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Hi. I am a shipping company director, transport academic, author, family man and all round nice guy. I have worked as shipbroker, shipowner, freight trader and bulk charterer, in senior positions, with some of the largest and most disrespected (joke) companies in the world. Ask my advice on all things shipping and you will receive my blunt and always honest answer. Hang around to learn more about chartering and ship broker salaries, chartering and ship broker jobs, chartering and shipbroker recruitment agencies, cheap freight, maritime education, chartering and ship broker qualifications, become a ship broker, tips on how to be a successful bulk shipping executive, philosophy, Zen and the art of shipbroking, and much more. Yours The Virtual Shipbroker (recently proclaimed the guru of shipbroking) Copyright © 2009-17 by Virtualshipbroker

Monday, June 29, 2009

Fixing machine - tip 11

As alluded to previously, gaining the status of 'fixing machine' sometimes has more to do with perception rather than results.

If one can gain a reputation, rightly or wrongly' for being a great broker, this inturn can leed to more fixtures. People like being associated with winners and clients are no different.

So whats my number one way to appear like a shipbroking genius!

Tip 11 - The need for speed!

Over the years one hears stories of great brokers who seem to always have information at the tips of their fingers. Brokers who can recite fixtures from the tops of their heads, or who can give you rate ideas without blinking an eye. There are brokers who know the exact distance in days between various ports, and those that can give accurate estimates of port costs in far flung places around the globe.

Heres the scoop - when asked a question always have an answer on the ready. Many times questions are asked by customers as a matter of conversation and having a broker that can answer quickly with some sort of authority makes a client feel secure. Key point!

Here's the scoop part 2 - Even if you dont know the exact answer - answer quickly with your best guestimate. A great broker knows how to backtrack quickly if the information is questioned down the track.

Be careful that when you do give quick answers that they are as accurate as possible and that you always leave open a way out. It also needs to be remembered that these questions usually arise during a nonformal phone or lunch conversations, one that has meandered through a myriad of different topics over a period of time. Therefore offering an opinion in this forum will not get you into trouble.

Here is the scoop part 3 - lets just say a client has asked you what the market is from USG to Japan for a certain size and you do the right thing and quickly state usd 20.00. The client has no idea and seems to accept this. Once the conversation ends quickly do some research and if 20 bucks is correct then you are a quick thinking genius. If it is wrong then you have the opportunity to ring the client back and tell him that the market is infact usd 25.00. Advie him/her that the reason for the difference is because the fixture report that you read yesterday had load and discharge terms that were completely different to the standard market load and discharge terms. This will cover your back!

Is this manipulation or is this salesmanship - you may ask? Well that is a matter of opinion. Most things in life get down to understanding of human behaviour. IMO as long as the correct information does find its way to the client before a purchase decision is made (and as soon as possible) then it is ok.

So in conclusion always try to answer questions immediately if possible. This creates a good vibe and instills confidence. If you are unsure of the answer you have given find out quickly and use the new info as an excuse to have another friendly chat with your client.


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