Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Don't be a Gas Guzzler

With the high cost of gasoline (still low compared to rates in other countries) there has been a lot written about ways to save fuel. Here are some ways I’ve thought of, read, used, and heard about of late.
#1. Don’t drive (duh). Can you walk or bike to the store? Can you and your neighbor ride together to the grocery? Be creative.
#2 Slow Down - Driving 60 mph instead of 70 mph saves up to 55 cents per gallon (get your need for speed on a skateboard)
#3 Replace Air Filter - Saves up to 35 cents per gallon
#4 Check Tire Pressure - Correct pressure saves up to 11 cents per gallon (I kind of enjoy using a tire gauge)
#5 Use Correct Type of Oil for Oil Changes - Saves 4-7 cents per gallon
#6 Get rid of extra weight in the car (like a tool box, not the dog)
#7 No more jackrabbit stops and starts
#8 Fill your tank in the morning (cooler gas is denser) at the ½ empty spot on your gauge (to minimize air in your tank).
#9. Avoid Idling (it’ll save you gas and some air pollution too)
Think before you jump in the car. Our truckers depend on fuel to make a living. The rest of us could cut back fuel need by driving a bit smarter, a bit slower and only as needed. Perhaps we could even reduce our need for foreign oil – what a concept.

Moving forward,
Jeff Roach
www.justintimefreight.com

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

True Story

While file browing I came across this blog I wrote awhile back. It was a good reminder to me on what makes a leader.

1. Leaders solve problems others fear.
2. Leaders focus on encouragement and helping others.
2. Leaders acknowledge the potential in others.
3. Leaders often see trends before others because they are always looking for them.
4. Leaders seek out people who will mentor them and then pass on lessons learned.
5. Leaders have clear defined goals and then celebrate milestones with friends, family and co-workers.
6. Leaders form strategic alliances focusing on giving not taking.
7. Leaders listen with compassion.
8. Leaders accept feedback. Then take action to improve.
9. Leaders have a mission and a vision and stay true to that mission.
10. Leaders catch people doing something right.

Joe coaches little league football. This might not seem strange but he does not have a son that plays. Nobody would even know that he does this because he is so humble about it. He does not get paid for coaching and volunteers sometimes 10-15 hours a week to help these boys learn lessons about life and football. Joe looked for a place to help then took action and now has his own football team that will start playing in the fall.

I was taken aback to hear his story because so many people, including me, always ask what's in it for me. It is easy to want to be a Leader; it is hard to really be one. Joe is very busy like all of us but takes time for these 10 and 12-year-old kids because he has a passion to serve these little guys. Think about what you will be remembered for when you’re gone. It is a challenge to raise children, support your family for all of us. Think about spending that much time helping someone else's kids?

Zig always says it best. "You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want".

Way to go Joe.

Moving forward,

Jeff

Monday, April 28, 2008

Forum Question

I have been in this business long enough to live through the high times and the low times.

Here’s a forum question relating to just that-

Are freight agent broker job opportunities growing or declining? Should I get training or can I jump right in?

No matter the state of the economy reliable, hard working freight brokers who treat their carriers right are in demand. We pay our top carriers net seven. They in return give us priority over the other brokers who don't pay on time.

The key to being a success in this business is your ability to build relationships with both the carrier and the shipper. Give them more than they are expecting and you will always have business.

If the carrier knows what your billing and the shippers know what you’re paying the carrier, then all is well.

Be sure and pay the Fuel Surcharge. Find the surcharge formula calculated and posted direct from the EIA...at www.brooketraining.com

As far as training goes. The military trains every day for their mission. Get a viable mission statement and get some kind of training towards meeting your goals.

"The only thing worse than training your staff and they leave is not training them and they stay". Zig Ziglar

This is not a simple business. If you want to stay out of the cash flow trap and if you plan on making a living get all the expert preparation you can.

Then it gets serious. I believe you never graduate from learning. Every top-notch company in the world spends 20% of their expenses on training.

