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18 Wheels Justice Trucking Business Knowledge HQ, Trucking Books, Sustainable Driver Retention, Our Trucking Books are designed for Small and Large Trucking Companies. Welcome to our Trucking Blog History Page! Read Our Featured Article on Negotiating with Freight Brokers.  We also have very effective  Truck Driver and Owner Operator Advertising. Trucking Books on Training, Recruiting and Retention

 Welcome to 18 Wheels of Justice! Our trucking articles and blogs are educational and designed to aid truck drivers, owner operators and trucking companies.  The 18 Wheels of Justice Trucking Article on this page is titled, The Joy of Negotiating and it covers Negotiating with Brokers.
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18 Wheels of Justice Featured Trucking Blog Article

Good Morning and Welcome.

Joy can be found in every endeavor with an understanding of the process.  I think if there was a way to divide our country into two types of people, the most effective and decisive way would be to divide them into the two categories.  Those who enjoy to negotiate and those who don't.  I don't think there is anyone on the fence.  People either like it or they don't.  I think the best sales people tend to be "people pleaser's" and are easily offended and uneasy when a relationship they have developed with a customer or broker turns to a negotiation over a specific load, lane or contract.  They tend to view it as something they may have done wrong in the relationship.  It becomes uneasy very quickly.  Do your best to make the other person comfortable with the negotiating process, also.  The best negotiators and sales people tend to be the best communicators. They know how they want the conversation end and they know how to get there in an easy manner. 

The conversation begins and ends with a purpose.  The higher rate is not slipped in near the end of the conversation, it is addressed and debated during the entire conversation in a polite and consistent manner.  In the spot market, the last thing you want is an auction or bidding type of process where numbers are simply thrown back and forth, it's ineffective and makes you seem greedy and doesn't promote a relationship.  This is true from a carrier, broker or customer standpoint.  If you have a customer who is constantly beating you down on your prices, you eventually lose interest, knowing another a cheaper carrier will ultimately get the business.  Let them have it, eventually they will learn the true cost.  The most important thing to remember is the design of every negotiation.  All of them follow this pattern:

1. Pre-Negotiation.  "Framing and Setting the Stage"

Know what rate you want before you discuss the load, this stage is not about the rate,  you want to ask many questions and listen for items about this particular load that will merit a higher rate.  This is "Framing".  You are bringing up the value of your truck for this particular for this particular transaction at this moment in time.  Does the load have to pick up by noon, and your truck is empty, 50 miles away at 8am.?  What are his chances of finding someone else more suitable? and so on.  Have your list in front of you.  This will all become very fluid and fast with a little practice.  If he asks what rate you need, don't answer,  if he offers a rate, don't acknowledge it!  You don't have all of the information you need yet.  Each load you haul is sacred, you only have ONE load you can put on your $100,000+ asset(and don't forget the $200,000 you have spent to find and keep a driver for this asset).  Most of all, take your time.

We will cover the next two stages on the next two blogs, stay tuned...

Upcoming - 2. Deadlock, Stalemate and Arrested Development

Upcoming - 3.  Acceptance and Settlement.  A Transaction is Born!


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  1. Bobtail Liability Defined:  A term coined to apply to auto liability coverage for an owner/operator after a load has been delivered and while the truck is not being used for trucking purposes.   Wikipedia Definition
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