Use covid-19 to strengthen your team

Retired university professor Preston Hardy wrote us the other day with the story of a boy in rural Ohio who became the first human survivor of rabies. 

His doctor lacked the training to deal with such a devastating infection where everyone else had failed. Instead of treating his young patient for rabies, which he did not know how to do, the country doctor treated each symptom as it appeared. 

He knew how to treat a patient with high fever, or one experiencing kidney failure or one who had swollen limbs. 

The tireless doctor treated each symptom that arose. Finally there were no more symptoms. You don’t actually have to “cure rabies,” to cure rabies.

A crisis like we’re experiencing is a great time to use the doctor’s example for team building. A series of short-range goals can help unite your employees while demonstrating to all of them that an overwhelming catastrophe does not have to be overcome all at once. It is more effectively dealt with in small steps. An added advantage of team building is enhanced productivity.

We share such field-tested ideas in “Million Dollar Strategies of Maverick Entrepreneurs.” For a $10 copy of the $20 book, email

Next: How to survive covid-19 nonsense.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Build greater loyalty in a pandemic

Churches, civic and networking groups, book and garden clubs share a secret many business owners ignore at their peril.

Which of these 2 customer groups would you prefer: Transitionals who only buy when you offer steep discounts or relationals who come back to you no matter what?

You’re right. Relationals mean success.

And what more can you do to build greater relational loyalty? How about creating an exclusive club membership for them.

The clothing company, Evereve, has an exclusive membership option: 

If you order $100 or more worth of products while the store is closed, you’ll be automatically enrolled in its exclusive club, whose members get a 10% discount card.

This option is different than offering a basic gift card and encourages customer loyalty. If the customer decides to buy now, they’ll get a long-term reward. 

It helps you because customers are more likely to buy now and then keep coming back to enjoy that 10% discount.

Additionally, send club members a regular newsletter. In it provide valuable, useful information and teach them what more you can do for them.

We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”  For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-331-6695. 

Next: Team building in a pandemic.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

More trends that may help or hurt you

Last week we talked about 3 trends that can help or hurt you.
Here are 3 more:

  • A friend observed that the political bickering in Washington is building popular sentiment for term limits. Don’t expect anybody in Congress to favor limiting their own terms. Yet their actions will make incumbents vulnerable to challengers and cost them millions in campaign donations.
  • When restaurants and non-essential retailers are able to reopen, they face the problem of hiring workers and restocking inventories at a time when they are cash poor. Smart lenders are going to have a field day. But many of these businesses are going to face higher costs with fewer customers and will have to cut their margins to attract customers to come back to them.
  • The pandemic has already driven many weaker owners out of business. This reduces the competition for consumers’ dollars when the stronger ones are open again.

Be sure you are ready to provide 1st class service and products to take advantage of this less competitive market.

Do you see other trends? Please let me know by writing

We share such ideas in “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius.”  For a complimentary copy, please fill out the form at the top of the page to join the mailing list.

Next: Protect your credibility during covid-19 to retain your customers’ loyalty. Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Never let a crisis go to waste

President Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel famously said in 2008, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. I mean, it’s an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.”
Savvy entrepreneurs understand.
Look at the bonanza grocers are enjoying. Products are flying off their shelves and ringing their cash registers. Well, maybe not cash registers. They use more sophisticated computer systems. But they are making a killing and with little effort other than to keep getting supplied every day.
Amazon plans to hire 100,000 more employees at their distribution centers to meet an escalating demand for online delivery.
Bars and restaurants are having to adapt as public officials order them to close their dining areas. But they will pick up business with take out, pick up and delivered meals.
Your local druggists and the pharmaceutical industry is working 24-7 as are hospitals and just about everyone in health care.
The demand has not been this high since the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.
So what kinds of products and services do you offer that could be tailored to meet this increasing demand? Think about it.
We share such ideas in “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius.” For a free copy of this $5 business eBook, go to
Got a thought about the above? Please write me at
Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Don’t eat your seed corn

