Create loving messages for your customers

Our friend Bill Edmonds checked into a hotel and found a message in his room.
“Sure, life can be messy. That’s why I’m here. Don’t worry about a thing. Just make yourself at home, have fun and enjoy your room. I’ll clean it all up. If you need anything, just press “0.” -Your Housekeeper.”
This refreshing message captured his imagination. The words were inviting, soothing and friendly. The message sounded like something Jesus might say.
When was the last time you sat down and wrote a thank you note to someone who did you a good turn? When was the last time you wrote a thank you to your customers for doing business with you?
A friend of ours was in the hospital with a cardiac scare and the nurses, doctors, and technicians treated him like royalty.
He’s written the hospital CEO a letter of commendation naming all who took good care of him. He also autographed 16 copies of his books for each of them.
Want to bet they will remember the patient in room 324 for a long time?
Let me suggest you take 3 steps today:

  1. Call 3 of your customers to thank them and see how you might help them.
  2. Write 3 others a thank you note.
  3. Buy and give a motivational book to your 3 best customers to say thank you
    We share such field-tested ideas in “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius.” For a free copy go to JerryBellune.com.
    Next: Keep your customers comfortable
    Copyright 2021, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Ads that ring your cash register

Bob Bly and I are direct response apostles. It’s the best way to advertise.
Bob says if we embrace direct response ads in print and online, the greater our response, RoI, sales and profits will be.
Direct response ads only goal is response and sales. Here are its principles:

  • Instead of pretty designs and clever copy, give offers and sales enticements backed by extensive proof and facts.
  • Forget brand building. Your goal is more inquiries, leads, orders and sales.
  • Irresistible offers are carefully thought out, worded and easy to find.
  • Appeal to emotions not just logic. Offer to solve pains, help realize dreams.
  • Use the words “free” and “guaranteed.” These words guarantee response.
  • Calls to action should appear in the opening and closing of the ad. This catches the eyes of your Ideal Customers and tells them how to place their orders.
  • Sell more additional products to customers who bought a 1st product. Have back-end offers of added products and services.
  • Be a tightwad. Be careful what you spend. If a campaign costs too much, you won’t make much money with it.
  • Test all ads. Ask where buyers received your offer. Repeat what gets sales.

We share such field-tested strategies in our “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius.”
For a free e-copy, go to JerryBellune.net
Next: Send loving messages to customers
Copyright 2021, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Why ads should appeal to our emotions

Consumers rarely buy on the facts. 

Even the most analytically minded. They buy with emotion and justify it with logic.

Think about your last purchase, why you bought it and how you justified it to yourself or your partner.

Our friend Bill Edmonds says Southwest Airlines most effective ad appealed to our emotions in 3 words: “Wanna get away?”

Their commercials depict people caught in awkward blunders. The individual does something embarrassing, then a voice asks, “Wanna get away?” while the character wallows in self-inflicted humiliation. 

The solution? Buy a “Wanna Get Away” ticket from Southwest and fly far, far away, leaving your shame behind.  

Bill says he’s convinced the campaign was popular because we identify with the feelings of the commercial’s protagonist. 

We know what it is like to want to run away from our latest blunder.

Research has found that feelings of humiliation and shame are more intense than those of happiness and anger.

What emotions do your own ads appeal to? A sense of need, such as “I need a new car” or of want, such as “Can I afford to go to the Caribbean this year?”

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

Copyright 2021, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Who can you help today?

A local banker and his wife were among the most successful couples in our town.

Each morning, they prayed for guidance about who they might help that day.

It was a selfless appeal for someone in need and how to help them.

They took a tough-minded approach. They didn’t just want to give a hungry man a fish. They wanted to teach him to fish and get the equipment he would need.

When we bought a newspaper in their town, he and his bank manager were in our office 30 minutes after we closed the sale.

They had that kind of local intelligence network and they asked how they could help us. It was a welcome gesture since the newspaper was financially in trouble.

The banker introduced us to people he thought we should know and who could help us salvage a business that was deep in debt to get it into the black.

He and his wife became our role models.

They were two of the best loved people in our town because they genuinely cared.

If you don’t have role models like them, find one – or become one yourself.

We share such field-tested secrets in “Maverick Entrepreneur’s Million Dollar Strategies.” For a personally autographed copy, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.

Next: How to make difficult decisions

Copyright 2021, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Retain your loyal customers for life

When loyal customers’ friends ask who they use for what you offer, they not only mention your name but tell them about something special you did for them.

When customers need to call you, they have your number in their cell phones, on refrigerator magnets or type your company’s name in their search box rather than a generic search for your types of business.

They know, like and trust you to take care of their needs and wants.

You and I know how important customer loyalty is but here’s the good news: 69% of our competitors don’t know loyalty is critical or how to gain and retain customers.

Here are 5 ways we have built loyalty:

1. We know our most loyal customers, what they want and need and how often.

2. We are selective. We go after prospects like our loyal customers. Their needs and wants are similar and we know how to make them happy.

3. We constantly look for ways we can help them in addition to the products or services they buy from us.

4. We refer business to them.

5. We touch them often when we have ideas or offers of value to them.

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

Next: Your customers’ best friend.

Avoid becoming a public disgrace

Every business owner, manager, entrepreneur or politician should learn a critical lesson from NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s cover-up of his fatal nursing home blunder.

