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Old 09-11-2007, 06:03 AM
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Default The art of negotiation

This is a post by Bonnie on the GetLoaded message board and I thought everyone might like to read it. Some of the things she mentions I'm already doing, the rest, I will start doing.




I have a map program on my computer that is up at all times. When a broker calls with a load I get the following info from them first:

Company name, phone number and who you are speaking to

Pick-up city/state

Delivery city/state

date/time of both

is this expedite? Very important because if it is you can figure they are getting probably $3.00 a mile or more to move it! Don't let them nickel and dime you.

weight of load (very important for me and I will give a little break if its really light...if its max weight...no break)

product (if its grocery, I add money just for the shear aggravation I am sure to suffer before its over!)

Is this a pallet exchange? If yes, run like hell because its a problem load no matter who is paying for the blasted pallets! That means its probably grocery which means endless frustration getting loaded and unloaded, lumpers who by their very nature will instill the desire to commit murder in your otherwise peace-loving driver, arguments over everything.....not worth it...RUN or make it worth your while.

Then ask them their rate.

They will either give me a rate or ask what I would charge. Either way I ask them to hold for a second while I run the miles. Never take their numbers, run it yourself. I ask them the rate first so I have time to look at the numbers while looking up the miles.

After running the miles, I figure all the things I want to factor into the load, such as good or bad destination, weight of load and give them my price.

They will either choke on their tongue, ask me if I'm nuts, or tell me they will call their customer and see if they will pay it....to which I say thank you and call me if you can make it work out.

Sometimes they will ask if I have any room to play with the rate and we will discuss it further. If they tell me I'm nuts, we don't discuss anything else other than to wish them a nice day and hang up.

Now if they give you a price and its not what you want simply tell them your sorry but you won't be able to help them with that load at that price. They will either ask you what you CAN do it for or say have a nice day and hang up on you.

Even if the price you want is double what they offer, tell them anyway, don't be intimidated. DONT EVER say "well...I'd like to get this much" That sounds weak and they know you will cave. Simply state "the rate for that truck is XXX per mile which comes out to a total of XXX". Then pause and say nothing.

They will either say no way....your nuts....or amazingly enough that they will check with the customer and get back to me. I can't tell you how many time someone would offer me a load for say, 800 and I would come back and say my rate is 1550 and they would say let me run that by my customer and see if they will pay it. At first I would be so intimidated and would feel stupid for asking for that much and sit there with my teeth clenched waiting for them to tell me how stupid I was, but if you do it and do it with conviction, not rudeness of any kind, you will be amazed at the response you will get most of the time.

Bart...do you see who controls the conversation doing it that way? YOU do, not the broker. You decide if you want to negotiate or not. That is the biggest difference in you posting your truck and having them call you. If they call you, you should control the call or at least feel equal.

If you are calling them looking for the load you are at their mercy....you need them more than they need you. They know it, know you have to get somewhere and you will always.....or almost always get very low rates with no negotiation more than maybe $50.

One more thing, NEVER EVER tell them that you NEED to get anywhere. That too is a guaranteed lowball rate. They know that too so they will always ask you in the beginning "where do you need to go with that truck". My standard answer is "my driver is flexible and more rate motivated than destination motivated". That keeps us on an even playing field and they dont have me over a barrel.


If I post my truck, then go look at what is available for that truck I know what to expect. However, there are some areas in new england where they wouldn't call you if their load was rotting on a dock! I despise making calls to those people because they treat you like dirt....so therefore if I end up in New England I will post my truck only. If nobody calls, I move the truck elsewhere. Even if there are 100 loads posted.....I WONT call. I can't handle the boiling anger they cause in me when they insult me or talk down to me, so rather than lose my christianity over it I will deadhead the truck. Now I will check with Landstar and the brokers I have used in the past when I am up there....but to cold call on a posted load to say....Hub in Boston or some of the others....NO.


With all that said....let me continue.....I don't normally even bother with the detention, lumpers or any of the other stuff until after we agree on a price....seems like a waste of breath if you aren't going to take the load.

