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Gerry O'Brion Is Announced as the 2024 Exit Planning Summit Keynote Speaker
by Colleen Kowalski on January 25, 2024
Exit Planning Institute is excited to announce the keynote speaker for our 2024 Exit Planning Summit is Founder of What Big Brands Know®, Gerry O’Brion! Gerry will take to the Summit Stage on Monday, April 29, 2024, at the beautiful JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort.
We interviewed Gerry O’Brion to learn more about his career and how his session will positively impact our advisor and business owner community!
Meet Gerry O’Brion
Gerry O’Brion has helped thousands of CEOs, executives, sales teams, and franchisees become the #1 choice in crowded industries. He is the creator of The Because framework of influence that reveals how to become the #1 choice, even in a crowded market.
His book - They Buy Your Because – Closing the Sale in a Crowded Market, shows companies how to clarify their message, stand out in the sea of sameness, and close more sales. In this book, Gerry O'Brion combines his years as a corporate executive with over a decade of real-world experience implementing the Framework in companies around the globe. Companies that use the framework focus their messages, drive innovation, increase trust, generate more referrals, and close more sales.
Gerry is known for rolling out the advertising for the Coors Light bottle with the color-changing mountains, which grew the brand by hundreds of millions of dollars.
Gerry spent his career as an executive for brands like Procter & Gamble, Coors Light, Quiznos, and Red Robin. He has an MBA from the University of Michigan, a BBA from the University of Wisconsin, and spent eight years in the military.
An Interview with Gerry O’Brion
What inspired you to create your The Power of BECAUSE Framework?
Gerry: I spent years as a corporate marketing and strategy executive for billion-dollar brands. What I realized was that any company could implement the same strategies we were using regardless of their size or marketing budget. You don’t need a big marketing department or expensive agency to implement the strategies in the Because Framework. So, I leveraged my experience from big brands, combined with Harvard research and Nobel Laureate work to create the Because Framework. It has been used by thousands of businesses across hundreds of industries.
What do you suggest for our advisors that can help business owners build their companies before a sale?
Gerry: Many business owners have been successful through being good and what they do and hard work. They’ve grown, attracted customers, and built a business through sheer determination. That is good, but we can show them how to spend less effort and less investment and get better, faster results. The Because Framework gives advisors four questions that will change the way business owners think about who they sell to, how they influence customers to buy, and how to create innovations that accelerate their success.
The four questions are:
- Who are your ideal customers?
- What are your insights?
- What are your outcomes (promises)?
- What are your Becauses (proof)?
Using the Because Framework with business owners will give advisors a simple, powerful methodology to help the owners increase their customer flow and close rate. Most businesses are good at making promises, but very few finish the “sentence of influence” with their Because, their proof. It is the linchpin to influence that most companies don’t use or even know about. In my book, They Buy Your Because there are over 40 case studies that show how companies across industries have implemented the Framework.
How does your framework integrate with the Value Acceleration Methodology taught by Exit Planning Institute?
Gerry: At the most basic level, we both are focused on driving the highest value of the business for the owner. Specifically, the Because Framework can be leveraged in the Prepare Gate to help decentralize the business owner, and in the Decide Gate if they decide not to sell yet.
The Framework has been used by many companies to create a sales flow where everyone in the company is aligned on what to say and when to say it to close sales. The Framework decouples success from the owner and hands it to everyone who interacts with customers. It gives structure and language to what the business owner or sales team has been naturally doing and improves results by evaluating and optimizing every stage of the sales flow, and every message.
The Framework goes far beyond the sales flow, as it also helps clarify ideal customers, focusing efforts on the most ideal, highest potential, highest margin customers, and helps create a plan to close sales with those customers. In addition, it will serve to help create the company book and proof. As a complete framework of influence, the Because Framework not only helps attract customers, but also employees, or company buyers.
Of the businesses you have worked with, do you have a story that sticks out you would like to share?
Gerry: The Framework has been used across B-to-B companies, B-to-C, professional services, and everything in between. But across industries, one thing that is common is breaking through gatekeepers and getting to decision-makers. The Because Framework of influence helps companies influence gatekeepers the same way it influences decision-makers.
One example of this is Kop Coat, Inc. Kop-Coat has provided herbicides and adjuvants globally to the commercial forest market for decades. After six years in development, they received a patent to apply their technology to agriculture. To reach farmers, they sold through farming co-ops. The salespeople were having a hard time breaking through gatekeepers at farm co-ops. The receptionists were all trained to say no to any salespeople who called.
During our Because workshop, we discussed insights (Step 2 in the Framework) about the receptionists. It turns out that many of them have worked at the co-op for a long time. They live in a farm community. They talk to farmers all day long. They know what the farmers are struggling with. They know what farmers need.
Based on these insights, we created a new sales approach when cold-calling a farm co-op. The salesperson would call and build a relationship with the receptionist by asking a simple question: “Which weeds are the biggest nightmare for the farmers out there?” The receptionists all knew the answer, because the farmers were frustrated about those weeds, and they were looking to the co-op for help. “Oh, we have two big ones here: pigweed and marestail. Nothing will kill those . . .” “Yeah, those are tough. I’m with Kop-Coat, and we’ve just patented a new product that will kill both of those. Who’s the person to talk to about coming out there to do a test?”
With this simple flow, gatekeepers regularly passed the salesperson to the buyer. By breaking through the gatekeepers, Kop-Coat was able to have critical conversations with decision-makers, run tests, and gain distribution.
What can our community of CEPAs, exit planning professionals, and business owners expect from your Keynote Session at the Exit Planning Summit?
Gerry: My session will be fun, interactive, and engaging, but at the same time, it will give you an actionable framework you can implement with your business owners. There are lots of fun stories, but they are all included to help you understand and then implement them with the business owners you serve.
What interested you in speaking at the 2024 Exit Planning Summit?
Gerry: You are my people! I spend my time speaking to and working directly with executive teams from the same companies that you serve. We give guidance and strategies to these companies to help them run the best, most valuable businesses possible.
Other than your session, what are you looking forward to at the Summit?
Gerry: I’m looking forward to connecting with all of you. I get smarter, learn, and improve my framework from talking with business owners and experts like you who serve them. The Because Framework gets better and stronger every time someone learns about it and puts it to work. I love new ideas, and smart people who help me get better.
They Buy Your Because
Learn the Because Framework that will show you how to become the #1 choice in the crowded financial advisory industry. Create disruptive strategies and messaging to attract your ideal customers, increase trust, and close sales. Your customers may be interested in your why and engaged by your story, but They Buy Your Because.
This session is ideal for advisors who want to generate more referrals, close more sales, and become the number one choice in the competitive and crowded financial advisory market.
Attend the 2024 Exit Planning Summit!
The Exit Planning Summit provides advisors with a transformative impact. Elevate your approach to business owners, foster meaningful interactions, and experience conversations that drive effective exit planning strategies. During the three-day Summit, attendees will cultivate lasting relationships and establish enduring connections with influential business owners, setting the stage for a consistent stream of successful sales opportunities.
Immerse yourself in a transformative experience at the forefront of exit planning in Marco Island from April 28 – 30. Join hundreds of professional advisors and their teams for three days of enriching education, actionable insights, and global networking at the 2024 Exit Planning Summit.