Make it fun to do business with you

Dian and Gerald Harmon worked hard to make their concrete business successful and sold it for a bundle long before they were ready to retire. They started a “fun” business – a Christmas tree farm with hay rides, spooky Halloween rides and other events for kids. It was fun and profitable, too.
No matter what kind of business you’re in, find ways to make it fun, too.
Bill and Vickie Shanahan own a collegiate summer baseball team but know they are in the fun and entertainment business.
Last week they unveiled 2 “Fair Food” specials – donut burgers and chocolate covered bananas with sprinkles.
The burger (cheeseburger, too) comes on a sliced glazed donut. The frozen, chocolate covered banana with sprinkles comes on a stick. When their new baseball season opens today, they will also offer corn dogs on a stick, funnel fries and other fair food.
Now ask yourself this:

  1. What can I offer my customers, clients or patients that would be fun but not out of character with my core business?
  2. Ask your best customers, contractors, vendors and employees that question.
    You’ll be delighted by their answers.
    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 .

Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

To see this and other great business content you can also check out the Lexington County Chronicle Business Section. Our E-edition has even more content.

Productivity: How to double your productivity

Our friend Andrea Nierenberg shared with us these ways she makes her 24 hours each day more productive:

• Awaken 10 minutes early and you’ll be surprised to discover how much time you have created through those extra minutes.
You can start a project, connect online, write a note to people in your network, catch up on important reading or exercise.
Squeeze extra productivity out of your day.

  • Ask yourself these 5 questions:
  1. How much of my time is spent with clients or people in my network?
  2. Do I confirm appointments?
  3. Is my paperwork done completely?
  4. Am I willing to meet with people at their convenience instead of mine?
  5. Do I frequently have productive coffee and lunch meetings with my network?
  • To help yourself list.
  1. All the ways you waste time and how you will stop doing them.
  2. How you can be more productive.

Time can be your best friend and worst enemy. It keeps moving, so use it wisely.
Don’t multi-task. You’ll make mistakes.
When someone meets with you, give them your undivided attention. Always ask, “How much time do we need right now?”
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
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

The best way to gain more customers

Our friend Ruth King told us about her friend who asked for referrals for their new air conditioning system. None of the sales people asked why the friends called.
Make sure your salespeople ask how prospects heard about or who suggested you. Then thank those who referred you.
Prospects who call your company on recommendations are passive referrals.
No one in your company solicited the referral. It came because of a great job you did and your happy customer referred others to you without being prompted. These referrals prove you did a great job and the customer was happy to mention you.
Active referrals come when you ask customers for them. Many do it through social media: “If you liked our service, please review us on Google, Yelp, etc.”
Active referrals can come from incentives. By offering a gift, product or service for referrals, some customers become de facto sales people for you.
Put a statement on the bottom of your invoices that says, “We grow our company through referrals from family and friends. If we did a great job, please let them know.
“If we didn’t, please let us know.”
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.
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Achieve your goals on time – every time

Our friend Ann Elliott agreed to work with us on our 1st book. Its mission was to teach sales people the top 7 strategies of sales super stars. They were great sales people we had worked with over the years. Ann worked with us about an hour and left us a goal setting work sheet.
The sheet required us to write a richly detailed description of the book’s purpose, describe how we would feel when it was finished and published and to set a realistic date for completing the final draft.
Finally we listed each step no matter how minor that we needed to finish the final draft and publish and market the book.
Each step had to say what was required, who would we need to help complete it and a firm deadline for it to be finished.
Using Ann’s work sheet, we listed each thing that was yet to be done and finished the book a few weeks later. The sheet provided a great incentive and a step by step road map to get where we wanted to go.
We use that work sheet with all our coaching clients and in every mentoring session. It helps our clients hold themselves accountable. They never come to a session feeling ashamed a step was not completed.
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. Get an electronic copy by clicking here.
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

You must believe in what you’re selling

Call us old fashioned. We’ve been sold on the power of newspapers and advertising most of our lives. And it has served us well.
Prospects can tell we are talking with them about something we believe in. Without that belief and the passion it gives us, we may not have sold the first ad campaign.
It takes passion to motivate yourself to get out there and show others how what you offer can improve their lives.
Sales legend Zig Ziglar said that we must have passion and belief in what we offer.
One of Zig’s favorite stories was about his colleague who wasn’t selling much.
Zig asked him if he owned the product.
No, the man said, but he “planned to” after he made a few sales.
Zig sold him a set of cookware that day.
He made a commission on it that his colleague could have used as a discount had he taken the initiative to buy it himself.
We must believe in our product or service so strongly that we own it ourselves.
If you won’t invest your own money in your offer, can you expect others to?
Your prospect will feel your lack of belief and passion. Your prospects will perceive that you don’t truly believe in what you are offering and your sales will plummet.
We discuss such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollars Strategies.” For a $20 autographed copy, call 803-359-7633.

Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Avoid the No. 1 networking mistake

Most people we meet at networking events make a sad mistake. They think they’re so special they have to tell you all about themselves, what they do, etc.
This isn’t networking. It’s word-vomiting all over some poor soul who deserves better.
Our friend Andrea Nierenberg, the Networking Queen, wrote recently about how to introduce yourself at such events.
Her advice is sound. I only would add this suggestion: Make it about them. Showing your interest in other people is a sincere compliment. So few people know to do it that it sets you above the crowd.
We must seize the initiative and ask them first: “What do you do?”or “What brought you here today?” or “How might I be of help to you?” You get the idea.
It is critical that you learn about them:

  1. What line of work they are in.
  2. Why they came to this event.
  3. What you may have in common.
    Find out about their needs or wants you may help them with. That’s a plus.
    This makes an almost instant connection. Your personal interest delights them.
    You will find out if they are someone who needs what you do or can refer you something.
    When they ask, “Now tell me what you do,” you have a good idea of what to say that will build their confidence in you.
    These are the kinds of ideas you will find in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.” For a personally autographed $20 copy, call us at 359-7633.
    Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Is ‘selling’ the wrong word to use?

Salesman Harv Eker says he doesn’t like the word sell. He’s not alone. He thinks it has a negative connotation.
He suggests that to avoid saying “sell,” say “help.” By using “help,” you emphasize an important distinction in your thinking and customers’ or prospects’ thinking.
Harv wants you to help people, not sell them something. It makes sense.
Most prospects want solutions to their problems – not products. They want what your products can do for them. That’s the main reason they buy from you.
The other reasons are that you offer them a benefit too great to refuse or the fulfillment of their hopes and dreams.
No one buys from you because you’re smart, trustworthy or good-looking.
They give you money because you solve a pain or a problem for them or offer such value or hope that they can’t refuse.
The Godfather had it right. Make them an offer they can’t refuse. If they don’t see how you can solve their problems, you’re wasting your time and theirs.
Here’s one we have found that also works: Use “invest” instead of “buy.”
“Buy” implies an outgo of their money.
“Invest” suggests a return and reward.
We discuss this and other ideas in Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Ideas.
For a personally autographed $20 copy, call Katie and Jewel at 359-7633.
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Save time and get more done

Many business owners boast that they have an open door policy. That’s great – if they have nothing else to do. But for many, it is a mistake. They should encourage their people to seize the initiative and solve problems they encounter themselves.
Multiple studies have found that interruptions cause tasks to take 30% longer or more. Many of those tasks are ones that only you as the boss can and should do.
One solution to keep them from coming to you with every 5-cent problem is to teach them to be self-reliant and take responsibility for their work. When they come to you, ask them what they consider the best solution. If you agree, congratulate them and ask them to take care of it. Let them know your confidence in them is growing.
An easy way to improve your productivity 30% is to close your door. You can even post a sign: “Please call back at 3 pm.”
Your employees will get the message and learn that they can talk with you later.
Most of us do NOT have to be on the premises all day every day. We can work part-time at home with few interruptions.
You will get more done and make more time for your family and personal projects.
We discuss this in a new book, “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

How to profit from others’ insights

Billionaire Andrew Carnegie used his mastermind group to test ideas and assure his success. His group was made up of highly successful entrepreneurs, business owners and CEOs in many fields. Smart business owners and entrepreneurs do it, too.
Our mastermind group offers 5 blockbuster business building benefits.

  1. Fast track, tested and proven ideas and strategies. Why re-invent the wheel? Shortcut it at lightning speed.
  2. Friendly accountability and coaching. Accountability is key. When you know others are watching, you pick up the pace.
  3. The incredible power of group creative thinking. Imagine the benefits of brainstorming with other experienced business owners who share insights with you.
  4. A peer group of like-minded entrepreneurs is your exclusive advisory board to test your ideas. Think “Disney Imagineers.”
  5. An opportunity for joint ventures and business alliances. Such ventures produce thousands of dollars in business deals.
    We discuss mastering the power of the master mind in our new book, “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
    For a $20 personally autographed copy or information about the Chronicle VIP Club, call 803-331-6695 or email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.
    Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Take off your blinders, widen your footprint

Too many business owners are hampered by blinders.
They think of their businesses and their customers too narrowly.
If MacLeod and Jerry Bellune had thought of their publishing business that way, they might not be in business now.
They did not stray from communications, advertising and news. These were industries they understood even if the market was changing almost daily.
They chose instead to widen their footprint in the communications and publishing industries.
The lone exception was to start a real estate investment company to house their enterprises. They believed investing in real estate was a good bet for them.
Today they publish books, ebooks, self-study courses and print and online advertising, magazines and newspapers.
They offer advertising, marketing, sales and leadership courses. They use more than a dozen strategies to advertise, market and promote their businesses.
Wannabe entrepreneurs and business owners often ask for the Magic Bullet of success. The truth is, one Magic Bullet won’t do it. You need many Magic Bullets.
As an entrepreneur, embrace as many of these as you can. Make them work for you.
Bellune and 10 co-authors reveal their strategies in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.” For a $20 autographed copy call 803-359-7633.
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.