Become a Master of Gratitude

Can you attract more business without it costing you a dime? Absurd, you say.

No, it’s simple, says our friend Ruth King. Show gratitude. Say thank you. Appreciate your customers and your employees.

When customers complain, you can disarm them by thanking them sincerely for letting you know. It will shift the conversation from problem to solution. 

Lori Saitz is a master of gratitude. It has changed her business and her life. She now does gratitude meditations for people and companies (customizedmeditation.com).

Lori says it takes little time to say thank you, send an email and show you appreciate your customers and their business.

Scientific research shows gratitude changes your biochemistry. Feeling grateful helps your brain produce more serotonin and dopamine, the feel-good chemicals. 

What happens to us and how we react makes it good or bad in our minds. It is our reaction that makes us emotional. 

We can’t think rationally or make good decisions when we are emotional.

Ruth King’s new book, Profit or Wealth? – is $14.95 on Amazon. Email her at rking@ontheribbon.com for her free newsletter.

We share other field-tested strategies in our free CD “Why Advertising Fails & What You Can Do About It.” For details, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.

Next: Raise your email open rates.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Want to run an ELF business?

Joe Polish turned around his carpet cleaning business and started teaching his unique strategies to others.

Joe’s Consumer Awareness Guide taught people how to buy carpet cleaning. In it he said, “You can have an ELF business or a HALF business.” ELF stands for easy, lucrative and fun. HALF stands for hard, annoying, lame and frustrating.

An ELF business has a system that’s easy, repeatable and produces expected results. If you have a procedures manual and it sits on the shelf and isn’t followed, why do you have a procedures manual? It was a waste of time, effort, and money.

Likewise, if you have a process for answering the phone, talking with customers in your store, all employee contact with customers should follow a procedure. 

For example, review your financial statements each month. This compares budgeted to actual profit and loss and financial ratios and trends. You make good business decisions on the information you review. 

If these procedures are ignored, you may have unhappy customers who don’t come back, warranty issues, and a HALF business. 

It’s your business. Set the procedures you want and ensure they are followed. This requires management on your part – praising employees who do it right and discussing it when procedures aren’t followed.

We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.” 

For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-331-6695.

Next: Cage your loyal customers.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Storytellers think of readers

Good evening to you, my friend.

Yes, it is your ink-stained editor back to nudge you into writing better. Today we’re going to talk about your editing strategy.

When we lived in New York, we read all the daily papers but we had our favorite – the Herald Tribune.

I’m sorry the Herald Trib isn’t here today. You would love it.

The New York Times was an editor’s newspaper. It published reports from its far-flung correspondents around the world. 

It was authoritative. It took its news seriously.

The Herald Trib had a different strategy. It was a writers’ newspaper. It didn’t just report the news. It told it as a  story. 

Each story had a beginning, middle and end, like a three-act play. The characters – real people – came to life in its pages. 

It could be audacious, too. Its writers’ had opinions they were willing to share. They respected accuracy, fairness and truth. But they also told you the story behind the reporting and often what they thought about it. 

They digested the news for you. Analyzed it if it needed analyzing. They made it interesting and intriguing.

On Sunday mornings, I would walk down to the news stand and pick up the papers. Then my wife and I would divvy up the Herald Tribune and read it cover to cover. 

Only then would we turn to the Times and read it.

The Times had reporters. The Trib had storytellers.

I tell you this because you need to think about your own reporting, writing and editing strategies. 

Whether you write online, in print, on the air or some combination of them, what a dead newspaper and one that is on life support did has a message for us today.

It is about how we see readers and what they need and want.

I know who most of our readers are. I talk about it with our writers a lot. They may be bored with hearing me talk about readers but they are who we serve. 

Let’s serve them well.

Ignore your balance sheet at your own risk

Do you check your profit and loss statements and balance sheets monthly?

They tell you how profitable your business is, says our friend Ruth King.

Your balance sheet shows your current assets divided by current liabilities.

Current assets are cash, accounts receivable, inventory and prepaid expenses.

Current liabilities are accounts payable, taxes payable, deferred maintenance revenue and current portion of long term debt.

