Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Craig Pretzinger, Co-Founder of iDudes LLC & TeleDudes, and Co-Host of The Insurance Dudes, located in Tucson, AZ, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We help insurance agents 10x their quote volume! At Teledudes, we developed and trademarked the TeleFunnel, which is a proven system to lock in predictable sales, enabling stability and scaling. Our customers are mainly Property and Casualty Insurance agents who spend at least $5k monthly on leads. These agents understand that they must spend on leads but may not have built the most effective process to ensure results. We recruit, interview, train, and retain a telemarketing team for them who calls on their real-time leads and gets them more phone and quote activity than they've ever seen!
Tell us about yourself
Back in 2018, I linked up with Jason Feltman, and we started a podcast to gain access to some of the best P&C insurance agents and marketers in the world. We wanted to build an Insurance Agency Operating System to pave the way to predictable sales because we were both interested in opening new insurance agency locations. We wanted to stop guessing and start just getting results. Real-time web leads were attractive because they were way safer (and way less expensive) than live call transfer calls. Additionally, with paid live transfers, we learned we had NO idea whether they were TCPA-safe or even compliant with our agency standards. They were also way safer than aged leads, and internet leads require only 20% of the dials that aged leads need. We knew we needed dials, and we also learned most insurance agents have no concept of the dozens of dials they need to get internet lead results. We realized the podcast would help agents learn what they had to do to be successful with a TeleFunnel.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
We put the plan into action in our own agencies and wrote over 7 million new business premiums between our two new agencies between 2019 and 2021. After first proving that it could be done, we opened Teledudes in early 2020 and won several awards with ClickFunnels for hitting milestones with our TeleFunnel results. Being recognized on stage in front of over 6000 people for being in the top 1% of sales in multiple companies was a really amazing feat, and we are grateful to have created something that's helped 100s of agents scale their own agencies!
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
As we grew our own insurance agencies, while simultaneously growing the Insurance Dudes Podcast and Teledudes has, at times, been a challenge. The toughest thing to do with so many balls in the air is to stay focused on the right activities to ensure that momentum doesn't slow down. It's easy to get shiny object syndrome and try lots of new things out when, in reality, the path may already be paved, and all the cool tricks, tools, and tips that can seem enticing are just distractions. Staying focused may be the most important concept that's the most challenging to stick to.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
First, I'd recommend only doing something you love. If you don't love it, it won't be sustainable, and you'll lack the passion for fully committing the attention and resources your new business will need to succeed.
Second, start today. Do not wait. Your friends and family may be the most unaligned with your vision. Be prepared to be told that you're crazy and that sticking to playing inside the "box" is safer, more natural, and what most people do. Do not let the opinions of others or the fear of what they might think to prevent you from getting your message out!
Finally, make it your mission to serve your avatar. Service first ensures the authenticity of your message: since you're delivering something you love, you're going 100% on it without harboring the fear of what others think, and you're being genuine with the intention of service to your ideal clients, you will, over time, naturally attract people to your mission. Do not give up; it'll happen, but it may take longer than you consider ideal.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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