Gotta go teach my class. Have a great day today...We have 10 very enthusiastic students. All will have personal introductions to the top vendors and top brokers in the industry. They will learn a proven process. The process takes pressure off the broker/agent.

All will have the knowledge and tools to create their own vision and mission for their business.

My mission is to educate and motivate the go givers and the go getters in life....

God Bless,

Jeff Roach
www.brooketraining.com

Friday, April 25, 2008

Positively Trim

Here’s a great article I edited from Mike Kramer, Staff Writer at sparkpeople. The site is primarily to promote weight loss and healthy living. You will be a more effective business person if you learn to look on positives, trim down and stay healthy. I’m amazed at the boost I feel when my waistband feels a little loose in the morning. When I think I look good, I see a definite difference in my confidence.

If you're eager to be a positive force, there’s no shortage of people that could use some help. In 1994, 10-20% of every U.S. state’s population was considered obese. By 2001, the numbers in 30 states grew to 20% or more. According to the American Medical Association, more than 1 of every 4 adults in Alabama is obese.

Being overweight is an international problem, and it just keeps getting worse. This is bad news, but could be great for you because it gives you the chance to make a real difference. You can use what you’ve learned to make a dent in those trends. All while making an even bigger dent in your waistline.

Here are some simple strategies to follow when you’re looking to build healthy surroundings:

1. Find reasons to get people together

This is a leadership practice that can easily boost your consistency and drive. A simple idea might be to form a group of people around common goals, like a running club. By holding them accountable and motivating them, you’ll get better at doing it for yourself.

2. Create opportunities to trade knowledge

You have a lot to teach others. You also have a lot to learn. Can you set something up where people are learning from each other on a regular basis? What do you like to talk about?

3. Focus on pushing others and you’ll end up challenging yourself

Chris started an exercise streak. Every day on his office door, he posted the number of days in a row he had done some exercise, no matter how small. He eventually posted ‘100’ then ‘200’ on his door. One day, a woman across the hall followed his example and posted a '1' on her door, starting her own streak.

4. Use positive peer pressure

Just live as an example. This motivates others while keeping your own standards of conduct high. Several of us went to the local pizza joint for lunch. After our order arrived, a woman in our group started dabbing the extra grease off the top of her pizza with a napkin. She did it without fanfair or announcement. It was just a habit of hers. But then the man to her left started doing it too. Then the guy across from him. And on down the line until the whole table was dabbing away. We saw her doing something smart and healthy, and instinctively knew that we should do the same.

I think I'll make my next meeting at the walking track rather than the coffee shop.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

True Riches

Excerpt from The American Dream from an Indian Heart by Krish Dhanam

If you are an immigrant like me, you have a better chance at self-appreciation if you understand that your accent may be a given and that the dream is yours for the taking. In most of my waking moments, I realize I am poor. I might have a car, a house and the ability to pack my belongings and my dreams to take a trip. But I am still poor until I realize that the greatest wealth is defined not by how much you have, but by what you are. For eight to ten hours a day you practice a skill to make a living. However, for the balance of the day you need to muster up the will to make a life. When skill and will come together you will have unleashed on the world for the very first time a twenty four hour champion...

Are you reacting to someone's perception of what you can or cannot be, or are you looking at yourself and saying, "All I want is the opportunity to thrive in freedom"?

Krish is a guest speaker at Brooke Transportation Training. He has a unique position from which to help me appreciate the American dream. He brings humor and great insight into our course.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach
www.brooketraining.com

Monday, April 21, 2008

Try, Try Again

Need a little encouragement after a discouragement? Read one man's life story as found on an inspirational website.

