Your best source of new business

All of us know we should ask for referrals but we too often forget to ask.
Our friend Ruth King advises her coaching clients to place a statement at the bottom of their bills, proposals and the backs of their business cards.
Print “We grow our company through referrals from satisfied customers. If we provided excellent customer service, please tell your friends and colleagues. If we did something wrong, please tell us and we will fix it. Our goal is 100% customer satisfaction.”
This statement lets a customer know that you are serious about providing outstanding customer service and that you appreciate referrals. Some will call you with referrals. Some will let you fix a problem rather than spreading the fact that they were unhappy to friends, neighbors, and social media.
The statement on proposals should be slightly different: “We grow our company through referrals from satisfied customers. If we provide excellent customer service when you become our customer, please tell your friends and colleagues. If we did something wrong, please tell us and we will fix it. Our goal is 100% customer satisfaction.”
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.
You can also order an electronic edition through Amazon by clicking here.

Solve clients’ problems without cash

Have you ever had great clients who became unhappy with you or one of your people? Did you lose them? Did you have to cut your prices or refund their money?
Our friend John Carlton says that any problem that can be solved with money can be solved without money.
That simply means that using cash to solve problems shows that you’ve stumbled upon a value level where unhappy customers can be coaxed back into the fold.
But value doesn’t always equal greenbacks. Once you’ve established that the unhappy client WILL come back, for the right value … then you’re free to experiment with things other than cash.
Like free stuff that’s valuable to them.
Too many biz owners get caught up in a black-and-white world of cash or no cash.
To savvy entrepreneurs this means creating value with an hour of your time over lunch, free membership in master mind groups, gifts, golf outings, theater or sports tickets or other incentives you can provide.
Think what they would find valuable that’s as good or better than cash.
Does this make sense? Throwing money around cuts into your bottom line.
We discuss such solutions in “Maverick Entrepreneur’s Million Dollar Strategies,” a book that can change your life and business.
For a $20 personally autographed copy, call Jewel or Katie at 803-359-7633.
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.

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.

The iceberg approach to marketing

Much of effective marketing is like the submerged part of an iceberg — invisible but powerful and important. For example:
Business strategist Ann Elliott took a successful business leader’s advice to write a newsletter for her clients and prospects. He said it would provide value for them and establish her as an authority and someone worth listening to.
Ann dragged her feet for months.
At an association conference presentation, she stepped out on a limb and offered to send her new electronic newsletter to the audience. To become a subscriber, all they had to do was give her their name and email address.
As the clipboards moved through the audience, she promised to send them the inaugural issue. In 2006, she published the first issue of “The Leadership Strategist.” It was a concise commentary on leadership with strategies, insights and tips for running a business on purpose.
A subscription is available at www.berkanacompany.com with a complimentary diagnostic tool, “Find 10 Surprising Reasons Your Business Has Profit Leaks.”
Ann shows other strategies in a new book, “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies” coming next month.
For advance orders, call 803-359-7633

Help wanted: Contrarians needed

When he first joined the Marine Corps in 1975, Robert Neller’s commanding officer named him president of the “I don’t see why” club.
Neller questioned everything.
That doesn’t go over well in the tradition-bound US Marines. They have been doing what they do successfully since George Washington was pruning cherry trees.
Neller had it tough rising in the ranks.
“I was always the guy tossing the metaphorical Molotov cocktail,” Gen. Neller admits.
It took guts to be a contrarian.
All of us in business need at least one.
They are the ones with the guts to question our decisions, find chinks on our armor and save us from doing something stupid and expensive we may regret.
I’ll bet you have at least one on your team at work and probably at home, too.
Many of us are married to one.
Count your blessings.
They can save us from bad judgments and costly mistakes.
The executives at SC Electric & Gas and Santee Cooper could have used a Robert Neller.
They hired incompetent contractors to build a pair of multi-billion dollar nuclear reactors,
They had no plan, no schedule or penalties for cost overruns and expensive delays in finishing the job.
Robert Neller would have raised red flags.
How do you encourage contrarians?
It’s not easy. Listen to and show respect to them.
Let your people see your show of respect.
It may encourage more timid ones to raise questions.
For a complimentary digital copy of “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius,” email JerryBellune@yahoo.com

You must believe in what you sell

Call me old fashioned.
I’ve been sold on the power of newspapers and advertising most of my life.
And it has served me well.
Prospects could tell I was talking with them about something I believed in. Without that belief and the passion it gave me, I 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.
Zig made a commission on it that his colleague could have used as a discount had he taken the initiative to buy it on his own.
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, how 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.
Try this for yourself and see if I’m right.
For a complimentary digital copy of “30 Days to Incredible Sales” email JerryBellune@yahoo.com
Copyright 2018, The Bellune Co., Inc.