Thursday, April 30, 2009

Characteristics of a Freight Broker

Whenever a prospective student calls in to ask about our freight broker course I don’t hard sell them. I spend time getting to know them to see if they have the characteristics of a successful freight broker. I want students who will likely find success. Our goal is to screen people, not sell them. I make sure they know what they are getting into.

To be a successful freight broker you have to be able to match loads with truckers. You spend a lot of time on the phone finding loads and finding carriers. You must be diligent in follow up. If a problem arises with a shipment you must have the courage to call your customer and let them know that their load is delayed or has been stolen or whatever the problem may be. You have to be able to prepare quotes. You must be self motivated and goal oriented. And a good sense of humor helps too.

Have you heard the saying, “he could sell a popsickle to an Eskimo?” In other words, he can talk you into buying something you don’t need. In my book, that is not what makes a good salesman. A good salesman finds out what you need and helps you with that need if he can.

A prospect may not know if they would make a good freight broker. So I first
tell them why I love doing what I do. I tell them why I love the freight business. Why I love teaching and about the exel freight broker agent program we have in place.

I then explain our different courses. We have our basic course live and online and our advanced course. We limit our live courses so each student gets individualized attention and all their questions answered. I also do coaching by phone and in person.

This is not a get rich quick business but some people do get very rich if they stay at it. Tomorrow I'll write about what a broker can expect to make.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Keep it Positive

Here are some positive comments from our last April course.

Great experience. I believe I have the info and tools to be a successful agent. Brandi is an outstanding teacher. She loves her students and loves to teach. Her attitude and eagerness has given me an excitement to grow my client list. –Mark V.

Coming into this industry with little experience this class helped me tremendously with nuts and bolts knowledge… I now feel like I have a very solid base to begin my new career. -- Andrew W. P.

I have learned a great deal this week. As an asset based trucking company, I have a lot clearer picture on the other side of this business… -- Lloyd L.

Course material is great in quality and quantity. Worth my money. Brandi is superb individual with great integrity and character… – Shaun S.

Thank you recent graduates for choosing Brooke Transportation Training. We wish you much prosperity. Feel free to call anytime for assistance in building your business. I always enjoy encouraging graduates and celebrating your success.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Voice Altering

As a freight broker, trainer and salesman I spend a lot of time talking with people on the phone. Just saw an interesting segment on voice coaching. I do some business coaching of freight brokers and other executives by phone. This piece caught my attention and made me think about the image I project with my voice. Here are excerpts:

Most people admit they can't stand hearing their own voice, but what happens when how you speak defines the way people perceive you? "It's OK for everybody to sound different," says celebrity voice coach Roger Love, "but we're supposed to be the best we can be within that difference."

Roger shares his three tips that everyone should know if they're looking to improve their voice:

• Melody. "Most of us speak like we're one note on a piano. A piano has 88 keys -- you gotta touch some of the other keys! You gotta go up, you gotta go down and you have to practice that. Melody is key."

• Volume. "We've become a world of whisperers. We're talking to everyone like we're not public speakers. I say we are all public speakers. You might be talking to one person or your dog -- they're your public. You don't have to have a thousand people. We are all public speakers the second it comes out."

• Breathe. "Most of us are holding our breaths when we speak. You should breathe in through your nose, not your mouth. When you breath in through your nose it sends moist air to the chords. Pretend you have a balloon in your stomach. Fill up the balloon, and then when you're speaking, the whole time you're speaking your stomach is supposed to be coming in. If it's not, then you're holding your breath."

This article also shows how this voice coach helped 3 woman. One had a baby voice, one had a manly voice and one had a heavily accented voice. Their retooled voices gave them a new confidence. To read more click here.

I found that quite intriquing. I speak loud for sure and with lots of melody. I’m pretty sure I don’t hold my breath while I speak but I do have an accent. I often have students with interesting accents. Our voice differences are interesting and make us unique but when your listener has much trouble understanding what you are saying perhaps you should consider a voice makeover.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Thought this was a good article on the effectiveness of online learning. I think a person needs to choose what method makes sense for them. Some people enjoy the class room interaction. Some can't sit in a classroom for a week for a variety of reasons. For that reason I offer both online and live classes. Have a read and see what you think.

Adapted from “e-learning the 90-10 Solution”

by Bob Livingston

How much of the training in an organization can be done on-line? In a recent conversation, an executive concluded that all training could be done online. Others have offered opinions that run the gamut of percentages. Most run between 40% and 60%. And yes, there is still the occasional person who believes that e-learning can't do anything well. My own conclusions put it more at the 90-10 level.

Great online training can provide a learning experience that will provide the same results as great classroom training. However, the program must remain sound from a learning standpoint to reach this level of accomplishment. Online courses must have that right blend of involvement and reflection that makes the classroom so important. That is missing in many courses. Involvement is limited, and any reflection on the material is almost non-existent. There no longer exists any technical reason why these can't be included. That's why I think the number is at, least, 90%. What is the 10% that can’t be learned online? Skills that demand actual person-to-person practice. Sales skills and team skills are the first that come to mind. Concepts can be taught on-line, but you have to train the skills in the field.

