Whether it’s your company benefits fair, a community event or a free Financial Wellness Workshop, chances are pretty good that you’ve seen or met one of our Business Development Representatives. We talked with BD Rep. Ed Freundlich to learn more about what a day in his work life looks like.
Ed Freundlich serves our Select Employer Groups in Pelican’s North Louisiana regions, from Shreveport and Monroe all the way down to Rapides Parish.
In your own words, what would you say you do?
What is fantastic about my job is the variety it brings. I wake up in the morning and wonder what challenges I’m going to get hit with next. The only thing “routine” about my career is that it’s never routine.
I am responsible for many tasks that all come down to serving the people that I work with every single day. Ultimately, I’m here to serve our members, prospective partners and communities by holding and attending events like benefit fairs, membership drives and festivals.
Pelican’s partners are called “Select Employer Groups,” and this is the foundation of our membership. It’s my job to make this more than just a partnership—I ensure that our relationship bringing value to the company and its employees.
I stay in contact with our partners, being sure to serve them and their employees to the best of my ability. Whether that’s a fun visit with a lemonade truck or a Financial Wellness Workshop where we better their employees’ financial lives, I’m here to make an impact on the lives of others.
What does your typical workday look like?
Every day is different, but I do have a number of things to do each day. On my busiest days, I’ll prepare material for our Select Employer Groups, speak at membership drives, meet with current and potential clients, coordinate future events and much more.
What is the biggest challenge of being a Business Development Representative? How do you overcome that?
I’d say the biggest challenge is overcoming rejection. This includes hearing “no” when you’re trying to secure a partnership. In order to overcome this it takes a positive attitude and persistence. If you give up, you are beaten. Until they say “no,” the game is still on!
What is the most rewarding part of your career? Are there any stories that go with it?
The most rewarding part of my career with Pelican is getting to know the people I have worked with both inside and outside of the company. Making good relationships with people is of the utmost importance to me both personally and professionally.
Those that know me have heard this story several times in the past, but it always sticks out to me. A while back Branch Manager JT Thomas and I decided to try and get a partnership with one of the largest companies in Louisiana whose headquarters just so happened to be in Monroe.
So we get there, and we’re stopped at the station by a security guard. We let him know that we’re here to try and meet with one of their departments, and he ended up letting us through. This continued over a series of months until we had gotten pretty far with talking to people, all because we had great relationships with the people we work with.
While we didn’t get to secure the partnership, we did form long-lasting relationships. We were both so excited to be on that journey together, trying to secure that partnership and spread the message of Pelican to more people. Being able to make new relationships with other people and solidify existing relationships with those I work with in that manner is extremely rewarding.
What skills do you need to become a Business Development Representative?
Try and become a person people enjoy being with. The last thing you want is people saying under their breath, “Here comes that guy again!”
Have something positive to say and follow up, follow up and follow up. Don’t let rejection get the best of you. Remind yourself that you work for a great company with fantastic products and services backed up by people that care about Pelican being successful.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a Business Development Representative?
Expect to work some long hours from time to time. Be confident in your ability to walk in anywhere to introduce yourself and the company you represent. Be prepared when you walk in so that you have something of value to say.
You have to be very flexible and focused on what is important. Learn to take hold of your job because it takes you in so many directions every single day. What this involves is commitment, time and a lot of energy. It is your attitude that will make or break you.
My biggest tip is this: this is more than a sales job. It is a commitment for personal growth as well as company growth. It’s a commitment to serve people.
If you convince people that you are truly here to serve their employees and follow up with your commitments, then you really have it!
What did your career path look like?
Before I became a Business Development Representative at Pelican I had two jobs, both in business-to-business sales. I worked for two different manufacturers selling finished goods produced for major retail stores.
I was out of town 60 to 75 nights per year, changing my oil in my car about every three weeks. I paid all of my own expenses. I was pretty much working for myself as I was on straight commission.
I sold a lot of goods on the road as well as by phone. You can’t be lazy when you have that type of job because there are a lot of competitors out there doing the same thing you are!
I have been with Pelican for six years and was never involved in banking. In these six years, I have learned a ton, and those years have flown by. This is my first position where I have represented a company with non-tangible products and services, and I’ve been honored to be a part of the growth of Pelican.
Do you have a favorite moment at Pelican?
I don’t exactly have a favorite moment except for the fact that I don’t have a hard time getting up in the morning to go to work. Every day is not another day at the grind.
I love the opportunity to create new relationships and partnerships, and I don’t get down when I have been told “no.” There is no need to get negative as there are always other opportunities out there to go after.
Have you ever thought about a career at a credit union? Check out our open positions and apply today!
Hi! My name is Alexis Roberts and I am the Business Development Supervisor at Pelican State Credit Union! I have an obsession with writing to-do lists so I can stay organized at work and at home. I am also a ritualistic breakfast eater/gymaholic with a semi-addiction to peanut butter.