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How to write letters to your prospects

Jane Ellen Murray bubbled over with advertising ideas. After she was graduated from college, she landed a menial job at an ad agency where she loved working.
“I was around all the writers and could pester them with my ideas,” she said.
She worked her way into writing ad copy and eventually became creative director.
She saw advertising in terms of the art of letter writing. You hold a conversation with the one you are writing to.
She used words such as “you” and “yours” in advertising headlines.
She wrote a popular campaign for Sears Roebuck paint. Her head line: “For great American homes like yours.”
For another account, the agency’s researchers found that many women resented advertising that showed only blondes.
Her campaign for the hair-tinting shampoo For Brunettes Only focused on that resentment. It read “Men toy with blondes but marry brunettes.”
What does this suggest for your ads? Think about what motivates your ideal prospects? What angers, aspirations, dreams and hopes make them buy.
How can your advertising talk with them about their feelings?
Make it like a letter from Mom.
Our ebook, Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius, is filled with advertising and sales strategies. For your complimentary copy, please go to
Next: It’s time to take a break
Copyright 2021, The Bellune Co., Inc.

The #1 secret of sale success

Our friend John Carlton has noticed something disturbing about people lately.
What is it? Nobody asks good questions when they meet new people.
Most folks don’t ask any questions at all.
This is OK for civilians. It’s not for entrepreneurs, business owners, and salespeople who want to gobble up market share and obliterate their competition, John says.
The #1 secret to persuading prospects to buy is to know who you’re talking with.
What are their worst fears?
Their most ardent desires?
What’s important to them?
What keeps them up at night?
What do they dream about doing one day?
You can’t find that out by guessing.
The best old-school salespeople insist that anyone they tutor read a book they called the “Salesman’s Bible” for a good reason: It revealed the secrets of persuasion.
What’s the book? Here’s a hint:
A super salesman named Dale Carnegie wrote it.
It’s How to Win Friends ad Influence People.
Maybe you’ve already read it. It may be time to read it again.
Here’s another book you should read. It’s Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius.
It’s filled with business and sales tips like this. It will take you on a 30-day journey to incredible success. For your free copy, email
Next: What do your ads accomplish?
Copyright 2021, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Savvy sellers build strong networks

Many of us learned the hard lessons about selling door to door. Beauty aids, Girl Scout cookies, garden seeds, household products, magazines, you name it.
It was a hard sell if the prospect had no idea who you were. If you were a kid selling newspaper subscriptions you had a bit of an edge.
People often took pity on kids and even reluctantly bought something. That’s no way to develop long-term clients with lifetime value.
Many of us used to keep a Roladex of business cards and contact information. We’ve since transferred all that contact data to our hard drives.
We suggest to anyone getting started in sales that they spend a few hours writing a
friends-and-family list. These are people who know you and probably trust you.
Many of us have A lists and B lists.
On the A list are the names. phone numbers and email addresses of people who know us and are likely to need or want what we have to offer. These are friends from church, the chamber of commerce, civic clubs and community activities.
On the B list are people who may not need what we offer but who know people who do. They can refer us.
We share such field-tested ideas in “Million Dollar Strategies of Maverick Entrepreneurs.” For your copy, email
Next: The easy way to build sales.
Copyright 2021, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Chumps – not champs – cold call

Merrill Lynch has finally come to its senses. Since 1945, the giant wealth management company made its new hires cold call.
Its like Navy SEAL training and Marine boot camp. Cold calling was supposed to weed out the weaklings.
What it actually does is discourage a lot of bright, capable young people and drive them out of the business.
Edward Jones was addicted to this, too. They sent new hires into foreign territory, calling and knocking on the doors of people who did not know them. We watched too many of them fail and resign.
Selling investments is a tough job
People must trust you to give you their money, often their life savings.
Cold calling and its modern equivalent, robocalls, are bad for business because:
• They simply annoy prospects.
• They make you look as if you are desperate or too dumb to know any better.
• They give you, your company and your products and services a bad name.
• They are non-productive and a great waste of time and resources.
• They destroy the morale of your people and run off promising new hires.
If you make 20 calls and even a single prospect will talk with you, you are lucky.
Why waste your time and theirs like this?
What should you and your people do instead? We’ll talk about that next week.
We share such field-tested ideas and secrets in our book “Million Dollar Strategies of Maverick Entrepreneurs.” For your copy, email
Next: What smart sellers do.
Copyright 2021, The Bellune Co., Inc.

The secret is in your smile

Greg Wych named his successful dental practice “The Art of Dentistry.”
You may not think of dentistry as an art.
Isn’t it about straightening, drilling and pulling teeth? No. Greg concentrates on making your smile a work of art.
He ran an ad campaign with us that featured a patient who was afraid to smile.
Her crooked teeth were unsightly. She did not want them to be seen, even by her grandchildren who she adored.
Her husband finally convinced her to see Greg. He examined her teeth. They were a mess but he had a solution.
Since she was so fearful of what he would do to her, he suggested she have it done under sedation. She agreed.
Greg sedated her and went to work. In several sessions, he gave her a new smile.
Now she smiles all the time and enjoys life and her adorable grandchildren.
Those ads resulted in a great return on investment for Greg.
Many people go through life without a smile. In business, we can’t afford that.
A smile will attract prospects and convert them into customers, clients and patients.
A smile will close sales. Smiles will make your bottom line – and you – happy.
If you have bad teeth, see a dentist.
We share such field-tested ideas and strategies in our book “Million Dollar Strategies of Maverick Entrepreneurs.” For your copy, email
Next: Love lifts your bottom line
Copyright 2021, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Never trust a seller – check it out