Team skills require a classroom to promote the bonding required when the learning takes place. That's it! Field training and bonding! I believe we are at a point where 90% of training can be accomplished online. What do you think?

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Thursday, April 16, 2009

You're Never Too Old

One of my heros and great inspiration in my life is Zig Ziglar. He was 40 and bankrupt when he wrote his first Best Seller, Meet You at the Top. Now he is probably the best known inspirational speaker in America. His corporation includes a sterling group of inspiring speakers to carry on his message. He starts his book with a list of goals he decided he would go for. He was overweight and unhealthy so he made a goal to loose a certain amount of pounds. He had a spiritual goal because he'd just made a new commitment to serve God. He had a business goal.

I need to hear about success stories like that because it is easy to think my best days are behind me. Instead I need to remember that as long as I have breath there is purpose for my life. I need to always have a set of goals that give me a purpose in life.

This next week we will be having a live freight broker class in Dallas/Fort Worth. Meeting a new set of students is a great inspiration to me. They always have intriguing stories and a zest for a new career. Want to learn something new? Give me a call and join our class. It teaches you how to be a freight broker and a whole lot more. Our teachers (and I'll be in the mix) are amazing. I look forward to sending you their testimonials about the class.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

An Educated Home

After I posted this new course on home schooling I clicked through my links and couldn't locate the course. I will let you know when it is up. Thank you.

Monday, April 13, 2009

New Place to Work

Want a new job? A new career? A new reason to get up in the morning? I have the priviledge of talking with those seeking a new thing every day. I get a new zest for life because I get to talk with these movers and shakers. The forward thinking individuals that call me to sign up for class are a little scared to leave their comfort zone but mostly excited to learn something totally new or learn a different aspect of their industry or polish a skill that will help them succeed and perform better. I mostly talk with potential students for my live freight broker class or online class but I do also get to talk with those who go to our elearning center to take some other kind of class. Talking with them about their dreams is like watching a caged animal being released. My little Chihuahuas enjoy their kennels. It is a safe, warm, cozy place for them to sleep or to escape. But when I unlatch the gate in the morning they bound out with a renewed energy. Sometimes we all need to escape the safe and go for a new adventure.

In my grandpa’s era most guys worked at the same place, or at least in the same field their whole life. They earned the 25 year silver watch award. I’m not sure anybody gives out 25 year watches anymore for 25 years of service at one company. Maybe that is a bad thing, maybe not. I don’t like that it seems neither the employee nor employer recognizes value in loyalty. But then maybe it shows that we have more desire for variety and challenge in our daily work.

Learn a little something new today, then again tomorrow and so on. Pretty soon your brain will be overflowing with new information. You will perform better at work, and be a better conversationalist. We live in a dynamic, ever changing world. I can’t keep up but I’m not going to lay back and let the opportunities pass me by either.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Today is the Jewish celebration of Passover. The Feast of Passover is a remembrance of the death angel passing over the homes of the Jews in captivity in Egypt. The Pharaoh and Moses had this debate going on who had the greater powers – God or the Pharaoh’s sorcerers. Moses was negotiating for the release of the Jews from Egyptian slavery. The last challenge was to let God’s people go or all the first-born would die. Pharaoh foolishly didn’t give in so the death angel came. God instructed the angel to pass over the doors of the homes where the doorposts had been painted with the blood of a sacrificial lamb. The first born in every home except those with the blood died on that day.

To the Christian, today is Maudy Thursday, a remembrance of Jesus last Passover supper with his disciples. He gave new meaning to Passover supper. Jesus was called the lamb of God whose blood was sacrificed so all could live. Christians celebrate the Lord’s supper with bread that represents Christ’s body and wine or grape juice representing His blood. The next day Jesus would be crucified on Good Friday. The greatest good ever done in all of history was done that Friday. He was the final sacrificial lamb

"Maundy" comes from the Latin word for "command." In the context of Maundy Thursday, it refers to the commandment Jesus gave us to love one another. Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his brother.

Our society is very fast pace, there’s always something to do. Slow down and reflect on your beliefs and the significance of today.

One of the great things about being my own boss is I can kick it into slow gear for a day of celebration and reflection if I choose.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Monday, April 6, 2009

A New Start

I enjoy articles that recognize trucking as an industry that weathers economic storm. In a modern society we will always produce goods in one part of the country that need to be shipped to another part. It is not feasible economically to have a plant everywhere there are consumers, you can’t grow certain fruits and veggies just anywhere and unless we all go out a buy a chicken we need to get our eggs shipped from farm to market so we can make an ommelot every now and then. Here’s the story of a guy in Amarillo, Texas who changed industries in light of the current economy.