•Born in poverty, he had to face defeat throughout his life. He lost eight elections, twice failed in business, suffered nervous breakdown and was bedridden for six months. He could have quit many times, but he didn’t quit and became one of the greatest presidents in America.
•His family was forced out of their home AND He had to work to support them
•His mother died
•Failed in business
•Ran for State legislature –lost
•Also lost his job-wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.
•Borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the year
•He was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt.
•Ran for state legislature again—won
•Was engaged to be married, sweetheart died and his heart was broken
•Had a total nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months
•Sought to become speaker of the state legislature – defeated.
•Sought to become elector – defeated
•Ran for Congress –lost
•Ran for Congress again – this time he won-went to Washington and did a good job
•Ran for re-election to Congress-lost
•Sought the job of land officer in his home state-rejected
•Ran for Senate of the United States-lost
•Sought the Vice Presidential nomination at his party’s national convention – got less than 100 votes
•Ran for U.S. Senate again- again he lost *
•Elected President of the United States.

The part was worn and slippery. My foot slipped from under me, knocking the other out of the way, but I recovered and said to myself," It’s a slip and not a fall". Abraham Lincoln –After losing a senate race-1858

One who never fails, but learns, succeeds finally.

We all know we need to persevere but the world screams at us - you too can get rich quick. You learn a lot more, grow a lot more and build great character by getting rich slow. Take your time today to building toward success as you define it.

Moving Forward,

Jeff Roach
www.brooketraining.com

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Excellent Support

One of the links on Brooketraining.com is entrepreneur.com. If you haven’t taken the time to browse their site do it now. I find it very inspirational to read about others success. Entrepreneur offers lists of books that can help in just about any area of business you need. They have a CD of business forms for less than the price of a holiday ham. You will find advice and resources to build your business. I clicked over there just now to get some more words for this blog and didn’t get back for an hour because I started reading some of their intriguing articles. I’ll cut this one short so you’ll have time to click over and find something useful for your business.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach
www.brooketraining.com

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sales Hurdles

I hate that phrase "sales obstacles". I think of an obstacle as something you have to get around. I prefer hurdles because I think of a hurdle as something you jump over. You have to build stamina to jump over something.

I had friends who were on the track team. They were awesome in the 200 and 400-meter runs. They had tried their hand or should I say legs at the hurdles. They ended up with a lot of busted shins and bloody knees. When I see the Olympians fly so beautifully over hurdle after hurdle I never thought about how may scars they’ve healed from to get where they got until I talked with my track friends.

Sales are a lot like track team events. Some sales will go quick, like a sprint. Most will take more time like a 200 or 400-meter race. And others have hurdles that will take some pain to overcome. But each sales call, like every race won makes the next one a little more natural and comfortable. Be thankful for the prospect that throws a big hurdle your way because that gives you opportunity to prove your willingness to figure out a way over that hurdle. You might not land that shipment but it will give you stamina to use on your next.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach
www.brooketraining.com

Monday, April 14, 2008

Sales Script

What’s so wrong with a phone sales script? By Jeff Roach

If you are a carrier or a broker/agent you are always looking for shippers. To get shippers you make calls. You need a sales script, right??? Anyone who knows me knows I go crazy when a student asks for a script when calling shippers for the first time.

Now imagine yourself after working hard all day and the phone rings …you’re hoping it is your fishing buddy. The black bass are hitting all over lake Travis, I'm thinking with a smile and then to my surprise it's a telemarketer.

We all hate to be bothered by these people who invade our space. How dare they? You see when you read a script you come across as a telemarketer. Then you start believing and acting like a telemarketer. Telemarketers are pests who are trying to sell us something we probably don’t want or need. A Freight Broker is offering a service the shipper vitally needs.

Be confidant knowing people buy from you because you have invested in education, you’re a giver, and you have a great attitude. Being new at the job can be a bonus. Tell the shipper you’re new and you want to help them solve their problems.

Get to the right person at the shipper firm and ask if it is an okay time to visit. If the say yes, ask them when's the last time you needed a truck and couldn't find one? Wait as long as possible. Silence is golden.

Listen to what the customer is telling you. Take notes and ask to go over the notes. Ask: What are the goals are of the shipper? Then purpose to help them reach those goals. Become part of the team.