Once you agree on a rate....then say there are a few more details I need:

Are there any lumpers? Rarely, if ever have I had a broker ask me to eat the lumper costs. I wouldn't...and if there are lumpers they will normally right then say yes and how they normally handle payment of them. Some will ask you to pay and they will reimburse you with a receipt....that should be a last resort. I request that they pay them direct with a com-chek or give me a com-chek to cover it.


What is your detention policy? If their policy is acceptable to you then ask them to simply put the lumper and detention information on the confirmation sheet. My standard detention is $50/hour after 2, with a max of $500 for an overnight. If I am dealing with a good customer I may negotiate it down to $40 or $35...but no lower than that. Make sure (and I have been lax on this lately) that you either have it spelled out on confirmation sheet or have them sign your addendum with those things on it.

Once you have agreed to everything they will send you their package. You don't need to check them out before accepting the load, you stand a chance of losing it if you do that....you have nothing to lose by waiting on their paperwork.

Once you get their package, check them out on safersys.org and check to make sure their insurance and authority are active. Then check the insurance history. If they have changed insurance companies a lot....that is a red flag for me. Then check their authority history, if they have had revocations of any kind....thats a BIG red flag because it usually means they have either had financial issues, they went in and out of business (not stable) or that they don't do their paperwork properly...all of which are red flags that should be addressed further. If they have been in business less than a year you have to weigh the importance of that as well. Some carriers are adamant that they won't do business with anyone not in business at least a year....but thats a personal preference.

If they are clean in safersys then come here and do a quick search. If they are real bad, you will find out in a hurry here. You may want to call on their references....but I feel like its a waste of time because they surely would only list people who would say great things about them. Others may have different opinions on this one...I just think its a waste of time.

IF all that checks out than go for it, sign the stuff (making sure you cross out and initial anything that says broker is acting as agent for carrier) and send it all back to them along with your carrier packet, which should include a company information sheet with all pertinent info on it, a w-9 signed, a copy of your authority and an insurance certificate. Some brokers require you to get an insurance certificate showing them as the holder. You should have a standard fax form to use to send to your insurance agent requesting that giving the name, address and fax number of the broker AND request a copy be faxed to you for your records.

If there were any red flags in safersys, then you may want to invest in running a credit report before going any further or at least talk to the broker about the issues.

Now....whats next....after you have sent everything back, they will send you the confirmation sheet. When you get that look it over very close and read the whole thing! If there is ANYTHING that isn't what you agreed on call them and fix it right then IN WRITING. Dont ever accept verbal changes of any kind on a confirmation sheet...EVER.

When all that is done you are ready to roll.

Did I miss anything gang? If not, Bart...its your job to copy and paste this somewhere so you can pass it on to any newbies in the future!

I'm taking the rest of the night off now!

Bonnie
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Old 09-11-2007, 09:24 AM
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the rates 1.85 a mile, under 500 miles is 2.10 a mile.


don`t like it? "thank you come again"
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Old 09-11-2007, 09:41 AM
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Good post and information.
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Old 09-11-2007, 01:54 PM
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Good post. I would also add something about tarps. I don't take a load which needs tarping without being paid extra. The amount varies according to the difficulty and type of tarping needed. Most brokers try to not pay for tarping. It is an added service which should have an additional charge. It is free work unless you are compensated.
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Old 09-11-2007, 04:02 PM
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good info, this should be a sticky
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Old 09-12-2007, 01:31 AM
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Great post,reminds why I love calling my dispatcher everyday and asking where I will be going today.2 min max wam bam thank you mam!
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Old 09-12-2007, 01:33 AM
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What Maddux Said - Aye 2nd That.
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Old 09-12-2007, 01:44 AM
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Great info Steve, thanks for posting it. Sticky seems appropriate!
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Old 09-14-2007, 05:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike3fan
Great post,reminds why I love calling my dispatcher everyday and asking where I will be going today.2 min max wam bam thank you mam!
Common, it's got to be fun! :lol:
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Old 09-14-2007, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
They will either choke on their tongue, ask me if I'm nuts, or tell me they will call their customer and see if they will pay it
LOL this is sooooo true. Any other answer than one of these and you are a sucker. You maybe don't know it yet, but you are.
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