A New Start

Shaky Job Market Drives People to Trucking

After five years at an oilrig, Ben Touchstone was laid off. Leaving him, like many others, looking for a new start.

"I read the newspaper everyday, everyday I'd find four or five places that needed a truck driver," he said about his job search. "And all of them required a CDL."

Which led him to Amarillo College's Truck Driving Academy. The school prepares students to get their commercial driver's license (CDL).

"Once you have the CDL you can drive a school bus, a greyhound. You will have license to do that," said Robert Mathews, Truck Driving Academy Director of Operations.

Elen Harding joined the class to become a bus driver when her career in nursing took a wrong turn.

"I decided since that's not working out, I'd go here and do something different and make a better life for myself," Harding said.

"People want to go to work. You tell me where you can go for six weeks and come out with a profession," said Mathews.

Mathews says his classes remain full because of the high demand for truck drivers, especially in our area.

"This is I-40 corridor, everything goes past here from coast to coast," he added.

For Touchstone, who has been out of work since November, the opportunity of work is something he doesn't want to pass up.

"I just want a job," he said, “a job in an industry that won't run dry.”

In my decades in this industry I’ve seen shortages of trucks and shortages of loads. As a freight broker you work with both sides. Many truck drivers drive for a while then when they want off the road some they train to be freight brokers. No training is ever wasted because it gives you more options and keeps your brain muscle in shape. Now is a great time to learn something new, switch careers and start a new adventure. It may be scarey but worth working through the fear.

If you are even considering any job in the transportation industry, give me a call. I’ve worked in most of those jobs and love to tak about my experiences. Have a great week as we reflect on approaching Easter.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Great Lane

A great lane of freight, that is.

My wife is an interior decorator (when she's not helping me with the school... and everything else in my life). She was decorating a home recently and asked the home owner what she did for a living. Turns out for 18 years this brilliant lady has done an incredible job delivering phone books all over the country. My wife told her about our freight brokerage and would love to give her a quote if she ever needs help getting a load delivered. Just give us a call. Here is her version of the story:

"Janis Roach is so sweet. She was decorating my house and we got to talking about business. I explained to her that I'm in charge of getting phone books delivered from the printing house to the tabbing shop then to the various markets then to the end user. A bulk of my time is spent traveling around arranging home delivery in the various markets.

Janis told me her husband Jeff was a freight broker and taught freight brokering. He could help me with shipping the books across country if I ever needed. Because of economic concerns I was shopping prices on deliveries so I gave Jeff a call for a quote. He was so very thankful for the opportunity. He found me a great rate for delivery of the books from the printer to the tabber so I tried him out on that lane. He did such an outstanding job that I have given him more lanes. Jeff is so easy to work with and very accommodating. He has given me the best customer service. Shipping phone books is not easy. We move 6 million books a year... when you consider we move them from the printer to the tabber then to the market that is like moving 12 million books. 11 months of the year we have 4 to 5 weeks to get up to 700,000 books from printer to end user. It is very busy. Lots of details to cover. Jeff is now a part of my team. I couldn't do it without a very reliable team."

I am so thankful for the trust she has put in me. You never know from where your next piece of business will come. No matter the state of the economy there are loads that need to be moved across the country. When the economy is a little uncertain, like now, excellence in customer service is even more important. I try to treat a customer's loads like it were my own. I feel like I have to earn their continued business by handling the current business with the utmost care. I do my best to get every load delivered on time. If along the way a problem arises, I quickly let my customer know of the situation and my plan of action.

Keep up you calls, service your customer well and you will succeed.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Directions by Joe

New research conducted by The Coffee Association of America (CAOA) found that owners of Navigational Systems are heavy coffee drinkers. So a leading producer of coffee and a well know GPS systems manufacturer are teaming up to produce a navigation system that is also a coffee maker. The unit will be called "Directions by Joe". The unit will fit easily in the cup holder of most consoles. The unit can be voice activated for either brewing a fresh cup of coffee or getting directions. Simply speak what drink you would like from hot chocolate to latte and the machine starts percolating. Joe will tell you when your beverage is ready. Or tell the unit where you are headed and he'll give you turn by turn directions. The unit will fit all O'Bama's proposed energy efficient guidelines for appliances. It will use a hybrid of solar, wind and cigarette lighter energy.

The drink solutions are highly concentrated into a packet the size of a penny so each unit can make up to 15 cups before needing a refill. In taste tests, consumers found the coffee gourmet equivalent.

In addition to brewing coffee, and giving directions the unit can also charge a cell phone, power a laptop computer and has MP3 capabilities using the vehicle speaker system.

The inventors predict that truck drivers will be one of the top purchasers of "Directions by Joe" since they are on the road so much. With "Directions by Joe" truckers can find their destinations easily and stay awake in style with a gourmet brew.

Now if they can only figure out how to bake up a fresh coffee cake to go along with the Cup of Joe.

To get more information on Directions by Joe dial 1-800-APRILS FOOLS.

Moving Forward

Jeff Roach