Country folks know about seed corn.
That’s the part of the crop you save to plant the following year. Without it, you won’t have anything to plant.
Wall Street Journal reader Bill Taylor reminded me of that after retired General Electric Chairman Jack Welch died.
Bill wrote that Welch cut costs by firing the lowest 10% of employees every year.
“That’s doom in a high-tech company,” he wrote. “Designing the next generation of jet engines or power-generation equipment requires a great deal of trust and cooperation between engineers. His 10% cutoff for survival destroyed cooperation.
“What if you helped someone and his elevation pushed you below the survival threshold? Mr. Welch cut costs by cutting back on R&D which was doom in a business which needed competitive advantage to earn high margins to support its workforce. He cut costs by eating the seed corn.”
If you’re tempted to follow Welch’s example, do it carefully. Getting rid of losers means getting rid of anything, or anybody, that doesn’t justify the cost.
Have you faced tough decisions about people, services or products? I’d like to hear about it. Please call me at 803-359-7633.
We share such strategies in our e-book, “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius.”
For a complimentary copy, fill out the top of the form on this website.
Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Reward your winners, ditch your losers

Which unprofitable products, services and procedures do you and your people put up with?
Who are your least productive people and what do they do to morale?
Why do you put up with losers?
Jack Welch didn’t do it. Why do you?
Welch died last week at age 84.
In his years as CEO at General Electric, he was ruthless about selling less profitable assets and buying winning companies.
That strategy made money for his investors, many of them GE employees.
His critics called him Neutron Jack, after the bomb designed to kill the enemy but leave his buildings unharmed.
Welch believed you improve people, productivity and profits by rewarding your winners and firing your losers.
Each year, Welch required his executives to fire the least productive 10% of their employees and give bonuses to the top 10% of those who were the top producers.
Hiring is fun. You are looking for people who can become top producers. But you aren’t always right. Performance, not job interviews, proves who your winners are.
Reward your winners. Get rid of your losers. They just drag everybody down.
We share such strategies in “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius.” A complimentary electronic copy is available to you in the banner at the top of the page.
Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Your advantage is always in jeopardy

You don’t have to be a football fan to appreciate 3 lessons from the Super Bowl.
You may recall the year the Atlanta Falcons ran all over the New England Patriots but let the Patriots come back and win.
That happened again this year. The San Francisco 49ers had a 2-score lead and let Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City score 3 touchdowns in the 4th quarter to win.
Here are 3 business lessons from these and other Super Bowl games:

  1. Never relax. You may have a big sales volume, a fat bank account and strong profit margins. But bet a competitor is plotting to take your clients and do you in.
  2. Work hard for your clients and remind them you are their go-to guy. With Kansas City down 10 points, they worked even harder. You must never assume clients are so loyal no one else can lure them away. Look at how Walmart took other retailers’ customers and how Amazon has continued to do it to Walmart and others.
  3. Be willing to adapt. Kansas City changed its game plan. When the market, technology or your competition changes the rules of the game, your game plan just went out the window. You must adapt.
    These 3 lessons can help you survive.
    We share such strategies in our 3-CD “Make Yourself a STAR (Someone They Always Remember)” self-study course. For details, email
    Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Give customers memorable experiences

Here’s a competitive strategy: Create memorable experiences your customers can share with friends and have everyone talking about you and your products.
The Wall Street Journal has been staging high profile business forums for corporate executives and, like Turner Classic Movies, has Wine Club sales and events.
Hearst magazines staged road rallies and driver simulations to engage readers of its Road & Track and Car & Driver magazines.
Their Delish magazine is marketing a new Bite Club, a series of pop-up events in different cities tailored to their region. They will use these events to test which events and sites draw the biggest turnouts.
Marketing experiences rely on a combination of event programs, prices and customer mail lists. Hearst plans an exclusive spa day that will cost participants $1,300 each, designed for those who can afford it and appreciate sharing experiences with other wealthy people and their friends.
Ask your team these questions:

