What kind of business owner are you?

Some business owners think and act like mavericks – independent and willing to take educated risks.
Others are saddle horses like our competitors who refuse to adapt as technology and other advances give us new ways to compete.
Saddle horses depend on their owners to house them, feed them and tell them when to go out to pasture, come back to the barn and sleep. They occasionally get to run when someone climbs on their backs.
What restrains them is the expectation that they will be cared for.
Maverick owners and entrepreneurs are restrained only by experience and common sense. Like maverick horses, they roam far and wide.
They work in an open market where every day is different and opportunity waits around every corner.
Mavericks remain alert for opportunities and challenges. They don’t need anyone to feed or care for them.
Tell them they can’t do something — that it’s stupid, impractical or impossible — and watch out. They will do it.
If they get knocked down, they get back up and keep going for their goals. They aren’t guaranteed success or happiness.
If you aspire to be a maverick, order “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.” In it 11 entrepreneurs share their strategies. You can be among the first to receive the book in December. Advance orders for $20 autographed copies are available at 803-359-7633 or email JerryBellune@yahoo.com

Do you dare do this kind of advertising?

Outrageous ads gain outrageous results

Some time ago we offered a 10-year newspaper subscription. We were delighted when a 93-year-old optimist took it.

This week we are casting caution to the winds and offering a “lifetime” subscription. It is expensive and we really don’t expect many will take us up on it. You never know, though, until you try it.

A friend of ours thought we had lost our minds with this offer. He may be right. The full page color ad will attract attention that we want. In a PS at the bottom of the ad, we offer a somewhat more modest and less expensive 20-year subscription. That’s what we’re really selling.

One of the major problems we see in advertising today is that it is boring. It does not address the target audience. They need and want what you have to offer.

Boring ads tell no intriguing stories. Make no outrageous offers. Neglect to tell you what’s in it for you. Make no irresistible calls for action. Do not give you multiple ways to respond and place your order.

Our outrageous message is going to more than 30,000 people who can afford what we’re offering. We aren’t courting the universe – just a few affluent readers.

Think about your own advertising. Is it outrageous enough to attract attention?

To place an advance order for our new “Maverick Entrepreneur’s Million Dollar Strategies” email JerryBellune@yahoo.com. Bulk orders are available, too.

Your Unique Selling Proposition’s value

What is unique about your Ideal Customers’ needs and wants? What do you have that will take care of them?
Former Avis CEO Bob Townsend revealed in his book “Up the Organization” how his company’s famous “We Try Harder” campaign was born. Townsend knew something dramatic was needed if Avis was to close the gap on Hertz, its biggest competitor.
What’s more, he had faith in Bill Bernbach at the Doyle Dane Bernbach agency.
“If you promise to run what we recommend,” Bernbach said, “everyone in my shop will want to work on your account.”
Townsend’s framed memo was posted in all offices at Avis and DDB. It read:
“Avis will never know as much about advertising as DDB and DDB will never know as much about the rent-a-car business as Avis.” Townsend promised that Avis would not approve, disapprove or try to improve ads and insisted that DDB submit only those as it truly recommended. “They will not ‘see what Avis thinks of that one’.”
Finding a USP was tough. The Avis fleet was not newer than Hertz’s. It did not have more locations or cheaper rates.
Copywriter Paula Green came up with an idea that went completely against the prevailing philosophy that ads must never acknowledge a brand weakness.
Her line – “We try harder” – became one of the most famous in advertising history.
In a year, Avis turned a $3.2m loss into a $1.2m profit – its first in 13 years.
You may not be cheaper, faster, etc. than your competitors. But there has to be one thing you offer that is better. Find it and you have the idea for a great ad campaign.
For a complimentary digital copy of “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius,” email JerryBellune@yahoo.com