Increasing current ratio, most of the time, means increasing profitability. Decreasing current ratio, most of the time, means decreasing profitability.

Your balance sheet also tells you if:

• You may be running out of cash

• Have uncollected billings you need to take action to collect.

• You are taking on too much debt, too much inventory or other cash suckers.

Your balance sheet is your weather vane. It gives warning signs of impending problems so that you can take care of them before they become major crises.

Want more on cash management? Order Ruth’s book, “The Courage to be Profitable: Get and Stay Profitable in Less than 30 Minutes a Month” on Amazon. You can sign up for her free newsletter at rking@profitabilityrevolution.com

Next: Run and ELF business.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

How to attract more Ideal Clients

An inexpensive way to attract Ideal Clients is with a referral system. 

It’s expensive in terms of time. When you get busy it’s harder to find time to make calls and write thank you notes. 

The clients you get by referral are less likely to question your price and more likely to buy from you even if your price is higher. 

You were recommended by someone they trust. That makes a big difference.

 You must be creative in asking people to give you referrals. At the end of a job, project or delivery, if you simply ask, “who do you know that could use our service?” 

You’re likely to get “I don’t know”. 

 Here is a way to get referrals;

Wait 30 days to call clients. That gives you an opportunity to take care of any problems that have occurred and shows ]you care about the client’s satisfaction.

They will be pleased that you called. Ask who they may have told about the results. Most of us tell friends about positive results. Those they told are potential clients. 

Marketer Dan Kennedy asks his clients if they would refer him to their friends. Dan makes it easy by offering to write letters for clients on their stationery and them to sign them. He does all the work including addressing and stamping the envelopes. 

 We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.” 

For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633.

Next: Check your balance sheets.

Concentrate on your Ideal Customers

Every business has Ideal Customers.

Knowledge of those customers is the starting point for all marketing strategies, says business consultant Bill Edmonds.

To better understand your Ideal Customers you must know their:

• Demographics – their age range, education, income, jobs, where they live and how many people live in their homes.

• Psychographics – their lifestyle and buying habits. Do they enjoy traveling? What are their personal values? How do they like to shop? Do they buy online?

Demographics help you understand who buys from you and psychographics helps you understand why they buy.”

It’s important to acquire thorough knowledge of your customers, Grasping the reasons behind their lifestyles and buying behaviors will lead to more profits.

Start with your existing customers.

• Age. Knowing your customers’ generation is more useful than specific age.

• Stage in life. Where customers are in their lives. Entering college? Becoming parents? About to buy their first house or downsize since the kids are grown?

• Interests. What types of activities do your customers enjoy? Do they like golf or tennis? What on TV do they watch?

Create a customer persona that captures their who and why. You might call them Carl and Cathy Customer.

Carl and Cathy become an easy-to-understand picture of their likes and dislikes, buying habits, social media activity and other facts about the way they live.

Carl and Cathy need to feel that you understand them, their needs and wants and will help them make their lives better.

We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”

For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-331-6695.

Next: Attract more Carls and Cathys.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Why do your customers buy from you?

Our friend Ruth King says you need to know why your customers do business with you for 4 make-or-break reasons:

1. It defines your business purpose. It’s the reason your customers pay you to take care of their needs, wants and dreams.

2. It sustains your motivation. This is the reason you are in business. Every employee should know why your customers do business with you. If you can’t tell them, they haven’t a clue. Remind them often. 

3. Your company operates on profitably taking care of your customers. You don’t need customers who are not profitable. 

4.  You know your marketing messages should include testimonials from your customers. “Here’s what our customers say about us” or “Here’s why our customers do business with us” should be in all of your marketing messages.

Ask your customers why they do business with you. Ask your employees why they think your customers do business with you. You may be shocked at the answers. If you don’t like their answers, find out what’s wrong and change it. 

We share such field-tested strategies in “Killer Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs.” In it, 22 highly successful entrepreneurs share closely-guarded secrets with you.

For a $20 copy for $10, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.

Next: Customers from Hell.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Writing tip: Vision

Good morning to you, my friend.
Yes, it is your ink-stained editor back to nudge you into writing better.
Today we’re going to talk about vision.