It takes 7-9 touches before a customer makes a buying decision so do not quit after four. They say about 80% of sales people stop calling on a prospect after 4 times. Every sales book in America will tell you it takes 7-9 touches before a prospect will buy from you. What is a touch? A note in the mail, an email, a phone call...

I promise, once the traffic manager trusts you because you did what you said when you said you were going to do it, you will get business.

You will get customer for life.

The customer chooses everything including when to buy, how much, and how often. The vendor they trust the most will be the one who gets the lion share of business. Rates are often talked about but in reality most shippers will pay more for out of this world service. Read Customers for Life by Carl Lewis.

The investment in time will pay off. Your goal is to make a customer, not a sale. I don't claim to be an expert on sales but I know for sure that if you treat the shipper the way you want to be treated - you will be a superstar sales pro.

I used to work for a great guy who owned a large trucking company. He’d say,” You will get a Gold Star on your forehead when you close a big account.” Funny thing I closed some whoppers and he never gave me those stars...He did give me an education and for that I will be always be grateful. You can’t replace education.

The more you earn, the more you learn.

My girls say artists are the smartest.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Friday, April 11, 2008

Get Personal

Years ago I had my graphic artist design me a classy looking personalized thank you note. She had done some work for George Bush, Sr and mentioned that George had some presidential looking cards he carried with him everywhere he went. He’d often spend his hours on Air Force One writing notes of encouragement and thankyous to people he met or those who’d helped him out. I asked the artist to design and print a stash of those cards for me so I could thank prospects for their time, customers for their shipments, truckers for their late night runs, my associates for tracking down a lost load, etc.

We live in an electronic world. Emails are good but a handwritten note in this virtual world has great impact. I had a fabulous opportunity to meet with a potentially gigantic account this week. And I’m out of my personalized, super classy looking cards. I’m getting more on a rush order so I can thank all the people who helped me get the appointment, those I met with and the receptionist who directed me to the right office. I introduce myself to everyone because it is the right thing to do. All people have value. And you never know, receptionist today could be the president of the company down the line. My niece took a job a month ago. Within the month her two supervisors quit or were let go, so she’s the senior person now. How’s that for climbing the corporate ladder in record time.

Who needs some encouragement or thanks from you this week? Take an hour of your weekend, go sit by a swimming pool or on a park bench and write out a few notes. Be encouraging and you will be encouraged.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach
www.justintimefreight.com

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Power of Training

I often get asked if training is necessary to be a broker and about how to choose a training program. You don’t have to get training but you will probably not make it if you don’t. We’ve had students that have been in the industry for years as well as newbies. The experienced one often testify (see testimonials at brooketraining.com) that they had no idea how much they didn’t know.
A perk about class besides learning a new field is the entertainment value. My teachers know their stuff plus they aren’t stuffy lecturers. They keep things lively so the students learn. In college I noticed the info presented by professors who drone on and on are not real memorable. And if you come to class in Dallas I am one of the teachers. Since I’m ADD I understand how to help those who are easily distracted stay tuned – with humor and quirkiness.
Q: How qualified are Brooke’s teacher?

A: BTTS instructors are experts in their fields and experienced teachers. They developed the curriculum; lesson plans and takes home materials from the knowledge they learned as successful freight brokers.

Q: Are there different levels of broker certification (i.e., Master Broker – Diamond, Platinum, Gold, or Journeyman Broker, - Silver).

A: There is only one level of broker certification, Property Broker, commonly called a Freight Broker. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) does not recognize any other title than Property Broker. Choose additional schooling not for a better certification but to hone your skills.
That’s all for today.
Moving forward,
Jeff Roach
www.brooketraining.com

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Personalize with Personality

As you build your prospect list you will interact with all kinds of people. God has created us all unique yet there are four main personality styles. Most people are a combination of two. Understanding the personality characteristics will help you understand your prospect and thus better meet their need. Books have been written on this stuff but here it is in a nutshell. The four main personality styles are The Driver, motivated by control, The Perfectionist, motivated by doing things precise, The Popular motivated by Fun and the Peacemaker motivated by calm lack of conflict.

