on your own or better yet find a group of contemporaries either in your industry or another to brainstorm sales objections rebuttal and snagging referrals. Network within and without your industry at chamber of commerce meetings, breakfast clubs, etc. so when you hit a dry spot in your sales you can recharge by talking with others who have fresh ideas for you. Tomorrow: sales call role play…

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Some Stuff I've been thinking about

People pay me for career advice. I do my best to help people start over in business. I get to experience with them the rise of their companies from the blood, sweat and tears of their hard work. It is incredibly cool for someone to call me a year after they graduate to share with me their success. Their story is not, “I'm a millionaire”. It's “I am supporting myself moving five loads a day and I am happy.”

So what I am going to do today is share with you what Joy is all about and what I think about some stuff that has to do with stuff other than making money. I thought it may be too spiritual in nature then realized it was my blog and is about me so hey - deal with it...LOL

Regardless of what anyone thinks we should be in life, we should be honest and see clearly where we are. If we are in a place we don't want to be - we can make decisions to move in a different direction.

Every day ask God to give you the desires of your heart. It is impossible to earn his blessings. He wants to make you happy like you want to make your children happy except with God he is love with a much bigger concept of love than we can fathom. He is the perfect father. I wish my children could experience me as the perfect father but they can't. There is only one perfect father and he is God.

He wants you to have the desires of your heart. He gives you a roadmap and also gives grace realizing that we are human and we are not going to be perfect. Don't try to be. It will drive you insane and everyone who knows you already knows you’re not perfect. None of us are. It is the pursuit of perfection that causes addictions. Perfect is not an option in life. Give yourself a break. We are our own worse critic.
Give yourself permission to fail. Try new stuff. If you’re not failing at something - you’re not trying enough new stuff.

What GOD does not want is for you to be always unhappy, without joy and love.

You do have the right to be happy.

Get real and get honest and you will have a testimonial that will move people.

God knows what you need - he just wants you to be thankful, to ask, then wait and see what path he takes you down.

It may not be the path you planned or expected but trust me - He will lead, if you release everything to him. (Choose faith - Fear and Faith are exact opposites - where there is fear there is no faith.
Ask God for faith in the fearful areas of your life and then hold on for dear life. Enjoy the ride, week-to-week, day-to-day, and moment-to-moment. Once this day is gone -it's gone forever. Time can't be replaced. Make the most of your time. Why not? We are not here simply to consume - we are here to give. There are no happy takers, only happy givers. Attitude is everything; perseverance is a close second and focus on progress not perfection. I wish I could say I was a great example of doing everything right, I am not but I am very certain that these words are true.

It's not the messenger - it’s the message that is important. This message is to all of our daily readers. Our blog readership is substantial. I am honored and humbled.

I think this is what we are supposed to do and I also think we should laugh, smile and hope for the best. Take personal responsibility and live.

This is not meant to be a sermon.

Big thunderstorm in Texas right now - love thunderstorms. Faith and trust in the Almighty grows in the storms.


Jeff Roach - President
Brooke Transportation Training Solutions

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Pajama Education

One of the great things about online learning is the wardrobe. You can learn a whole new career in your pajamas. And you can pick a career that you can do in your pajamas, too!

As schools and colleges gear up for another semester reflect on what you’d like to learn about to expand your mind, learn new skills or change your career altogether. Today’s generation of students aren’t traditional in their approach to much of anything, including learning. If they can take a course using their computer at a beach, heck why not? Gatlin Education offers thousands of online courses through over 400 universities across the country and through my company At you can sign up for any course including the freight broker course.

Gatlin Online Education, the largest provider of online courses in America and Brooke Transportation Training developed the Freight Broker Course. The course is interactive, includes animation and you can call the teacher (that would be me) with questions. With Gatlin you can train with your computer and the Internet anywhere. As a freight broker you can earn an excellent living with your computer and the Internet.

To sign up for an online course, or online career training log onto or contact me. I find great joy in assisting other in finding the course or career that fits them. Traditional classroom learning was a challenge to me through my educational years. I understand and appreciate alternative approaches in education.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Monday, August 20, 2007

Three things - Seven times

Three things in life that, once gone, never come back -
1. Time
2. Words
3. Opportunity

Three things in life that can destroy a person -
1. Anger
2. Pride
3. Unforgiveness

Three things in life that you should never lose-
1. Hope
2. Peace
3. Honesty

Three things in life that are most valuable -
1. Love
2. Family & Friends
3. Kindness

Three things in life that are never certain -
1. Fortune
2. Success
3. Dreams

Three things that make a person -
1. Commitment
2. Sincerity
3. Hard work

Three things that are truly constant -
Father - Son - Holy Spirit
I ask the Lord to bless you, as I pray for you today; to guide you and protect you,
as you go along your way. God's love is always with you; God's promises are true. And when you give God all your cares, you know God will see you through.
Moving forward,

Jeff Roach - President
Brooke Transportation Training Solutions

Monday, August 6, 2007

What Does a Freight Broker do all day?

If you are a new freight broker or considering freight brokering as a career, do you know how to productively fill your day? Plan out your day or it will plan itself. By making your own plan you will accomplish priorities you have set. If you let the day just run, who knows what will be accomplished by the end of the day. Here is a concise definition of a freight broker’s job and skills.

