Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Thanks Graduates

Here's what a few of our recent graduates from our Charlotte, North Carolina class had to say about their experience at Brooke Transportation Training Solutions:

Instruction here is straightforward and easy to comprehend. I like the personalized atmosphere, which made it possible to take the time to think of any questions or problems, that you want to have explained. Also this course includes motivational factors which leave you felling like you are ready to take on the competition and become successful in this field. Doug Reel

Prior to taking this class I had very little to no knowledge of trucking. I didn’t even know what a freight broker was or what they did. My eyes have been opened to a whole new world of logistics. I left the class very enthusiastic and armed with a wealth of information to get started. Ephriam Martin

The class was taught with a style that was easy to understand and follow. The content given was enlightening and very informal. I recommend this class to anyone who is interested in becoming a freight broker or freight agent, you will not be disappointed. Wayne Dawson

Very enlightening. Both the material and discussion helped to broaden my knowledge of the freight and transportation industry in the United States. Becoming a freight broker entrepreneur is no easy task and all the information one can collect will never be of any waste. Our co-coordinator was very knowledgeable and well prepared to give and answer all our questions. We all gained an extended family not just business education. Idonuagbe O Akugun

Thank you. I now understand the link between Shipper-Broker-Carrier. This will enable me to enhances my trucking business and get my brokerage business of and running with a great deal of confidence. The course is worth every penny and I would recommend this course to my associates. Ephriam Martin, Jr.

The class was great. Very informative and helpful. Thank you very much. Stephen Bird.

What a great group. thanks to the excellent teaching of Ron and Susie Moore!

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Is Freight Brokering for You?

Here’s a great article addressing the challenges of being your own boss I found on one of my favorite sites for great articles:

When you start out as an agent of another freight brokerage you minimize some of the pitfalls to starting your own business.

Do You Have What It Takes to Be an Entrepreneur?

By Mitchell York, Guide

Despite the difficult economy -- and in many ways because of it -- entrepreneurship in America is alive and well. Take a look around you, on Main Street and on the Web. Even when unemployment is high and consumer confidence is low, there are new businesses opening as fast as others are closing. Many of them are being launched by people who lost their jobs and either didn't want to, or could not, find another.

If you're thinking of taking the entrepreneurial plunge, it's important to know to what it takes to be successful before you make what could be the biggest financial and emotional commitment of your life. Here are five ways to know if entrepreneurship may be right for you.

Are You Running Away from a Problem or Running Toward a Vision?

Some people feel they have no choice but to start a business when all they really want is to find a good job. A few of these so-called "forced entrepreneurs" may come up with the next big thing, but many don't have the heart to be in a business for the long run. So do some soul-searching and figure out if you're running toward a defining vision of your future as a business owner, or away from a problem. And if all you really want is a great job, you can learn how to find one much more easily than you can find success as an entrepreneur.

Do You Have Support?

Hillary Clinton was right. It takes a village -- not just to raise a child, but to start a business. Before you start a business, you need to have a strong support network in place. It starts with your family. If your spouse/partner and children aren't fully behind your idea, you have more work to do. If you can't "make the sale" to them, how are you going to convince customers to buy from you, partners to do business with you, a supply chain to give you credit, and a bank to give you financing? Entrepreneurship starts at home.

Do You Have Deep Reserves?

Convention wisdom says you should have 6-12 months of living expenses in the bank to live on until your business becomes cash flow positive. That is not nearly enough. I advocate having five years of capital saved. That sounds like a lot…and it is. But most business failures happen because the owner runs out of cash, just at the time when in another few months they may have seen daylight. So have as much of a bankroll as you can to allow for unforeseen contingencies.

Do You Have Good Entrepreneur Role Models?

When you were a kid playing in Little League, what major leaguer's batting stance did you imitate? Children always look for cues for modeling their behavior. Smart adults do, too. Look around your circle of family and friends for successful entrepreneurs and figure out what makes them tick. Do you have the same stuff? If not, can you get it? If you don't know anyone personally who you can study, hit the library bookshelf and study up on people like Ray Kroc (founder of McDonald's), Donald Trump, Walt Disney, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Mary Kay, Howard Schultz (founder of Starbuck's) and Michael Dell. Read their memoirs and biographies about them and understand the commonalities of all the greats.

Do You Have the Key Skills of Entrepreneurship?

There are hundreds of things you need to know how to do to be a successful entrepreneur, but the most important ones are these:
High Risk Tolerance: You have to be able to stare into the abyss of entrepreneurial uncertainty and not falter.

Excellent Salesmanship: You absolutely have to have at least a little Steve Ballmer in you to be successful as an entrepreneur. You may have the greatest invention in the world, but if you can't communicate its importance to a variety of constituencies (customers, employees, suppliers, lenders), you're not going to succeed.

An Independent Temperament: Entrepreneurs consistently go against the tide. They start companies when others are retrenching; they don't care about being rejected time and time again; and they trust their gut.

