Leave no money on the table

Whatever happened to Joyce who used to do business with us? No, she didn’t die. She just quit doing business with us.

Why? Did we do something wrong?

No. Joyce decided she could afford to advertise on TV based on the business our advertising had brought her.

We need to reactivate Joyce and other of our lost or inactive customers.

Go through your customer list. Highlight the people who have not bought in the past 3 years. Send them a postcard. Text them. Email them. Send them your weekly blog. Call them. Find out how they are doing.

Our friend Ruth King recommends you write or call with a message that says:

“Thank you for your past business. I was concerned because we haven’t taken care of your _____ in the past few years. What can we do to help you in you again?”

Be prepared to find out that they thought you went out of business because they haven’t heard from you. And they will tell you what it will take to help them again.

One of Ruth King’s clients sent 100 “we want you back” postcards. Cost: $50. Got back 3 clients and a $10,000 job. The postcard paid for itself many times over.

The cheapest way to grow your business is to reactivate your lost customers. Set aside a single hour a week to call them.

We share such field-tested strategies in our “Killer Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs.” For a $20 personally autographed copy, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.

Next: Your vision for your business

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

3 success strategies for 2021

Business owners and managers who survived and thrived in 2020, says our friend Ruth King, used these 3 simple strategies:

1. They paid close attention to their customers….even when they didn’t want to sell them anything. They reminded their customers that they were there for them. These messages helped keep customers aware they were thinking of them. We send these Business Blogs to our customers weekly.

We  also call to check with them for news for our business pages. This way we remind them that we care abut their successes and want to let our readers know about them.

2. They reactivated inactive customers. They looked for customers who had bought in the past but not recently. They found reasons to activate their inactive customers with a new product or service offer.

We look back at this time last year for who advertised what and contact dormant accounts to find out how we might help them increase sales and revenue.

3. They reviewed past quotes and proposals. Some of these quotes/proposals turned into sales a year later. The comment from many customers, “No one followed up with me. You’re the first.”

We share such field-tested strategies in our 3-CD “Make Yourself a Super Star” self-study course. For details, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.

Next: Leave no money on the table

Copyright 2021, The Bellune Co., Inc.

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.

Early Christmas gift – make it their idea

When our friend Mac Toole was serving as a SC lawmaker, he had a wise strategy.
He would set out to convince one of the top leaders to introduce a bill his constituents wanted. It was easier to convince one leader than 123 other legislators. 
The leader would get the credit, Mac’s constituents would get what they wanted and everyone was happy. You can get a lot done in life if you don’t hog the credit.
I learned that early in peddling Watkins Products door to door in college to keep gas in my car. My best selling product was a lemon pie filling that was out of this world. My mother used it all the time. 
She said it cut a half hour off the time it took her to make lemon pie – and it tasted like she made it from scratch.
When I called on the ladies of the houses in my territory, I would ask if their families liked lemon pie. 99% said yes.
I would tell them how fast and easy it was for my mother to make lemon pie. 
I would offer them a bottle with the guarantee that if they didn’t like it, they would get their money back. It then became their idea that the lemon pie recipe was theirs. I used it to open doors and sell them other household products.
Always let your prospects think that whatever they buy was their idea.
PS. All of us at our little newspapers wish you and yours the happiest of holidays and the best in the new year.

Next: Take care of the pennies in 2021.

Ignore your balance sheet at your own risk

Do you check your profit and loss statements and balance sheets monthly?

They tell you how profitable your business is, says our friend Ruth King.

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 portion of long term debt.

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

Your balance sheet also tells you if:

• You may be running out of cash

• Have uncollected billings you need to take action to collect.

• You are taking on too much debt, too much inventory or other cash suckers.

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.

Want more on cash management? Order Ruth’s book, “The Courage to be Profitable: Get and Stay Profitable in Less than 30 Minutes a Month” on Amazon. You can sign up for her free newsletter at rking@profitabilityrevolution.com

Next: Run and ELF business.

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.

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.

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.