The Driver will need to control the conversation and want you to get right to the point. If you approach a perfectionist with a scattered approach they will not trust you to get things done right and in an orderly manner. If you are all business with a popular type they won’t see the fun they need in working with you. Tell a joke or at least take a lighthearted approach. The peacemaker will run from a hard sell approach because that causes inner conflict. They need to know you are on their side and need a peaceful approach to doing business. I’m not suggesting you try to be someone your not. But recognize your message will best be understood when communicated with your prospects personality in mind. I suggest that my students prospect by asking questions. Listen more than you talk. As you listen intently you can usually get a feel for a person’s main personality style. To read more about this, grab a copy of Personality Plus by Florence Littauer available through Amazon.com and others. The book includes a personality test that will help you determine your personality.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach
www.brooketraining.com

Monday, April 7, 2008

Motivation for Monday

“Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:4

"Fall seven times, get up eight." - Japanese Proverb

"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish." - John Quincy Adams

"Never give in. Never. Never. Never. Never." - Winston Churchill

"Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance." - Samuel Johnson

It is Monday, how are you gonna persevere, keep on going and finish your good work this week? Sometimes I wake up Monday morning ready to conquer the world… some Mondays, I’d rather just have another day of rest. The way I find to stay motivated is to get up and get going. If I just hang around doing nothing, pretty soon I feel like a blob of nothing. Get up and get something of value accomplished and feel valuable. One thing I do is get my blood pumping most every morning with a brisk walk. I’m amazed at the creative ideas I contrive during my walk.

I then get a cup of coffee and a pad of paper and write down all my new ideas…before I check email. If I check email first I’m distracted to handle all the mail has thrown my way instead of purposefully planning my own day.

Have a prosperous Monday. Make your 50 calls today with enthusiasm, expecting success. Try to figure out someway to help a prospect have a successful Monday. When you approach selling as a great service you provide then, as one recent graduate said, “Selling is not a dirty word anymore.”

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach
www.justintimefreight.com

Friday, April 4, 2008

Every Call Counts


Patience is not something taught real well in our get rich quick society. Freight Brokering is a viable career with potential to truly impact your future. But you gotta dive in with patience.

Don’t count on making money right away but know that if you make 50 calls you have a chance to at least make 250.00 that day. Mentally be prepared to make those calls for 3 months, that is 3000 prospect calls. Have 6 months living expenses put away.

If you’ve taken our course you may remember the flying 5 buck activity. I ask a student to come to the front of the class, pick up the phone, then hang it up.
I then explained that if 50 calls = $250.00 each call is worth $5.00. A “yes” or a “no” call pay the same. I then ask the student to start making calls. Everytime they make one -I throw a five dollar bill on the table. When cash starts flying the student’s phone calling fear turns to making as many calls as they can.

It is so funny because their fear just went straight to making as many calls as they can.

You’ll need 5-8 anchor accounts that give you a few regular loads a week to make 100k as an agent. If you are willing to do the work - if your willing to do more than you’re paid for doing - a day will come when you get paid for more than what you’re doing. This isn’t a get rich quick deal, this is a get to work quick career. You’ll own your own business either as an agent or broker.

If you can punch a clock for someone else - you can do it for yourself. People have to make the decision that they will do the work or they are wasting their money and my time.

I want to educate and motivate the go getters and the go givers. Now go make a phone call.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach
www.brooketraining.com

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Learning and Confidence

Here are testimonials from our March classes in Dallas and Jacksonville. Thank you to Lance White, instructor in Dallas and Susie and Ron Moore, instructors in Jacksonville. Education not only teaches new skills it also imparts confidence. Good luck graduates and let us know how we can help you in your new venture.