Cargo and freight agents coordinate and track incoming and outgoing cargo and freight shipments in airline, train, or trucking terminals or on shipping docks. An ideal freight broker can talk comfortably and intelligently to a company CEO and to a truck driver. They are not simply “middlemen” who add to the cost of shipping. Their biggest contribution is their ability to expedite the process with efficiency and reliability. They expedite shipments by determining the route that shipments are to take and by preparing all necessary shipping documents. Agents take orders from customers and arrange for the pickup of freight or cargo for delivery to loading platforms. They keep records of the cargo, such as its amount, type, weight, and dimensions. A valuable agent will note missing items, condition of damaged items, and excess supplies. Cargo and freight agents arrange cargo according to its destination. They also determine the shipping rates and other charges. They verify customs’ paperwork on imports and exports. Cargo and freight agents often track shipments electronically, using bar codes, and answer customers’ inquiries on the status of their shipments.

Much of a freight agent’s job is done via the computer. Typing, filing, recordkeeping, and other clerical skills are important. In house cargo and freight agents start out by checking items to be shipped, attaching labels to them and making sure that the addresses are correct,. As this occupation becomes more automated workers may need longer periods of training in order to master the use of the equipment. Cargo traffic is expected to grow faster than in the past, and so will the technologies developed to help in the process. Some recent technological advances include use of bar codes on cargo and freight which allows agents and customers to track shipments quickly over the Internet, rather than manually tracking their location. In addition, customers, reducing the need for cargo and freight agents, now can complete customs and insurance paperwork over the Internet. Buying over the Internet continues to grow which will result in more shipments. Jobs also will open up because of the increasing importance of same-day delivery, which expands the role of agents.

Training has become more important as the industry continues to evolve. We stay ahead of the curve and in touch so we can train others to succeed.

Moving Forward,

Jeff Roach,

Friday, August 3, 2007

Online Marketing

By Cindy Kapp, Brooke Training Marketing Consultant

I attended an all day Online Marketing Summit this past week. My brain was in information overload by the second hour. So how do you keep up with the hyper speed changing technology, on and off line? I’ve decided, I can’t keep up but I’m not throwing in the towel. I search for educational opportunities to at least help me understand terminology and what’s coming. Projections show that by 2010 all graduates will spend 100% of the day on the Internet. They have an “I want it now” expectation. Internet users are smart and incredibly impatient. So in business we have to figure out how to do things more instantaneously, simpler, no waiting. We must put customers’ needs and desires first over our own business goals. Websites must be easy to use. Know your customer and thus know what is most important to them. Make the most important thing the easiest to find on your site.

The fundamental way people do business has changed. They spend ¾ of the time online and ¼ offline. Hours online has surpassed hours watching TV (which used to be premier outline for advertising dollars). Websites need to be driven by the marketing eye rather than the IT eye. Browsers scan a website with their eyes not their mouse (so don’t hide things in drop down menus).

A hot term right now is Viral Marketing or word of mouth, online. Word of mouth has morphed into word of keyboard/monitor through chat rooms, blogs, email distributions and online discussion groups. Yet currently 99% of consumers read only, 1% comment or contribute. We get few comments on our Transportation Training blog but we know we have readers because of the analytics (technology that shows us how many readers we’ve had and where those readers are located). If you want to find a blog on something of interest to you or on your industry go to

America is lagging behind in mobile computing. Other countries mobile devises are more advanced and more used for computing, social networking and advertising.

These are a few of the interesting things I learned. So how does this relate to freight brokering? More and more of business in general will be done online so that is why our freight broker-training course teaches using the computer. We arm you with online resources. We have an online course. We recognize and try to adapt to the various ways of relating to our customer. But remember no matter what forecasts say, you have to get to know your customer to know the best way to meet their needs and communicate with them effectively (they may prefer the phone over an email).

Moving forward,

Cindy Kapp for Jeff Roach

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Freight Broker Dictionary

After you’ve been working in this industry or any industry for that matter you use terminology and acronyms that are industry specific. I’ve started putting together a freight broker dictionary of terms students have asked me to define. If you hear a term you don’t understand tell me, I’ll shoot you a definition…or tell you I don’t have a clue what that means. Here are a few starter words important to understand as a freight broker:

Truck Supply or Truck Capacity - the availability of equipment for any given period.

On the fence - an empty trailer or tractor sitting on the

Loaded miles - trucks running with freight

Fuel surcharge – bonus paid to the broker then to the carrier to transport a hard to transport load.

Bid Package - forms a shipper will ask a broker to fill out to compare their rate per mile and other offerings to that of competitors. Each shipper has a unique package.

Spotted Equipment/spotted trailers - empty trailers left at a shipper's dock door to be loaded or unloaded at a specific time (=extra warehouse space for company)

Headhauls and backhauls, and hot zones - places and cities where you can find a truck easily and places you can't.

Moving Forward,

Jeff Roach

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

A Hard Lesson from my mentor Krish

Of all the advice I have been given over the years this may very well be the hardest one for me.

"Forgive those who hurt you while thanking them for the experience".

Krish Dhanam, Brooke guest speaker and mentor, says the unwritten part of this statement is that you do not thank the offender in person for the pain they have inflicted on you, you must thank them and forgive mentally. Unforgiveness does not hurt anybody but you because holding grudges fills you with bitterness. Forgiving gives freedom. Pain produces growth and maturity, for that we are thankful.

Forgiveness without gratitude is like a pen without ink. It is a good idea but actually worthless. God himself forgave us with grace and mercy for an eternity filled with promise.
Hans Selye, the great stress specialist, said gratitude is the most beneficial of all human emotions and anger and resentment the most destructive. Mahatma Gandhi said " an eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind.

These words came right out of Krish's book, The American Dream from an Indian Heart. I can tell you, I do not have this principle down yet. I am trying but not there yet. Thanks Krish for reminding me.

Funny thing about Krish - I have never left a meeting with him feeling bad. Whenever he comes and speaks to the Brooke Training class, all my students tell me the same thing.

thank you Krish! (

Moving forward,


Brooke Transportation Training Solutions