Create loving messages for your customers

Our friend Bill Edmonds checked into a hotel and found a message in his room.
“Sure, life can be messy. That’s why I’m here. Don’t worry about a thing. Just make yourself at home, have fun and enjoy your room. I’ll clean it all up. If you need anything, just press “0.” -Your Housekeeper.”
This refreshing message captured his imagination. The words were inviting, soothing and friendly. The message sounded like something Jesus might say.
When was the last time you sat down and wrote a thank you note to someone who did you a good turn? When was the last time you wrote a thank you to your customers for doing business with you?
A friend of ours was in the hospital with a cardiac scare and the nurses, doctors, and technicians treated him like royalty.
He’s written the hospital CEO a letter of commendation naming all who took good care of him. He also autographed 16 copies of his books for each of them.
Want to bet they will remember the patient in room 324 for a long time?
Let me suggest you take 3 steps today:

  1. Call 3 of your customers to thank them and see how you might help them.
  2. Write 3 others a thank you note.
  3. Buy and give a motivational book to your 3 best customers to say thank you
    We share such field-tested ideas in “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius.” For a free copy go to JerryBellune.com.
    Next: Keep your customers comfortable
    Copyright 2021, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Why ads should appeal to our emotions

Consumers rarely buy on the facts. 

Even the most analytically minded. They buy with emotion and justify it with logic.

Think about your last purchase, why you bought it and how you justified it to yourself or your partner.

Our friend Bill Edmonds says Southwest Airlines most effective ad appealed to our emotions in 3 words: “Wanna get away?”

Their commercials depict people caught in awkward blunders. The individual does something embarrassing, then a voice asks, “Wanna get away?” while the character wallows in self-inflicted humiliation. 

The solution? Buy a “Wanna Get Away” ticket from Southwest and fly far, far away, leaving your shame behind.  

Bill says he’s convinced the campaign was popular because we identify with the feelings of the commercial’s protagonist. 

We know what it is like to want to run away from our latest blunder.

Research has found that feelings of humiliation and shame are more intense than those of happiness and anger.

What emotions do your own ads appeal to? A sense of need, such as “I need a new car” or of want, such as “Can I afford to go to the Caribbean this year?”

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

Copyright 2021, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Who can you help today?

A local banker and his wife were among the most successful couples in our town.

Each morning, they prayed for guidance about who they might help that day.

It was a selfless appeal for someone in need and how to help them.

They took a tough-minded approach. They didn’t just want to give a hungry man a fish. They wanted to teach him to fish and get the equipment he would need.

When we bought a newspaper in their town, he and his bank manager were in our office 30 minutes after we closed the sale.

They had that kind of local intelligence network and they asked how they could help us. It was a welcome gesture since the newspaper was financially in trouble.

The banker introduced us to people he thought we should know and who could help us salvage a business that was deep in debt to get it into the black.

He and his wife became our role models.

They were two of the best loved people in our town because they genuinely cared.

If you don’t have role models like them, find one – or become one yourself.

We share such field-tested secrets in “Maverick Entrepreneur’s Million Dollar Strategies.” For a personally autographed copy, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.

Next: How to make difficult decisions

Copyright 2021, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Retain your loyal customers for life

When loyal customers’ friends ask who they use for what you offer, they not only mention your name but tell them about something special you did for them.

When customers need to call you, they have your number in their cell phones, on refrigerator magnets or type your company’s name in their search box rather than a generic search for your types of business.

They know, like and trust you to take care of their needs and wants.

You and I know how important customer loyalty is but here’s the good news: 69% of our competitors don’t know loyalty is critical or how to gain and retain customers.

Here are 5 ways we have built loyalty:

1. We know our most loyal customers, what they want and need and how often.

2. We are selective. We go after prospects like our loyal customers. Their needs and wants are similar and we know how to make them happy.

3. We constantly look for ways we can help them in addition to the products or services they buy from us.

4. We refer business to them.

5. We touch them often when we have ideas or offers of value to them.

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

Next: Your customers’ best friend.

How to attract your Ideal Customers

Knowing your Ideal Customer is critical to attracting and retaining them.

Our friend Bill Edmonds advises you to narrow your research to better understanding of your Ideal Customers:

  • Demographics. This describes their age, education, income, work, where they live and who’s in their household.
  • Psychographics. Their lifestyle, buying habits, needs and wants. Do they like traveling? What entertainment do they enjoy? Their personal values? How they prefer to shop and in person or online?

With what you already know you might use surveys and focus groups to identify:

  • Their generation. Your Ideal Customers’ generation is more useful than a specific age. Gen X, Gen Y, Boomers, etc.
  • Stage in life. Entering college? Becoming parents or grandparents? Buying a house – up-sizing or down-sizing?
  • Interests. What activities do they enjoy? If they watch TV, which programs do they prefer? What books, magazines and newspapers do they read?

It helps to create an Ideal Customer persona that portrays their who and why. You can picture them considering your offers and making buying decisions. Call them Carl and Cathy Customer.

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

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

Next: Retain Ideal Customers for life

Copyright 2021, The Bellune Co., Inc.

