Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Life in the Freight Industry after Graduation

One of our incredible graduates, Pamela George, shares her experience of working in the industry after training at Brooke. Reflecting back on her journey thus far, she shares valuable insight and advice for future brokers and agents. Read her full story below. You don’t want to miss this one.

Life in the Freight Industry after Graduation

I like many other folks embarked upon my journey in the freight industry full of excitement and ready to do it all… I sold a small niche transportation company in Atlanta called Need A Ride, LLC. I picked up logistical transporters for the largest driveaway company in the country. I learned some of the lingo, I asked questions, and I learned a bit from the Owner Operators for 5 years. I thought, how difficult can this be? After all I had so many people in the industry tell me that I could do it, I didn’t need any training, they taught themselves, etc…
After much research and due diligence, I decided to attend Brooke Transportation Training Solutions. I am a hands-on person and knew what I knew, but I wanted to discover what I didn’t know. I spoke to the owners of Brooke about 4-5 times before I made my decision. I needed to be sure that I could get my questions answered and future support for questions that would come up. As I took my class online, they were kind, patient and knowledgeable each time.
I also attended Brooke’s hands-on training class. I got to make calls to real live shippers and network and interact with other students and successful graduates! I loved it!
I started my class online. It was informative, engaging and very interactive. I enjoyed it, but I soon realized that this was more than I can handle all by myself. It was a lot of moving pieces. That was my “aha” moment…. Remember, I was ready to do it all. It’s a good thing I did not listen to those who said I didn’t need training…
I am SUPERWOMAN and the best part about being SUPERWOMAN is knowing when to get other Super Friends…That’s where life in the freight industry after graduation was born.
My first set of Super Friends is the team at Brooke. They were ready to assist me with real world situations. My second set of Super Friends is the broker, which comes with other Super Friends intact. I decided to be an agent. I can sell ice to an Eskimo - sales is my strong suit, but I needed and wanted a back office.
I discovered early on that the phone was going to be a HUGE part of my day and I needed help with the back-office piece - a broker with an adequate license (more on this in a few). This can be a tricky one. I was new and didn’t really know what I needed or desired from a broker. All I knew was that I needed one and since I didn’t have a book of business, I couldn’t afford to be picky or could I? (more on this in a few).
Before you graduate, I strongly suggest deciding what your sweet spot is. By that I mean:
  • Do you want to be an agent and secure shippers?
  • Do you want to find rates and dispatch the carriers?
  • Do you want to onboard the shippers/carriers?
  • Do you want to be a Broker? This is ideal if you have a full team in place to handle all the above.
Back to the above underlined statements:
  1. Know if you need a broker with asset or a non-asset broker (and know the difference).
  2. It’s exciting that a broker wants you without a book of business, but I encourage you to interview the broker, just as you are being interviewed. This will aid in making a good decision opposed to moving around from broker to broker. Do your homework ahead of time and you can avoid the broker shuffle. However, if by chance you find yourself changing brokers, it’s ok as long as you learn from it. We never lose, we learn.
I have a few “Pamela-isms” for you:
  1. Never ever sign a non-compete. You must grow your book of business.
  2. Be disciplined and focused. Set a goal of 100 calls per day. Use a CRM to log your tasks and follow up. Here a few free CRM suggestions to try: Insightly, ZOHO, and Hubspot.
  3. No gossiping.
  4. Communicate with your team regularly.
  5. Stay on top of your clients and get to know them.
  6. If something happens with your client, APOLOGIZE quickly. There is NO passing on the blame.
  7. Stay connected to peers, mentors, and others in your industry.
  8. Be flexible, turn on a dime, and keep it moving.
  9. DO NOT TAKE THINGS PERSONALLY… You will experience getting hung up on.
  10. Love what you do and let your passion shine through.
To this day, my experience with the Brooke team has been:
  • Informative
  • Positive
  • Encouraging
  • Real unbiased  
  • Knowledgeable
  • Honest
  • Insightful
  • Pragmatic
  • Full of Feedback. This is hard to find. You are not just a tuition - you become family. They truly want you to succeed and their success is tied to yours.

Written by Pamela George, 2017

Thank you for sharing your story, Pamela. This is great advice for anyone that is interested in becoming a freight broker or agent in this exciting industry. Your hard work is paying off. You're truly a rockstar! 

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

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