By sending 9,000 covid-infected patients into NY nursing homes he cost up to 13,000 lives – then tried to cover it up.

Tragically, hospital beds were available but the governor ignored that and then published a book about his heroic leadership in the pandemic. Although he has been forced to admit what he did, the governor has not yet apologized to the families.

It may remind you of the Food Lion cover up after an investigative team showed a video of their butchers carelessly handling meat that could make customers sick.

When the expose was shown on national TV, Food Lion could have said, “We are as disturbed by this as we know our customers are. We are investigating and will get to the bottom of this. We sincerely apologize to all our loyal customers and the public.”

Food Lion didn’t – and it has taken years to recover their reputation.

In contrast, when someone poisoned bottles of Tylenol, Johnson & Johnson spent millions of dollars recalling every bottle of Tylenol and destroyed them. They apologized for something they did not do but protected people no matter what it cost.

Make this a mantra for you and your people: “Honesty is the best policy.”

When you or they mess up – and you will – apologize and make it right.

We share such field-tested strategies in “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius.” For a free e-copy, go to JerryBellune.com.

Next: Keep loyal customers for life

Copyright 2021, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Your abominable No-Man

When it comes big bucks CEOs, you could not pick a pair more different than Angelo Mozilo and Warren Buffett.

Angelo founded Countrywide Financial, a giant mortgage lender during the last big real estate bubble. His 2nd in command and heir apparent Stan Kurland tried to caution him about over-extending the company’s credit. Angelo ignored him.

Stan left the company with $25 million and formed a rival real estate lender.

You may remember that Countrywide went bust because its CEO would not listen.

His #2 man’s new company did not fail.

In contrast, Warren Buffett has built Berkshire Hathaway into a mega-billion dollar investment holding company.

Much of its success he attributes to his partner Charlie Munger. He calls Charlie his “Abominable No-Man.” Warren appreciates the good ideas Charlie suggests – and the bad ideas he shoots down.

A business owner we know attributes most of his company’s success to his wife and co-owner. He is a dreamer and risk taker. His wife is highly creative but she is a tough-minded realist, too.

She is his Abominable No-Woman.

If you don’t have someone like her, you had better find one. She can save you from your most foolish notions

We share such hard realities in our “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius” e-book.

Next: Appeal to their emotions.

Copyright 2021, The Bellune Co., Inc.

What we can learn from Walt Disney

When you think of being visionary, compare your vision with Walt Disney’s vision for Disneyland 65 years ago:

“Physically, Disneyland is to be a small world in itself. Encompassing the things that were good and true in American life… dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America.

“I don’t want the public to think about the world they live in when they are inside our world created for them. Beyond physical places, we want to bring people along into an entirely different world, with our philosophies and ideas, our characters, our stories, our past, present and future, so they are a part of it and never want to leave.

“At age 12 or at age 62, we want them to feel curiosity, wonder, awe, fascination, joy, and attachment. Within this world, we want them to experience discovery and adventure, fun and entertainment, education, participation, and recognition. They will not just come to visit our places or to the theater to see our films. They will bring us into their homes and into their hearts. We will never settle for having customers or fans — they will be Disney people. This world will never be completed. It will always be under construction, expanding, diversifying, playing more and more roles in peoples’ lives.”

Our thanks to Rick Houcek for sharing this visionary document.

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

Next: With vision, you flourish

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.

Writing Tip: Tune up your senses

Good afternoon, fellow ink-stained wretches.
Here’s a little New Year’s gift for you.

Daily life rends to dull our senses.
It should tune them up.

How often have you driven a familiar route on auto-pilot?
You go this way so often you barely pay attention.
Even veteran reporters and writers occasionally tune out.

Bob Greene makes us look at daily life differently.
Bob is a Chicago journalist and bestselling author
He was sitting in a doctor’s waiting room.
That’s a good place to read old magazines or take naps.

While waiting, Bob turned on his Big Eyes and Big Ears.
He saw a woman and her aging father sitting together.
She showed an old magazine to her father.

“Do you know who this is, Dad?” she asked.
Her father studied the cover and said, “He’s an actor.”
“That’s right,” she said with unmistakable relief.

Her tone will be familiar to those who care for aged parents.
They worry about what years do to those who raised them.

“Do you know which actor?” she asked, hope in her voice.
He did not reply though the name was on the cover.
“Brad Pitt,” the daughter said. “They’re getting divorced.”
The cover story was about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
The magazine reported their marriage was on the rocks.

The magazine was old.
The couple separated in 2016.
“That’s right,” the father said. “Brad Pitt. I know him.”

His daughter was checking on her dad’s memory.
It was a delicate way to check his recall.
Brad Pitt had no idea how his likeness was used.
Yet he was part of something precious and profound.
His face helped a daughter check up on her dad.
She had improvised a mental diagnostic tool.

She smiled at her father and took his hand.
Then they rose and went in to see his doctor.

Had Bob Green been napping, he would have missed this.
He watched an intimate moment between two people.
He knew neither of them and may never see them again
But he wrote to share with us a profound moment.

That’s what keen observation can give us.
I hope Bob’s story touched you as it did me.
You can witness such magic, too.
Just open your eyes and stay tuned in.

Want more of such clear writing tips.
Order An Editor’s Guide to Compelling Writing.
It’s $9.99 by writing JerryBellune@yahoo.com