Brooke Transportation Training has been the most amazing experience for me. I was cautious about spending money on something so new to me…especially after being laid off for five months. I am stepping out on faith and will be a success! Lance was a great instructor, breaking everything down to make it simple. The guest speakers and human resources are phenomenal. These genuine, good-hearted, real people have a true passion for the business. I am now jam packed with information, resources and contacts. I have been more than equipped for the task at hand. I am ready to go out and WOW the world. Selling is not a dirty word anymore. Vicki D Dallas, TX

As an owner-operator this class is the best investment I have ever made. The info is excellent not only for those desiring to be brokers or agents but also for owner-operators who would like to become carriers. This class opened my eyes to a whole new aspect of the industry. Julio E. Dallas, TX

This class gives you the necessary tools and information to start your own brokerage. Very knowledgeable instructors. I learned a lot more than I expected. Jamie R. Dallas, TX

Awesome class. Everything on the website is true. I feel confident about entering the industry. Tiwan O. (hope I got your name write, it was a little smudged) Dallas, TX

I came with a lot of questions. This course helped me organize my goals and see further than I imagined. Joel B. Dallas, TX

Very good class, very informative. Susie is a great instructor. I had trucking field knowledge but learned so much more. Timothy M. Jacksonville, FL

Had no previous experience in the brokerage business. I now have insight to move forward in this new career. William T. Jacksonville

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Can Truckers Haul Us out of Recession?

Here's an article with a positive forcast for our industry
Can Truckers Haul Us Out of Recession?
By William Trent

At least one part of our economy has good news to offer. According to the American Trucking Associations, February's seasonally adjusted truck tonnage index was its highest level in more than two years. Its 3.5% increase from February 2007 marked the index's fourth consecutive year-over-year increase.

ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello found February's reading encouraging, saying, "The fact that truck tonnage did not lose any of January's robust 2.4-percent gain is quite positive."

Does truckers' good news signal an end to the U.S. recession, even before most economy watchers have admitted it's begun? Costello noted that truck tonnage typically leads general economic activity. "Truck tonnage rebounded in 2001, for example, just as the aggregate economy was slipping into a recession."

Truckers: Harbingers of recovery?
There's good evidence to suggest that transportation is a leading indicator for the entire economy. For one thing, anything you buy at a store had to get there from the factory. Even online sales require a truck to get the product from the warehouse to your door.

The link was historically so strong that it became the centerpiece of Dow Theory, which suggests that positive or negative moves in industrial stocks are more relevant when they are "confirmed" by similar moves in transportation stocks. I'll say one thing: Trucking tonnage certainly provided an early warning to the downside, with the index peaking in early 2007.

Whether you believe in Dow Theory or not, the latest tonnage index is at least a modestly positive indicator for trucking companies.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Truckers Pull Off the Road

Just watched a CNN report on independent truckers pulling off the road in protest of the high fuel prices. Oil companies say demand is high and supply is tight so the prices are what they should be. What is the answer?

One protesting trucker was disappointed the presidential candidates seem to focus more on healthcare prices. He says if I can afford to drive my truck, provide for my family and a little more I can afford to pay for my own healthcare. His rig was full of juicy strawberries he paid $1800 in fuel to haul up from Laredo. Those strawberries are gonna lose their flavor real quick in an idle trailer.

Congress is talking of discontinuing billion of dollars of tax cuts the oil companies receive. They would take those dollars to research more alternate fuel options. I don’t know about you but I’d rather keep the alternate fuel development in the hands of the free market rather than the government.

The great thing about America is our ability to dream dreams and profit from hard work. Spurring the economy has always helped our tax base more than cutting incentives. I’m not an expert but I know what makes sense to me. Work hard, don’t try for the quick buck, charge a fair price and above all live a life of integrity. Be patient and you will reap what you sow, get what you give, be treated as you treat others.

Just a little food (strawberries) for thought.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach
www.brooketraining.com