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.

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.

How to get high email open rates

Have you heard marketers or bloggers brag about the high number of addresses on their email lists? A blogger said he had more than 5 million. Wonder how many actually open his emails? What does it cost 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 weekly Writing Tips have a super high 45% open rate because those specifically asked to get those emails.

Now some hurried readers may skip your email this time but open it at least half the time. Hang on to them. Just delete those totally non-opening addresses.

We share such field-tested strategies in our free CD “Why Advertising Fails & What You Can Do About It.”  For details, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.

Next: Is your cash managing you?

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Become a Master of Gratitude

Can you attract more business without it costing you a dime? Absurd, you say.

No, it’s simple, says our friend Ruth King. Show gratitude. Say thank you. Appreciate your customers and your employees.

When customers complain, you can disarm them by thanking them sincerely for letting you know. It will shift the conversation from problem to solution. 

Lori Saitz is a master of gratitude. It has changed her business and her life. She now does gratitude meditations for people and companies (customizedmeditation.com).

Lori says it takes little time to say thank you, send an email and show you appreciate your customers and their business.

Scientific research shows gratitude changes your biochemistry. Feeling grateful helps your brain produce more serotonin and dopamine, the feel-good chemicals. 

What happens to us and how we react makes it good or bad in our minds. It is our reaction that makes us emotional. 

We can’t think rationally or make good decisions when we are emotional.

Ruth King’s new book, Profit or Wealth? – is $14.95 on Amazon. Email her at rking@ontheribbon.com for her free newsletter.

We share other field-tested strategies in our free CD “Why Advertising Fails & What You Can Do About It.” For details, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.

Next: Raise your email open rates.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Want to run an ELF business?

Joe Polish turned around his carpet cleaning business and started teaching his unique strategies to others.

Joe’s Consumer Awareness Guide taught people how to buy carpet cleaning. In it he said, “You can have an ELF business or a HALF business.” ELF stands for easy, lucrative and fun. HALF stands for hard, annoying, lame and frustrating.

An ELF business has a system that’s easy, repeatable and produces expected results. If you have a procedures manual and it sits on the shelf and isn’t followed, why do you have a procedures manual? It was a waste of time, effort, and money.

Likewise, if you have a process for answering the phone, talking with customers in your store, all employee contact with customers should follow a procedure. 

For example, review your financial statements each month. This compares budgeted to actual profit and loss and financial ratios and trends. You make good business decisions on the information you review. 

If these procedures are ignored, you may have unhappy customers who don’t come back, warranty issues, and a HALF business. 

It’s your business. Set the procedures you want and ensure they are followed. This requires management on your part – praising employees who do it right and discussing it when procedures aren’t followed.

We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.” 

For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-331-6695.

Next: Cage your loyal customers.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Concentrate on your Ideal Customers

Every business has Ideal Customers.

Knowledge of those customers is the starting point for all marketing strategies, says business consultant Bill Edmonds.

To better understand your Ideal Customers you must know their:

• Demographics – their age range, education, income, jobs, where they live and how many people live in their homes.

• Psychographics – their lifestyle and buying habits. Do they enjoy traveling? What are their personal values? How do they like to shop? Do they buy online?

Demographics help you understand who buys from you and psychographics helps you understand why they buy.”

It’s important to acquire thorough knowledge of your customers, Grasping the reasons behind their lifestyles and buying behaviors will lead to more profits.

Start with your existing customers.

• Age. Knowing your customers’ generation is more useful than specific age.

• Stage in life. Where customers are in their lives. Entering college? Becoming parents? About to buy their first house or downsize since the kids are grown?

• Interests. What types of activities do your customers enjoy? Do they like golf or tennis? What on TV do they watch?

Create a customer persona that captures their who and why. You might call them Carl and Cathy Customer.

Carl and Cathy become an easy-to-understand picture of their likes and dislikes, buying habits, social media activity and other facts about the way they live.

Carl and Cathy need to feel that you understand them, their needs and wants and will help them make their lives better.

We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”

For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-331-6695.

Next: Attract more Carls and Cathys.

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.

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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.