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.

Turn antagonistic foes into ardent fans

A business friend occasionally calls to invites me to lunch – and I know why. 

Across the table he says, “You know I never call you unless I want something.”

He tells me what it is he needs and, since he knows I can do it, I oblige him. It makes me feel good that he turned to me and that I could do a favor for someone I like.

Most of us believe that the way to win friends is to do them a favor. Ben Franklin found the opposite works even better.

If you are a Ben Franklin fan, you undoubtedly know this story. It is a good reminder of a strategy he discovered and you can use on those who may demean you.

Franklin had incurred the ill will of a wealthy man. The man berated Franklin to others and questioned his competence.

Franklin knew the man had a prized collection of books and wrote him asking to borrow a book he knew the man owned.

This gained the man’s attention. If Ben knew about this book, he must be smarter than he had thought. He loaned Franklin his book, Franklin read it and returned it with a thank you note a few days later.

Surprisingly, the man became one of his champions and extolled his virtues.

Do you have a detractor or seek a relationship with someone? Ask for a favor.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Say sayonara to Someday Island

Covid-19 has given us the gift of reflection. 

We reflect on what we want from life. What are we willing to do to achieve it? 

Before we start, Brian Tracy writes in “No Excuses,” we take a little vacation to a fantasy place called ‘Someday Island.’

We say ‘Someday soon I’ll start that business, that diet or that exercise program.’ 

Up to 80% of us live on Someday Island. We think and dream and fantasize about all the things we will do “someday.” And what is the chief topic of conversation on Someday Island? Excuses. Everyone sits around and swaps excuses for being on the island.

They have come down with “excusitis.” 

They have good intentions but the road to hell is paved with them.

The first rule of success is simple: Vote yourself off the island. No more excuses. Do it or don’t do it but make no excuses. 

Stop using your incredible brain to rationalize and justify failing to take action. 

Do something. Do anything. Get on with it! Tell yourself: “If it’s to be, it’s up to me!”

Now make a list of your top 3 goals for the next 12 months. Prioritize them by importance. Assign each to be completed in 4 months. List the top 5 to 10 steps to achieve each. List who you need to help you and set a deadline for completing each step.

For a free copy of our Goal Setting Guide, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com

Next: Turn foes into fans

Copyright 20209, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Unshackle yourself from bad customers

You know who we’re talking about. The sourpusses who make life miserable. They complain and are never satisfied,

Our friend Ruth King says you need to know who your best customers are and why they do business with you.

1. Your company is only profitable with the right customers. You don’t need customers who drain you and are not profitable. 

2. It gives your business a purpose. It’s the reason you get up in the morning and that your customers pay you.

3. It builds your business culture. 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. 

4. You know what your marketing messages should be. “Here’s what our customers say about us” or “Here’s why our customers do business with us” should be in your marketing messages. Testimonials from customers are powerful.

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 agree with the answers, you’re doing well. If you don’t like the answers, find out what’s wrong and change it. 

We share such field-tested strategies in our 3-CD “Make Yourself a STAR (Someone They Always Remember).” For details, you can email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.

Next: Pivot for new opportunities.

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.

How you can survive covid-19 nonsense

Some of us are starting to suspect there was more to the lockdowns and non-essential business shuttering than science and epidemiologist caution. Could this have been a conspiracy to wreck the economy in a presidential election year?

Conspiracy or not, the effect on the economy was the same – probably in your industry and ours. We publish newspapers.

A friend sent us news of a metropolitan daily newspaper publisher deciding to give up print and take his chances publishing online only, we wish him well.

This is sad but you will see more of this in daily newspapers. They are burdened with overhead and debt. Their publishers can’t give up their club memberships, 2nd homes at the beach and limousine lifestyle.

The small newspaper owners like us are different. Most of us own everything debt-free, run lean operations with a few skilled people and have loyal advertisers and readers who believe in us. We are truly blessed.

Like us, we hope you are debt-free, watch your payables and receivables closely, collect what your customers owe you, pay your bills to protect your credit rating and sleep soundly, knowing your top and bottom lines are in great shape.

 We share such strategies in “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius.” For a free copy email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.

Next: Your best new business strategy

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.

The crucial moments this crisis calls for you

The 2 most important days of your life, Mark Twain said, are the day you were born and the day you find out why.

You were born for specific purposes. 

Everything within you is geared for that. It should consume you with fire and fervor, says and ace copywriter John Carlton. 

If you are not pursuing that purpose, you will forever be unhappy. That unhappiness means you’ve wandered from your path.

If you stumble into the task, no matter how unprepared, you will fulfill a joyful purpose probably beyond your ability. But you’ll find our way by doing, Submit to your destiny, and get busy.

One hint: It is not the pursuit of money.

No. You are built for far nobler things. It may be much closer to home than you thought. Raising good children is a magnificent goal. Teaching is up there, too.

What you choose to do may involve more heat than you thought possible. The entrepreneur world is not for cowards.

Figure it out. Line up the challenges you will face and plot their obliteration starting today. Stop cowering in the corner

Step 1: Find your true purpose.

Step 2: Pursue it with all your heart.

Step 3: Keep a record of your progress.

For more on this, read “Your Life’s Great Purpose.” For a personally autographed copy of the $20 book for only $10, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com

Next: Turn problems into solutions

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

More trends that may help or hurt you

Last week we talked about 3 trends that can help or hurt you.
Here are 3 more:

  • A friend observed that the political bickering in Washington is building popular sentiment for term limits. Don’t expect anybody in Congress to favor limiting their own terms. Yet their actions will make incumbents vulnerable to challengers and cost them millions in campaign donations.
  • When restaurants and non-essential retailers are able to reopen, they face the problem of hiring workers and restocking inventories at a time when they are cash poor. Smart lenders are going to have a field day. But many of these businesses are going to face higher costs with fewer customers and will have to cut their margins to attract customers to come back to them.
  • The pandemic has already driven many weaker owners out of business. This reduces the competition for consumers’ dollars when the stronger ones are open again.

Be sure you are ready to provide 1st class service and products to take advantage of this less competitive market.

Do you see other trends? Please let me know by writing JerryBellune@yahoo.com

We share such ideas in “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius.”  For a complimentary copy, please fill out the form at the top of the page to join the mailing list.

Next: Protect your credibility during covid-19 to retain your customers’ loyalty. Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Trends to help – or hurt -your business

Alert business owners and entrepreneurs need to be aware of new consumer trends that may help – or hurt – their business.

A local ad agency survey found that some behavioral changes may be long-lasting. While 92% of consumers wanted to go out to eat, 67% planned to cook more at home and 41% planned to order take-out once the covid-19 crisis subsides.

67% missed going to movies but 56% were more likely to stream movies at home.

Bringing manufacturing back to the US, especially in critical products such as drugs and technology, could have positive impacts on South Carolina. Low labor costs and lack of union resistance to modern production methods will make right-to-work states appealing to manufacturers.

Consumers who rarely if ever bought products online have been forced to turn to the internet. Now that they realize how convenient it is for many products, they are expected to continue to buy there. As for shopping in women’s fashions, they can watch shopping channels and buy there,

We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.” For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-331-6695.

Do you see other trends? Please let me know at JerryBellune@yahoo.com

Next: More trends that could help or hurt your business’s bottom line.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.