An entrepreneur we once worked with was a hard-nosed negotiator. We didn’t like his style but we had to admire the little empire of more than 25 businesses in 3 states that he had built.
Most of his buys had been fire sales.
The owners wanted to retire. He might not meet their price but he offered more than any other buyer was willing to offer.
We worked with him on one buy, a failing business. The owner was deep in debt and had inoperable cancer.
In closing the sale he insisted on several stipulations. Among them was that his accountant had 60 days to audit the seller’s books and any undisclosed liabilities would be deducted from the final sale price.
The accountant spent 3 days going over payables, receivables, balance sheets, bank statements, billings and collections for the last 3 years. What a job. We were glad he did it and we didn’t have to do it.
The accountant found more than 25% of the sale price in undisclosed liabilities. That money then came off the purchase price.
The seller left with less money than he had hoped for and the new owner settled the debts for pennies on the dollar.
We share such field-tested ideas and strategies in our book “Million Dollar Strategies of Maverick Entrepreneurs.” For your copy, email
Next: The secrets of a smile
Copyright 2021, The Bellune Co., Inc

How to make business plans that work

When an angel investor hired us to advise him on a proposed new newspaper, we took the plan to 3 publishers we knew.
Each one thought the plan was impractical and each gave different reasons.
We gave the investor the bad news and collected our appraisal fee.
When we were planning to start Lexington Publishing, we hired a former CEO to help us. After we crunched the numbers he made a sound suggestion.
“What if we are wrong about our projected costs?” he asked. “Why don’t we add 10% for contingencies we didn’t expect?”
Then he said, “What about our revenue projections? What if we aren’t able to make the level of sales we projected? Why don’t we take 10% off just in case?”
That was a 20% swing on our projected bottom line: 10% more for costs and 10% less for sales and revenues.
That meant we could begin making a profit in 10 rather than 8 months, not bad since most startups take longer.
The 10th month came and went and we were still in the red. We became concerned.
We thought we had been realistic. And in the 11th month we broke into the black.
In your own plans, be tough-minded.
Lower sales and raise cost projections.
We share such field-tested ideas and strategies in our book “Million Dollar Strategies of Maverick Entrepreneurs.” For a copy email
Next: Always audit the books

Find their needs and fill them

One of our favorite cities, Charleston, SC, has an inaffordable housing problem.
The average cost of a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,223 a month. That may compare favorably with rents in other large cities but it’s the highest in the Carolinas.
Local entrepreneur Derek Snook saw a need and found a solution for people struggling to find an affordable place and those happy to have company in their homes.
Snook calls it CoLife, an online platform matching renters with homeowners willing to rent a room and make extra income.
“Living in a community is affordable and living in isolation is expensive,” he said.
Homeowners register with his online business and undergo a background check, offering a room in their homes for a set price including utilities. Those looking for a place to live also fill out a profile and get a background check.
If there’s a match, CoLife puts the client in touch with the homeowner and they chat online or on the phone before meeting.
What does this mean for you?
Think of problems of those in your community and what you in your industry can do to help. It’s a need that you can take care of, make money and expand your business.
We share such field-tested ideas and strategies in our book “Million Dollar Strategies of Maverick Entrepreneurs.” For a copy email
Next: Realistic business planning

How to win prospects’ trust

Successful negotiation will get you what you want if you give prospects what they need, says Walker McKay of No BS Sales.
You have equal stature with every customer or prospect you deal with, McKay says. Show respect but call everyone by their first name every time.
“You get better information by asking what they want and need, their opinions about what are they trying to do and why? What seems a reasonable price or investment to them? How did they decide that?
Asking open-ended questions helps customers better explain their wants and needs and you to understand them.
All successful negotiation depends on trust, McKay says. Most people don’t trust salespeople. Success is about helping prospects trust that if they give you money, you will make their problems go away.
Negotiation isn’t about tricking anyone.
“Be transparent,” he says. “Know what you want before you start. Put that on the table and everything else is negotiable.”
It’s critical to be up front with prospects.
“Say, ‘If it makes sense for both of us, let’s move forward. If not, let’s both move on.’
You have as much right to say no thanks, and walk away as they do. Some will buy. Some won’t. So what? Who’s next?
’We share such field-tested ideas and strategies in our book “Million Dollar Strategies of Maverick Entrepreneurs.” For a $20 copy email
Next: Your Big Business Breakthrough
Copyright 2021, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Become a creative contrarian

What do Judy Wald, JD Powers and Fred Segal have in common? These 3 highly successful entrepreneurs were contrarians.
Contrarians are creative thinkers who turn accepted ideas on their heads to create highly successful products and services.
I discovered this creative trio, thanks to Bob Hagerty of The Wall Street Journal.
Judy Wald turned the talent agency business on its head by not charging the talent but the ad agencies that needed the talent. She charged larger fees to ad agencies.
JD Powers made a fortune by telling automakers what they did not want to hear: What their customers think of their cars.
This led to improvements in US automaking and he branched out into surveying customers of other products and selling his findings to those who made and sold them.
Fred Segal saw something in blue jeans no one else had: Jeans could be more than work pants. He took lighter-weight denim and turned it into hip-hugging fashion statements with rhinestones and other touches. Bob Dylan, the Beatles, and other celebrities became his best customers.
What’s the Big Business Breakthrough in their examples? What traditions in your business or industry could you turn on their heads and make your own fortune?
We share such field-tested ideas and strategies in our book “Million Dollar Strategies of Maverick Entrepreneurs.” For a copy email
Next: Successful negotiation secrets
Copyright 2021, The Bellune Co., Inc.