It’s OK to copy but copy the best

Rosser Reeves coined the term USP (Unique Selling Proposition).
Your USP is those special benefits you offer that no one else can offer to your Ideal Clients in your niche market.
Rosser worked with President “Ike” Eisenhower, whose election campaign he helped run in the early 1950s. He was one of the first campaigns to use copy-testing.
Rosser tested slogans and marketing appeals. “I Like Ike” was the one that helped voters relate to his candidate.
Ace British copywriter Drayton Bird tells that story about Rosser who said, “Originality is the most dangerous word in the advertiser’s lexicon.” His brother in law, the legendary David Ogilvy, used to quote it often.
Helmut Krone, the great art director at Doyle, Dane Bernbach in the 1960s, once asked a young writer what he considered more important, to do your own thing or copy someone else’s work.
“Do my own thing” was the reply.
That’s wrong, he told the young man.
“Until you can do better, copy.”
What he meant was to watch what successful copywriters do and customize their concepts to what you are selling. Do that in your sales letters, advertising, marketing and your sales presentations.
I recommend Drayton’s newsletter. You can get it at db@draytonbird.com
For a complimentary digital copy of “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius,” email me at jerrybellune@yahoo.com

Cater to the clients of your heart’s desire

A few years ago, I was surprised to see a new gasoline station on a rural road two miles from the nearest highway.
It sat there with not a neighbor in sight.
Had the owner and the oil company lost their minds, investing in a gas station way out here in the sticks? I wondered.
No.They had done their research. A new high school was under construction a mile away and now residential developments are popping up like mushrooms after rain.
The traffic count is growing daily.
Real estate people say you need 3 requirements: Location, location, location.
But it’s not all about location. It’s knowing what kind of client it will bring you.
The Wall Street Journal recently wrote about a gas station far out on Long Island, miles from Manhattan. It’s in the Hamptons where the rich and famous escape the New York City heat.
The station has mural walls, luxurious bathrooms, even live music. And its customers don’t care they pay $5 a gallon for gas. That’s not the point.
The point is this: In the Age of the Internet, you don’t have to do what either of these entrepreneurs did. But you need traffic and to locate your web site address in the minds of the clients your heart desires.
It’s time to get busy and figure it out.
For a complimentary digital copy of “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius,” email JerryBellune@yahoo.com
Copyright 2018, The Bellune Co., Inc.

How to make better decisions

An older and, we thought, wiser friend once told us we didn’t make enough mistakes. By that, he explained, he meant we should take more chances.
From failure we learn. Success simply confirms we made the right choice.
Most of us learn that even without taking wild chances, we will do stupid things every day. We  don’t mean to and only find out after they’re done.
And guess what? We learn from them.
Thomas Edison said he did not make 1,000 mistakes in inventing a light bulb. He just found 1,000 ways that didn’t work.
Relax. There is hope for better decisions.
It’s so simple, you will scarcely believe it.
You’ve known it all along. You just may not have figured it out for yourself.
It’s this: When you face a difficult decision, think about what a smart person would do. Think about how Mom or Dad would decide. Even what mental process they would use to make a decision.
It may not have been Mom or Dad. It may have been a coach or teacher who influenced you. It may have been a boss you greatly admired. It could be Jesus.
Think about how Jesus picked his disciples. How he taught them. How he decided where to go and what to do. Who he turned to as His Mentor. You can do it, too.
For a complimentary digital copy of “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius,” email JerryBellune@yahoo.com
Copyright 2018, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Success is as simple as A-C-D

What one vital step do successful people take in business and in life? Think about it.
Give up? Then tell me: What do successful people do that’s as simple as A-C-D?
They “Always Close the Deal.”
Your relationship with others is important. They must need and want what you have to offer, trust that what you can give them will relieve their pain or help them achieve their desires and dreams.
You have one job. Just one. That’s all.
It’s to get them to make the right decision for themselves. Not for you. For them.
That will get them to pull out their wallet, credit or debit card or their checkbook.
That happens when you close the deal.
You can make your prospect’s life better. But it’s your fault if they go off to live in misery.
You neglected to close the deal.
I’ve gone on sales calls with people I’m coaching, and they are great at making good impressions and building relationships.
Their failing? Closing the deal.
If you can help a prospect be happier and better, do it without fail today.
For a complimentary digital copy of “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius,” email JerryBellune@yahoo.com

Do you work for pennies – not dollars?

