Find their needs and fill them

One of our favorite cities, Charleston, SC, has an inaffordable housing problem.
The average cost of a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,223 a month. That may compare favorably with rents in other large cities but it’s the highest in the Carolinas.
Local entrepreneur Derek Snook saw a need and found a solution for people struggling to find an affordable place and those happy to have company in their homes.
Snook calls it CoLife, an online platform matching renters with homeowners willing to rent a room and make extra income.
“Living in a community is affordable and living in isolation is expensive,” he said.
Homeowners register with his online business and undergo a background check, offering a room in their homes for a set price including utilities. Those looking for a place to live also fill out a profile and get a background check.
If there’s a match, CoLife puts the client in touch with the homeowner and they chat online or on the phone before meeting.
What does this mean for you?
Think of problems of those in your community and what you in your industry can do to help. It’s a need that you can take care of, make money and expand your business.
We share such field-tested ideas and strategies in our book “Million Dollar Strategies of Maverick Entrepreneurs.” For a copy email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.
Next: Realistic business planning

How to win prospects’ trust

Successful negotiation will get you what you want if you give prospects what they need, says Walker McKay of No BS Sales.
You have equal stature with every customer or prospect you deal with, McKay says. Show respect but call everyone by their first name every time.
“You get better information by asking what they want and need, their opinions about what are they trying to do and why? What seems a reasonable price or investment to them? How did they decide that?
Asking open-ended questions helps customers better explain their wants and needs and you to understand them.
All successful negotiation depends on trust, McKay says. Most people don’t trust salespeople. Success is about helping prospects trust that if they give you money, you will make their problems go away.
Negotiation isn’t about tricking anyone.
“Be transparent,” he says. “Know what you want before you start. Put that on the table and everything else is negotiable.”
It’s critical to be up front with prospects.
“Say, ‘If it makes sense for both of us, let’s move forward. If not, let’s both move on.’
You have as much right to say no thanks, and walk away as they do. Some will buy. Some won’t. So what? Who’s next?
’We share such field-tested ideas and strategies in our book “Million Dollar Strategies of Maverick Entrepreneurs.” For a $20 copy email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.
Next: Your Big Business Breakthrough
Copyright 2021, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Become a creative contrarian

What do Judy Wald, JD Powers and Fred Segal have in common? These 3 highly successful entrepreneurs were contrarians.
Contrarians are creative thinkers who turn accepted ideas on their heads to create highly successful products and services.
I discovered this creative trio, thanks to Bob Hagerty of The Wall Street Journal.
Judy Wald turned the talent agency business on its head by not charging the talent but the ad agencies that needed the talent. She charged larger fees to ad agencies.
JD Powers made a fortune by telling automakers what they did not want to hear: What their customers think of their cars.
This led to improvements in US automaking and he branched out into surveying customers of other products and selling his findings to those who made and sold them.
Fred Segal saw something in blue jeans no one else had: Jeans could be more than work pants. He took lighter-weight denim and turned it into hip-hugging fashion statements with rhinestones and other touches. Bob Dylan, the Beatles, and other celebrities became his best customers.
What’s the Big Business Breakthrough in their examples? What traditions in your business or industry could you turn on their heads and make your own fortune?
We share such field-tested ideas and strategies in our book “Million Dollar Strategies of Maverick Entrepreneurs.” For a copy email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.
Next: Successful negotiation secrets
Copyright 2021, The Bellune Co., Inc.

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.

How to deal with difficult decisions

All of us must make many decisions each day in business and in life. Most of them are relatively easy and we make them. Even if they are the wrong decision, it doesn’t kill us and we learn from our mistakes.
Our difficult, complicated, business-killing decisions fortunately are not common but we must make them, often on incomplete, even flawed information.
Here’s what we do: We call it the Ben Franklin decision model since Ben used it:

  1. List all the advantages or benefits.
    These are what can be gained by taking an action to solve a problem or realize an opportunity for your business.
    2, List disadvantages or consequences.
    These are the “worst-case” scenarios that could badly damage your business, your reputation, your bottom line or your future.
  2. If #1 outweighs #2, go for it.
    If not, come to a screeching halt.
    An example: You suspect trusted employees may be stealing from you. List how they may be doing it and check it out. If you’re wrong, that should be a relief. If not, now you have a tough decision: Fire them, suspend them without pay or call the police?
    We share such field-tested strategies in “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius.” For a free e-copy, go to JerryBellune.com.
    Next: Ads that appeal to emotions
    Copyright 2021, The Bellune Co., Inc

Become your customers’ best friend

Tiffany Wright operates a small business bookkeeping service in our county. She believes in building a close, personal relationship with each client to better understand and take care of their needs.

Is that the kind of relations you have with your customers? Do they see you as their best friend and welcome your calls, cards and other ways you show you care for them? If not, why not?

This is the attention to customers all of us should be known for. Our actions should convince them we are their best friends.

How often do we touch them:

  • With the latest ideas and strategies to help them? Share these tips with them.
  • Call to check on them and how they and their businesses are progressing?
  • Pass prospect referrals to them?
  • Call them with leads on possible prospects for their businesses?
  • Send them and their spouses a card on their birthdays, and anniversaries?

Instead do we only contact them when:

  • They ignore our bills?
  • We want to sell them something?

We share such field-tested strategies in “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius”. For a complimentary copy please go to JerryBellune@yahoo.com

Next: Who can we help today?

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.