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.

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.

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

How to get high email open rates

Have you heard marketers or bloggers brag about the high number of addresses on their email lists? I heard a blogger claim more than 5 million. It makes me wonder how many actually open his emails and what it costs him 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 news web site has almost 20,000 visits a day. Our Writing Tips have a super high 45% open rate because readers specifically asked to receive those emails.

That’s the special sauce for open rates. Delete the non-opening addresses.

We share such field-tested strategies in our 60-minute CD “Why Advertising Fails & What You Can Do About It.” For details, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

3 ways to make a great 1st impression

Good morning, fellow entrepreneurs.

MaryEllen Tribby believes in making a great impression with 3 strategies.

1. Be generous. When you help others, “getting” will follow. It will come in unexpected ways. No one likes a person with a “taker” mentality. When you are generous, people will notice and respect you. We like to do business with those who we respect, trust and like. Help them feel the same way about you. Act as a host at events you attend by connecting others. This can be as simple as introducing people to each other or as elaborate as sharing a testimonial about someone. 

2. Be Happy Harry or Harriet. Put on a happy face at the door and smile. This is your time to shine. People will look forward to seeing you if you are energetic, positive and outgoing. They enjoy doing business with people they like. Remind yourself of everything you are grateful for just before entering an event or meeting a prospect. 

3. Connect. Don’t Sell. Connecting is about building relationships with people who will be happy to tell others about who you are and what you do. Find out what they do and its value to their customers before you share what you do. And follow up with a hand-written appreciation note. 

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

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Get your prospects to open their wallets

Does your advertising really work?

It may but the $5,000 question is, does it gain the results that you want?

Our friend Ruth King had a client who hated his advertising. He was spending money on something that he despised …even though it was producing results.

Ruth told him: You are NOT the audience for the advertising. Ask your girlfriend whether she likes it. She is the type of person we are trying to attract.

“But I hate it,” he said again.

Ruth asked, “Is it producing results?”

“Yes,” he conceded.

“Then your opinion doesn’t count. Your customers’ opinions count.”

Tough lesson for him to swallow. The ads were working. He just didn’t like them.

Customers vote with their wallets. If they respond to your advertising, it is immaterial whether you like the ads or not.

The next time you plan an advertising message, give it to a few friends who are like your target audience. Ask them whether they would do what the ad requests – go to a website, call a phone number, etc.

If they like it, then do it. The rest of your target audience is likely to respond, too. If they like it, then do it. The rest of your target audience is likely to respond too.

Remember: It doesn’t matter what you think about your marketing and advertising – it matters what your customers think. They will vote with their phone calls, emails, and pocketbooks.

For more brilliance like this, sign up for Ruth’s complimentary newsletter at rking@profitabilityrevolution.com

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

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

Next: Think small for bigger profits

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Turn antagonistic foes into ardent fans

A business friend occasionally calls to invites me to lunch – and I know why. 

Across the table he says, “You know I never call you unless I want something.”

He tells me what it is he needs and, since he knows I can do it, I oblige him. It makes me feel good that he turned to me and that I could do a favor for someone I like.

Most of us believe that the way to win friends is to do them a favor. Ben Franklin found the opposite works even better.

If you are a Ben Franklin fan, you undoubtedly know this story. It is a good reminder of a strategy he discovered and you can use on those who may demean you.

Franklin had incurred the ill will of a wealthy man. The man berated Franklin to others and questioned his competence.

Franklin knew the man had a prized collection of books and wrote him asking to borrow a book he knew the man owned.

This gained the man’s attention. If Ben knew about this book, he must be smarter than he had thought. He loaned Franklin his book, Franklin read it and returned it with a thank you note a few days later.

Surprisingly, the man became one of his champions and extolled his virtues.

Do you have a detractor or seek a relationship with someone? Ask for a favor.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Unshackle yourself from bad customers

You know who we’re talking about. The sourpusses who make life miserable. They complain and are never satisfied,

Our friend Ruth King says you need to know who your best customers are and why they do business with you.

1. Your company is only profitable with the right customers. You don’t need customers who drain you and are not profitable. 

2. It gives your business a purpose. It’s the reason you get up in the morning and that your customers pay you.

3. It builds your business culture. 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. 

4. You know what your marketing messages should be. “Here’s what our customers say about us” or “Here’s why our customers do business with us” should be in your marketing messages. Testimonials from customers are powerful.

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 agree with the answers, you’re doing well. If you don’t like the answers, find out what’s wrong and change it. 

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

Next: Pivot for new opportunities.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Your best covid-19 business strategy

I’ll never forget the salesman who ended his presentation by asking for the names of 3 people who might use his products. 

I told him he should be ashamed of such tactics. I wouldn’t buy nor refer anyone.

Referrals are always vital, particularly during covid-19. Think about the last time you referred someone to a company whose products you used. 

  • Was it an active referral? 
  • Were you thanked for the referral? 
  • What did you receive for the referral? 
  • Did you feel appreciated? 
  • Have you provided multiple referrals? 

Our friend Ruth King defines active referrals as those you make because you were encouraged to do it – but only after it is clear that you are a loyal customer who sees their offers would benefit your friends. 

Ruth says active referrals:

  • Build a loyal customer base at lower acquisition costs.
  • Referrals are open to buying from you and are less price sensitive.
  • Customers who refer show they trust you for taking care of them.

Do business with your customers and make referrals to them. That gives them reason to reciprocate.

We share such ideas in “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius.” For a complimentary copy go to JerryBellune.net

Next: The Rubber Duck Strategy

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

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 JerryBellune@yahoo.com.

Next: How to survive covid-19 nonsense.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.