Our friend Ruth King analyzed one of her client’s financial statements and found he was earning 34 cents every billable hour.
Don’t let this be you, too.
Calculate your net profit for each revenue-producing or billable hour dividing your net operating profit by your total billable hours.
If you earn less than you could at a fast food restaurant, maybe you ought to work at MacDonald’s – or consider doing this:
• Figure out what you actually earn.
• Decide the net per hour you want.
• Decide how to earn that amount.
You might increase your employees’ productivity or raise your prices. You can add value to justify increasing prices.
Or you might bill for every hour you or your employees work on a client’s project.
Ruth’s client gave customers a flat rate for a project and invested hours more than estimated. He over- delivered more than promised but spent hundreds of unpaid hours doing it. His clients got a great deal but it was costing him money.
Did he lose any clients when he increased his project rates? No. His clients valued his expertise.
Calculate your net profit per hour. If you aren’t earning enough, raise your rates.
For Ruth’s weekly newsletter, you can email RKing@profitabilityrevolution.com
For a complimentary digital copy of “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius,” email JerryBellune@yahoo.com

Can you possibly advertise too much?

Department store king R.H. Macy said half his advertising brought in most of his business – he just didn’t know which half.
That’s a common complaint from business owners who don’t track their sales.
In the Internet Age’s Google Analytics, Instagram Insights and other technology, anyone who does not track results is either lazy or a dope. Don’t you be either.
 Some business owners have asked us how often they should advertise, online and in print. The right answer is “every day” -–and more than once a day if you can.
It’s why you receive so many unsolicited offers in your email inbox. It’s why you see so much print advertising in newspapers and magazines. If you let your competition beat you, he’s going to gain an advantage and cut into your market share.
It’s why Sears and Montgomery Ward sent catalog after catalog to rural families who lived far from their stores. It’s why L.L. Bean and Eddie Bauer continue to do it.
They know they must constantly keep themselves in your mind. They know you will page through catalogs, newspapers and magazines and see something you like, then go to their store or website to buy it.
We have a novel feature we offer our advertisers. They buy an ad in the Chronicle and get the same ad in the Lake Murray Fish Wrapper and on our site. Their ads have links in them that carry customers to their sites to place orders. Can you imagine what that could do for your sales?
For a complimentary digital copy of “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius,” email JerryBellune@yahoo.com

Put a little joy into your life

Audrey Joy was born blind.
Despite that, she has become a singer, entrepreneur and pianist. She never lets obstacles stand in her way, says our friend Andrea Nierenberg.
Andrea met Audrey at her Rotary club where she was club pianist and singer.
“Her voice would rival anyone on ‘The Voice.’ She lights up any room she enters,” Andrea says of her.
“Audrey sees so much more than many of us when it comes to taking the initiative and doing it all with a smile and a positive attitude.
She turns everyday encounters into opportunities, such as this one at her bank.
When she joined a small waiting line, 3 people offered to let her go in front but she declined and said “I’d rather wait in the line and do some networking.”
 She introduced herself as a piano player, singer and songwriter. She was talking with the owner of a nearby store when a young man asked what kind of music she plays.
Audrey offered everyone her “Walking Jukebox” business cards and told them how she  develops and showcases new talent.
The young man, a piano player, now works on her website, helps her with social media and “exudes enthusiasm.”
This is so simple, any of us can do it. Who knows? You may find a valuable partner, employee or new customer.
For a complimentary digital copy of “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius,” email JerryBellune@yahoo.com