Any sales person worth their salt has dreamed at one time or another of owning their own business. Hustling day-in and day-out to close deals and make someone else rich can wear on even the most seasoned and successful LTL rep. There’s just something so gratifying about being able to make your own way in the world; to sell for yourself instead of someone else. It is, without a doubt, the quintessential American dream. So then why aren’t more seasoned direct reps jumping ship and seizing their proverbial slice of the American pie?
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
There’s an old saying that goes, “You know what you know, you know what you don’t know, and you don’t know what you don’t know.” Sometimes it’s just that simple. Direct reps working for the big carriers simply don’t know that other possibilities exist. Good managers aren’t going to educate their reps as to what else may be out there for them. A manager’s job is to keep good reps selling and making money for their company.
The reality for great carrier reps is that other opportunities DO exist, often better, more lucrative opportunities. Most reps aren’t ready to make the big leap and start their own freight company. Becoming a Freight Agent or Freight Broker is typically where successful reps migrate. Becoming a freight agent offers many of the upsides of business ownership without the hassle of the administrative headaches that also come with owning your own business.
Misunderstanding What a Freight Agent Does
A freight agent is just a rep by another name working to make a different company rich, right? Wrong.
A freight agent or freight broker typically works as an independent businessperson who’s attached to a carrier or 3PL company. The freight agent sells all of the same products and services they’re used to selling with the big carrier (and often more products), but a successful freight agent will double or triple their earnings as a freight agent versus as a direct rep. How is this possible?
Carrier reps spend more time supporting their clients than they do selling new clients. A Good 3PL company will act as a resource to their freight agents, lightening the support load from the freight agent’s shoulders. Once the administrative and support issues are minimized, the sky literally becomes the limit as far as what a good freight agent can earn. Unlike rep positions, commissions for freight agents are uncapped.