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.

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.

Harness the power of word-of-mouth

A couple of our friends were discussing a German restaurant 45 minutes from our town. My wife and I miss German food since the only place in town that served it closed. Of course, I was interested.

I mentioned it to my doctor, a fellow schnitzel lover. Her story was different. 

On her only visit, the wait staff was not only inattentive but rude. And it took 3 hours for their meals to arrive.

Now if you were me, who would you believe, the good reviews or the bad? For a 90-minute round-trip drive, would you take such a chance? Not me. I mentally crossed the place off my must-do list. 

A woman I do business with occasionally advertises with us – when she has something special she wants to sell. I asked her once why she did not benefit from a more consistent advertising campaign.

“I rely on word-of-mouth advertising,” she told me. I didn’t argue with or try to enlighten her. She is a strong-willed person who will not listen to reason.

But she could enhance her advertising with testimonials from customers who love and appreciate what she does for them.

You do use testimonials, don’t you?

We share such field-tested strategies in our 3-CD “Make Yourself a STAR (Someone They Always Remember)” self-study course. 

Details at JerryBellune@yahoo.com

Next: 3 ways to connect with prospects

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.

Ignore your balance sheet at your own risk

Do you only check your profit and loss statements? Your balance sheet tells you much more than your profit and loss statement, says our friend Ruth King. It actually tells you how profitable your company is.

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 part of long term debt.

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

Your balance sheet also tells you if:

  • You may be running out of cash
  • You have a collection problem
  • You are taking on too much debt or too much inventory.

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.

If you want more information on how to understand your balance sheet, order Ruth’s book, The Courage to be Profitable: Get and Stay Profitable in Less than 30 Minutes a Month. It’s available on Amazon, on Audible, or if you want an autographed copy, call her at 770-729-0258.

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 803-331-6695.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Covid-19 opens doors to new opportunities

Stephanie Hall is a genius at diversifying her business strategies in this pandemic.

Before covid-19 halted her event rental business, she launched a luxury brand of hand-blown colored glass cake stands and stemware. The vintage-style pieces are original designs made at a 100-year-old glass-making company in Poland. 

She marketed her new products on social media to influencers, sending them samples. With more people at home and surfing social media, her colored glass got a boost.

She had a 2nd surge of business in June thanks to social media bringing attention to black-owned businesses. In 2 weeks, her Instagram account doubled from 23,400 to 51,500 followers. She turned off her Instagram advertising and has been working round the clock to respond to retailers interested in selling her products.

The boost in business allowed her to keep her employees working at packaging and shipping orders for colored glass.

Hall, a former corporate tax attorney, is looking for her next business opportunity –renting lush, silk flowers to brides. Being able to pivot quickly with a diversified business portfolio is a sound business strategy,.

We share such field-tested ideas in “Million Dollar Strategies of Maverick Entrepreneurs.” For an autographed copy of the $20 book, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.

Next: How to build your self-confidence

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

What a rubber duck can do for you

What is the craziest thing you’d expect to find in a hotel? Our friend Ruth King found a rubber duck in the bathtub at a Hampton Inn in Joliet, Il. It made her laugh. 

What did this Hampton Inn do that no other hotel, even fancy resort hotels do?

They made her feel better after a long day. They were extremely creative with something that probably cost less than a dollar. And they could use it over and over again to delight and surprise guests. 

Delighted guests tell their friends. Their friends become guests, too. 

What can we do to delight and surprise our customers? What will get them talking about our companies? It doesn’t have to cost much. The rubber duck didn’t.

Here are 3 ideas:

  • Customers rarely get thank you notes for doing business with companies. Would they be delighted if they got one from you?
  • Plumbers could send a rubber duck with a note: We keep the water running so you can have “fun in the tub.” 
  • Although more expensive, Ruth has a client who always sends flowers to employees’ wives before the busy summer season to say: Thank you! We know that (name) will be working long hours helping our customers. We want you to know we appreciate your understanding and support.

We share such strategies in “Uncover our Inner Sales Genius. For a free copy join the mailing list and join the e-mail list.

Next: Attract more of the right prospects.

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.

How to beat the Grinch in 2020

How do you get the Grinch to go away?
Think about where you want to go, what you want to do and write it down, advises our friend Ruth King. The simple act of writing it down will propel you to do the goals even if you don’t think about it.
A student in Ruth’s BOSS (Business Owner’s Survival School) class wrote down his 1, 3, and 5 year goals and put them away.
Years later he found the goals. To his amazement he accomplished most of them without consciously thinking about them.
3 things you want to write down:

  1. What net profit per hour do you want in 2020? In other words, for each revenue generating hour how much gross and net profit do you want? The average business is open 2,000 hours a year, closing on New Years Day, Christmas and other holidays.
  2. What sales revenue do you want to generate in those days in 2020?
  3. Are you happy? If you are, what will you do to stay happy? If not, what will you commit to so that you achieve happiness.
    If you are not happy, then as the owner, your business suffers. Happiness is a precursor to business success.
    We share such ideas in “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius.” For a complimentary copy, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com or call us at 803-359-7633.
    Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Can your business pass this financial test?

Our friend Ruth King says financial statements are our scorecard. We need them on time to properly price our offers, make good decisions to earn a profit, spot minor issues and resolve them before they become major crises.
A financial statement prepared by the company’s accountant quarterly is unacceptable. Boxes of receipts delivered to our accountants at the end of the year are unacceptable. Timely, accurate financial statements on the last business day of the month help you spot and fix minor problems before they become major ones. Our long term survival depends on them.
The first thing to do with financial statements is a quick review. If something looks wrong, question it and get it right before going any further. Is income up or down from this month last year? How about payroll and other expenses? Do you know why they differ? Is this a good or bad sign?
Calculate ratios which answer:

  1. Can we pay all of our bills?
  2. Are costs too high?
  3. Do we have a collections problem?
  4. A personnel productivity problem?
  5. Are we carrying too much debt?
    Ruth’s “The Courage to be Profitable” explains each ratio in detail. It’s available on Amazon. For an autographed copy, call her at 770-729-0258.
    We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
    For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email JerryBellune@yahoo.com . For an electronic copy click here to see the book on Amazon.
    Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.