Great Negotiating Ability: If you negotiate well for everything from a store lease to contracting services to website design, you'll realize that every dollar saved keeps your business in business through the peaks and valleys of cash flow.

Emotional Intelligence: This is a term coined by behaviorist and author Daniel Goleman. "EI," as it's often referred to, is a set of skills that allows you to understand and influence the behavior of yourself and others. Being able to listen, reason with and persuade is different from being a good negotiator but just as important.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My First Load

Here's a blog I posted a few years back. It's my story of my first load.

We had just had our first baby girl. Amanda Brooke Roach. She was a gift from god. I had just quit my 50k a year sales job and opened my own freight broker agency. I had a mentor that told me that if I would work for him for six months he would teach me everything I needed to know about opening my own brokerage. We were living in my parents’ garage while saving money for our first house so to say money was tight is an understatement. If it took .50 cents to get around the world I could not get out of sight - I mean I was broke.

So off I went to the west cost/ El Paso. That is where my mentor had his brokerage. He showed me his operation and then sent me home on a 30% commission deal. That means I would make 30% of any money I made while working as an agent for Orion. His brokerage.

I always could sell - can't explain it but selling was natural for me. I was the kid in school that won every contest for selling stuff for fundraisers. I am not a good athlete so that was my way of telling everyone in school - lookout here comes the best selling kid in elementary school. Well you can imagine how far that got me with the ladies back then.

Anyway - he gave me a manufacturers guide and a carrier guide. The internet was really not a viable business tool in 1992. So we called shippers from my small little dining room table and sure enough old Jeff had an account within 2 weeks. The deal was this - I had 5-6 trucks a day of fiber going to Amarillo and the shipper said he would not pay more than 575.00 per load. According to every carrier I called in the carrier guide that was not a good rate. I knew because of the way they laughed. We started carriers on Monday and starting with the A's and by wed we were still calling A’s and I believe it was the next Wed we got to the F's.

FFE. Frozen Food Express out of Fort Worth Texas. This time he didn't laugh at me. He said,”young man what exactly do you have? Again I told him,”I have 6 loads a day of fiber coming out of
Waco going to Amarillo and I could only pay 425.00. (150) profit per load.” He replied,”I am sending empty trucks from Dallas to pick up loads of meat in Amarillo.”
So I found my carrier. For six months we moved six loads a day every day from Waco to Amarillo and we made around 150.00 per load. That calculated to 300.00 a day for me and my new broke family.

Just think if we had quit after the E's and not made that next call. In our case we had no other option. They say the best employees are poor, smart and motivated. Believe you me, that was me.
90% of success in life is showing up. Doing the work. I catch myself sneaking into the next room to watch ESPN which is okay but schedule those times as breaks then get to work.

Way to grow!

Jeff Roach - President
Brooke Transportation Training Solutions

Thursday, January 21, 2010

No Sales Script

What’s so wrong with a phone sales script?

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

Monday, January 11, 2010

Online Of Course

Brooke Transportation Training offers our Freight Broker Training Course both live and online. Which do you choose? We started out over a decade ago only offering live courses in the Dallas area. I built a successful freight brokerage starting in my garage then moving to an office. As I worked for decades in the transportation industry I saw a need for training in freight brokering, especially training that encouraged integrity. As our reputation for quality training grew, we were asked to have classes in other areas of the country and in various freight brokerages. Then the need for an online course became evident. The growth of online education is incredible. I am a strong proponent for learning your whole life. Ain’t it great you can get a great education in your pajamas with a laptop. To make sure our online course was of the highest standard we teamed up with the largest provider of online courses to produce our online course, Gatlin education.

Gatlin provides and we offer both courses for professional growth (like ours) and courses that are accredited towards a degree.

I found this great article on about the validity of online courses. Here are some excerpts. Click to read the whole article.

Is Online For Real?

…Fear not, online programs are real and they are offered by many big name, fully accredited, and well known schools like DeVry University, University of Phoenix, Kaplan University, Penn State and Grantham - just to name a few.

The key to remember is that the schools must be fully accredited. If they are, then the degree will be as valuable as any traditional college or university degree. The truth is that the diploma you earn from an online school will be just like any other, and will not say "online."

The more important questions you need to ask are:

* Does military Tuition Assistance or the GI Bill cover the costs of the courses?
* Does the school grant academic credit for military schools and experience (as recommended by the American Council on Education (ACE)?
* Does the course delivery (CD-Rom, e-mail, internet, etc) fit your needs and abilities?
* Does the school have the degree program that fits your education goals?
* And does the school offer scholarships or discounts for military service members?

So if you think "online" may be the best fit for you, we encourage you to begin looking for the school that meets your needs. Schools usually have free information packets they will mail you with answers to the questions above, more on tuition costs, and an application.

To register for freight broker course live or online, to ask questions or browse our other course offerings go to . You can find live course dates and locations, online course sign up info and interesting articles.

What will you learn in 2010?

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach