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.

5 steps to turn problems into profits

Has the covid-19 crisis crippled your confidence, your sales and your income?

Our friend Jill Konrath says that when she faces the same thing she:

  1. Tells herself she has a challenge, not a problem. That matters. Our brain responds positively to challenges. It wants to find answers. In short, it clicks into gear.
  2. Reminds herself that she’s successfully handled other challenges. What did she do then? It builds her confidence.
  3. Poses questions such as:
  • What could I be doing differently? 
  • How do my colleagues deal with this?
  • What can I do to get more business from my existing clients? What messages or offers may result in a better response?
  • What will it take to make this decision a higher priority? How can I help prospects gain consensus on an important decision?

4. Experiments with different strategies, approaches, techniques. Calling what she does an experiment frees her from failure. Instead she is seeking new solutions. 

5. Steps back to evaluate the experiment. What went well so she can repeat it. What didn’t. Was it what she said? How she said it? What she didn’t say? Was the offer strong? 

Be honest with yourself.

We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.” For a copy, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.

Next: Make more sales in a pandemic

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.

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.

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.

Never forget the Scouts’ motto

Were you a Scout as a kid? If so, you will remember that famous motto – “Be prepared.” It’s not just for when you were young. It’s for business and for life.
Ace copywriter John Carlton reminds us that no matter how many good customers we have, it is smart to have a few more prospects in our pipelines at all times.
A perverse habit many entrepreneurs fall into is becoming too comfortable when things are going well, Don’t close your eyes to opportunities to serve new prospects. Providence may decide to rattle your smug little cage and teach you a lesson.
That happened to us the other day. We thought we had a big ticket proposal sold and an email came days before the deadline. The prospect decided to do something else. And we had to get someone else fast to take an annual publication’s back cover.
It can happen to you. Your client gets angry, dies or is dragged off to the hoosegow with no other prospects in your pipeline.
You need a plan for when things go bad. An escape hatch. Money for rainy days.
Start with long-term goals. How do you want the next 10 years to go? Where do you want to be when it’s time to retire? How much moolah will you need?
 We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633. Get an electronic copy from Amazon by clicking here.
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.

5 questions all business owners must ask

How do you build a business that rocks?
Our friend Ruth King told us that Jim Howard who published her book, The Courage to be Profitable, asks business owners:
• What is your reason for being in business? Why are you doing this?
• What does your customer get out of it? Your reasons have to be big enough for your customer and you to care.
• What is your offer? What can you provide them that they want or need?
Their wants may be different from their needs. Many of us get what we want rather than what we need. People buy on wants and justify it with their need later.
• How do you tell them about the value of what you have to offer?
You can’t build it and they will come. You have to build it, market it and tell them why they should need or want it.
• What pain will you fix? What pleasure can you give? Without pain or a dream to motivate them, they won’t respond.
• How do you retain them as clients?
You must be loyal to them and look out for their interests if you want them to become loyal and trust you.
Long-term maintenance plans and extended warranties with multiple benefits can build their trust in you.
That’s how you build a business that rocks. We share such ideas in Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633. You can get an electronic copy from Amazon by clicking here.
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

How to super-charge your motivation

Do you struggle with motivation? An executive recruiter friend keeps on his desk a photo of a fire truck-red Lamborghini he wants. This is no toy. The car costs $200,000. The photo goads him to achieve his daily goals and buy the car.
He knows exactly how many calls he will have to make, how many rejections he will have to take, how many contacts he must develop and how many executives he has to place to take care of all his other costs of feeding and clothing his wife and 4 rambunctious boys … and buy the Lamborghini.
I’ll bet you any amount of money you care to wager he will do it. He is highly motivated and that Lamborghini goads him.
The workaholic rules a few of us over-achievers live by say work should be its own reward. You and I both know it’s BS.
As you enjoy more success, the risks are greater and the prizes more lavish. You must be motivated to stay on top, achieve your goals and acquire your Lamborghini.
The way to burn out is to finish a grueling project and jump on the next one.
Take a break. Go to the Bahamas. Reward yourself with something you’ve always wanted. Donate to or volunteer for a cause you really believe in.
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 . To get an electronic version, visit Amazon by clicking here.
Next: Can you pass this test?

Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.