Speaker: Gerry Edtl, Partner & VP of Sales, Gerry Edtl Consulting
Tell us about yourself and what you're passionate about!
Gerry Edtl: I started back in the 70s, right out of high school. I went to work for my mom and dad. They owned a cleaning franchise, and I needed a job. I became a technician, and for a couple of years I worked as a technician in their business. I learned I could do sales, and I learned to go door to door. In the 70s you could go door to door. Later I learned how to use the telephone to do the same thing, but I learned pretty much how to make sales happen, how to hunt, how to prospect. And I got picked up by the corporate franchisor, and I worked off and on for them throughout the 34 years, back and forth into the franchise business, franchisee business, back to corporate. Long story short, 34 years all in, I ended my career. I was their national sales trainer for disaster restoration, and when I left the company, I started a new career as a consultant, and I have, for 14 years now, been working with business owners, helping them get their own work. And it's what I'm really passionate about because so many guys are stuck dependent upon third-party administrators or they are paying huge fees for pay-per-click and ads and Adwords that they get no no work from. It's just the lead, they're paying for it, and they're stuck with that or they're paying plumbers to get them leads. And it is so much fun when you can help somebody create and implement a system of generating their own work so they can really experience that freedom that they want in their business. They have a system and process that they can implement and get their own business, and it's fun. It's exciting for us to help them do that and know that they can be independent in their business.
How do you help your clients?
Gerry Edtl: I help our clients implement a system of generating revenue. It's long term. It's done through referral sources such as insurance agency owners and brokers, realtors, property managers, that type of effect. We help them identify the right target. We show them how to differentiate themselves from everybody else in the marketplace. And then strategically we help them understand the dynamic of the agency's staff, business owners, staff that works for them. They need to buy in and then develop the business habit. So all that's systematic in our process of helping them learn how it's not just getting somebody to say, "Oh great, I'm going to use you." It's getting them to actually use you, and that's what we're after in this process.
What is the most important piece of advice you'd like to share?
Gerry Edtl: My advice is to understand the old Chinese proverb. What's the best time to plant an apple tree? The answer, of course, is well 10 years ago. Well, what's the second best time then to plant an apple tree? And that's today. And my advice is understand waiting for developing your long-term sources of referrals business, waiting is the worst thing you can do, because it takes time. You want to get that going now in your business and begin the process of cultivating what will become an orchard of producing revenue for you from these different referral sources. So don't wait. Get started right away.