What we can learn from Walt Disney

When you think of being visionary, compare your vision with Walt Disney’s vision for Disneyland 65 years ago:

“Physically, Disneyland is to be a small world in itself. Encompassing the things that were good and true in American life… dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America.

“I don’t want the public to think about the world they live in when they are inside our world created for them. Beyond physical places, we want to bring people along into an entirely different world, with our philosophies and ideas, our characters, our stories, our past, present and future, so they are a part of it and never want to leave.

“At age 12 or at age 62, we want them to feel curiosity, wonder, awe, fascination, joy, and attachment. Within this world, we want them to experience discovery and adventure, fun and entertainment, education, participation, and recognition. They will not just come to visit our places or to the theater to see our films. They will bring us into their homes and into their hearts. We will never settle for having customers or fans — they will be Disney people. This world will never be completed. It will always be under construction, expanding, diversifying, playing more and more roles in peoples’ lives.”

Our thanks to Rick Houcek for sharing this visionary document.

We share such field-tested strategies in our 3-CD “Make Yourself a STAR (Someone They Always Remember).” For details, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com

Next: With vision, you flourish

Leave no money on the table

Whatever happened to Joyce who used to do business with us? No, she didn’t die. She just quit doing business with us.

Why? Did we do something wrong?

No. Joyce decided she could afford to advertise on TV based on the business our advertising had brought her.

We need to reactivate Joyce and other of our lost or inactive customers.

Go through your customer list. Highlight the people who have not bought in the past 3 years. Send them a postcard. Text them. Email them. Send them your weekly blog. Call them. Find out how they are doing.

Our friend Ruth King recommends you write or call with a message that says:

“Thank you for your past business. I was concerned because we haven’t taken care of your _____ in the past few years. What can we do to help you in you again?”

Be prepared to find out that they thought you went out of business because they haven’t heard from you. And they will tell you what it will take to help them again.

One of Ruth King’s clients sent 100 “we want you back” postcards. Cost: $50. Got back 3 clients and a $10,000 job. The postcard paid for itself many times over.

The cheapest way to grow your business is to reactivate your lost customers. Set aside a single hour a week to call them.

We share such field-tested strategies in our “Killer Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs.” For a $20 personally autographed copy, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.

Next: Your vision for your business

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Take care of your dollars in 2021

A business broker friend congratulated us on our financial management during the 2020 pandemic. He said we did not lose near as much money as many other small businesses. We appreciate his compliment but it was OUR money we were losing.

What we did was not brain surgery.

We looked at what we were doing that was profitable and asked how we could use it to maintain or increase revenues.

We looked at what we were doing that cost us money and decided which we could cut back on or cut out.

We did it in two stages.

We cut what did not produce enough revenue to at least pay for itself. 

For example, with so many locked down businesses where we distributed our newspapers, we cut out delivering to those locations to cut printing and delivery costs.

As they began to reopen, we began delivering to them again. That increased costs but was offset by sales revenue.

We’ve since asked many of our writers to take a break for a few months to save space and cut printing and delivery costs.

With far higher web site traffic, we invite business owners to advertise online. 

Take care of your dollars in 2021.

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

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

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Early Christmas gift – make it their idea

When our friend Mac Toole was serving as a SC lawmaker, he had a wise strategy.
He would set out to convince one of the top leaders to introduce a bill his constituents wanted. It was easier to convince one leader than 123 other legislators. 
The leader would get the credit, Mac’s constituents would get what they wanted and everyone was happy. You can get a lot done in life if you don’t hog the credit.
I learned that early in peddling Watkins Products door to door in college to keep gas in my car. My best selling product was a lemon pie filling that was out of this world. My mother used it all the time. 
She said it cut a half hour off the time it took her to make lemon pie – and it tasted like she made it from scratch.
When I called on the ladies of the houses in my territory, I would ask if their families liked lemon pie. 99% said yes.
I would tell them how fast and easy it was for my mother to make lemon pie. 
I would offer them a bottle with the guarantee that if they didn’t like it, they would get their money back. It then became their idea that the lemon pie recipe was theirs. I used it to open doors and sell them other household products.
Always let your prospects think that whatever they buy was their idea.
PS. All of us at our little newspapers wish you and yours the happiest of holidays and the best in the new year.

Next: Take care of the pennies in 2021.

How to get high email open rates

Have you heard marketers or bloggers brag about the high number of addresses on their email lists? A blogger said he had more than 5 million. Wonder how many actually open his emails? What does it cost to mail to thousands of addresses that don’t open his messages?

A good open rate for your emails is only 15%. In other words, 85% of the people you email don’t bother opening them.

This should be a concern. The more email addresses on your list, the more Constant Contact, Mail Chimp or whatever service you use will cost. You’re paying to mail to people who don’t want your email.

To keep our open rates high, our tech whiz Katie Ritchie segments and prunes our lists to keep our costs down and avoid emailing to those who don’t open them.

The more dead weight Katie deletes, the higher open rate we get because we reach those who want our information.

Our weekly Writing Tips have a super high 45% open rate because those specifically asked to get those emails.

Now some hurried readers may skip your email this time but open it at least half the time. Hang on to them. Just delete those totally non-opening addresses.

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

Next: Is your cash managing you?

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.