  1. What experience can we give our customers they would love and talk about?
  2. How can we pre-test its appeal?
  3. How can we make a profit on it?
    We share such field-tested strategies in our 3-CD “Make Yourself a STAR (Someone They Always Remember)” self-study course.
    For details, you can email .
    Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Sell stories to more readers

To attract readers, carefully choose your headline and lead sentence words.
Advertising copywriters like legendary Claude Hopkins measured response.
This helped them appeal to people who want or need what they offer.
The same principle holds true to news and sports writing.
To attract readers, entice them with your words.
The Washington Post has pulled this off by combining serious journalism with stories that appeal to the heart. A couple of examples:Orphaned boy moved to his grandparents’ home
Now the homeowners association would kick him out

After his parents died, teenager Collin Clabaugh moved to Prescott, Ariz., to live with his grandparents.

Police thought her husband died from a fall
Then his wife admitted to poisoning him

Lana Sue Clayton claimed that she didn’t mean to kill her husband when she poisoned his drinking water.
The Post uses classic 2-sentence headlines and alluring lead sentences. 
You can see why this technique attracts readers.

Here are a couple of examples of how we can do this.
There’s nothing wrong with the original headline and lead on our site.

The Original:

$1 million lottery ticket sold in Lexington
A Lexington Powerball player is holding a $1 million ticket. It was bought at the Stop N Shop at 1104 N. Lake Dr. in Lexington for Wednesday night’s drawing.
Read more

The Revised:

Do you have the $1 million lottery ticket?
Read on, you may be holding it

The state lottery winning $1 million ticket was bought at the Stop N Shop at 1104 N. Lake Dr. in Lexington for Wednesday night’s drawing.
 Check your ticket as the winning numbers are… 
Read more

The Original:

Dutch Fork hands Lexington boys 1st loss
Gilbert boys win 1st game of season

A 9-game winning streak in Region 5-5A ended Tuesday in Irmo for the Lexington boys’ basketball team. 
The Wildcats were defeated 45-38 by 7th ranked Dutch Fork. 
Read more

The Revised:

Lexington loses heartbreaker to Dutch Fork
Gilbert boys win their 1st game of season

Lexington’s 9-game Region 5-5A winning streak ended Tuesday in Irmo as 7th ranked Dutch Fork won 45-38. 
Read more  Choosing emotional words like “heartbreaker” and naming 3 schools in the 2-sentence headline will draw readers who are fans of all 3 teams.
Of course, we can do this with our print stories, too.

Give it a try. With practice, it becomes a natural way for you to write.

For more tips like this, write

The results of being an extra miler

You don’t have to be a sports fan to appreciate this story and the important business lesson you will discover in it.
Joe Burrow transferred from Ohio State to Louisiana State University because he couldn’t win the starting quarterback role.
At LSU, as an over-achiever who expects a lot of himself, he blossomed.
Last summer, he talked his teammates into practising twice a day on Saturdays.
Summers in Baton Rouge are hot and humid. Practicing football 5 days a week makes great physical and mental demands on even highly-conditioned athletes.
The coaches didn’t ask them to do this. Joe did. He persuaded them to join him.
His teammates rolled out of bed at 5 am and showed up for rugged drills by 6. They returned in the evening for another practice that separated the men from the boys.
LSU players honed their skills, working with each other under trying conditions.
The team went from a running game to a highly-effective passing game. Joe’s team beat 7 top 10 teams en route to beating Clemson in the national title game.
Success takes sacrifice. Are you willing to get up at 5 am when needed? Are you an extra miler willing to pay the price?
We share such ideas in “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius,” a 30-day guide to double your sales. For a $5 digital copy check Amazon or call us at 803-359-7633.
Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.