Lloyd Huntington offered me an editing job because we shared a vision. I accepted his offer for the same reason.
Lloyd was editor of a morning and an afternoon newspaper.
This was back when people got most news from newspapers.

Amazingly, the two newspapers were not alike. The morning paper was authoritarian.It was a newspaper of wide influence in the state capital. It held its readers at arm’s length and told them what they needed to know.
The news it offered was important to influential people.
The afternoon newspaper was different.

It was lively, warm and told stories.
Lloyd had asked me what I thought of the two newspapers’ editing strategies.

Well, I said, if you want the truth, I said. Lloyd assured me that he did. Well, I said, if I could only read one, I would prefer the afternoon paper.
It was not only informative but entertaining.
I thought busy readers had short attention spans.
But they would read an interesting newspaper that seemed to care about them.

Lloyd’s face lit up like it was Christmas morning.
We talked for more than an hour about now dull newspapers could be enlivened.
We even talked about such basics s using “you” and “yours” in articles.
We talked about how to embrace readers.
How to show you cared about their concerns.
How to make sense for them of a complicated world.

Lloyd said the publisher didn’t care what he did with the afternoon newspaper.
The publisher was more concerned about the morning newspaper.
He wanted it to thunder.
He wanted it to be respected, even feared at the statehouse.
That was where the politicians divvied up the taxpayers’ money.

I had hoped Lloyd would offer me a job on the afternoon newspaper.
That was the kind of journalism I loved.

Of course, he didn’t. He wanted me on the morning newspaper as a co-conspirator. He wanted me to help warm up the morning newspaper and infuse it with stories.
Like thieves in the night, we set out to warm it up.
We would do as much as the publisher would let us get away with.

Lloyd had infused me with a sense of mission like no other editor had before.
That sense of mission and purpose has gone with my wife and me all these years.

We brought it into newsrooms where we have worked.
We brought it to editors and reporters it has been our privilege to coach.
I hope you are fortunate to work with editors like Lloyd.
Editors who come down off their lofty pedestals and tell it like it is.
If you don’t, I encourage you to find one.

Attract more prospects, more income

Lead magnets can change how you do business and produce more income. It will attract more prospects to your sales funnel faster then you ever dreamed. Lead magnets make an offer to get them to give you names and e-mail addresses. Your lead magnet is the 1st thing a visitor to your site sees.

It is where you show visitors how you can ease their pain, solve their problems or help fulfill their dreams.You can change your lead magnets to test which ones attract the prospects you want. The more relevant you make them, the more prospects you will attract and you will  increase your conversions, too.

You can have different lead magnets, depending on where you place your offer. If you target working mothers, then your lead magnet might offer a free e-book on how to manage their time. If you help clients make more money, your lead magnet offers them tactics and strategies to increase their incomes.

Changing your lead magnet to target a specific target group makes your opt-in offers flexible. It gives visitors an immediate gift as a reward for visiting your site.

We share such strategies in our $20 “Million Dollar Strategies of Maverick Entrepreneurs.” For a complimentary $10 copy, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.

Next: What motivates your customers

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

The power of relentless rehearsal

When our friend Michael Aun won the Toastmasters International World Championship of Public Speaking he had rehearsed his speech to family, friends and his dog,

Author Rick Houcek has given more than 690 live, paid speeches and workshops worldwide. He’s never walked on stage without rehearsing in his hotel room, in the cab, in the empty auditorium the day before. He walks the stage, checks lines of sight from every seat, practices projecting his voice to the back row.

Is he nervous? Never. He’s juiced.

Actors trudge through weeks of rehearsals. They don’t read the script once and wing it. They rehearse relentlessly. 

Singers and dancers do, the same.

Professional athletes hold 5 full days of live practices before games.

The U.S. military special forces are the best in the world due to endless, rigorous, daily training they endure to be ready.

Top salespeople script their pitch, then practice at home, in their cars, in waiting rooms before entering a prospect’s office.

Olympic athletes train for 4 years to be ready for their one moment of glory in some events lasting only a few seconds.

We share such field-tested strategies in our digital book, “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius”. For  $10 copy for only $1.99, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.

Next: Attract your  ideal prospects