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.

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.

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.

Gain new customers without costs

Russell Brunson started his 1st business while in college. Now he owns 3 online businesses and probably will start several more. That’s what entrepreneurs do.

Russell told MaryEllen Tribby he calls his businesses “funnels,” as in sales funnels. 

That makes sense. You make your offer and prospects either buy or they don’t. 

If they buy, you’re in business. If they don’t, you try something else.

His goal in creating funnels is to break even. If he spends $1 and make $1 from the other end of the funnel, he’s won. 

A funnel that breaks even on cold traffic – not his existing list – means he gained new customers at no cost. Anything else they buy from him is pure profit.

When we started publishing, it took us 11 months to break even. Most new companies take longer. After that, it was profit.

Russell’s mentor, Mike Litman, told him that “Amateurs focus on the front end.” That didn’t make sense until he grasped the concept of a “break even funnel.”

Rarely is Russell profitable on his initial front end funnels. In fact, a lot of them lose money on the front end. But as he attracts more customers and they buy more from him, the profits begin to arrive.

That’s why you need sound research and a strong business plan. Before you’re through, knock 10% off your projected sales and add 10% to your projected costs. You will come closer to becoming profitable.

We share such field-tested strategies in “Killer Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs.”  For details, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com

Next: Concentrate on ideal customers

Copyright 2021, The Bellune Co., Inc.

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.

3 success strategies for 2021

Business owners and managers who survived and thrived in 2020, says our friend Ruth King, used these 3 simple strategies:

1. They paid close attention to their customers….even when they didn’t want to sell them anything. They reminded their customers that they were there for them. These messages helped keep customers aware they were thinking of them. We send these Business Blogs to our customers weekly.

We  also call to check with them for news for our business pages. This way we remind them that we care abut their successes and want to let our readers know about them.

2. They reactivated inactive customers. They looked for customers who had bought in the past but not recently. They found reasons to activate their inactive customers with a new product or service offer.

We look back at this time last year for who advertised what and contact dormant accounts to find out how we might help them increase sales and revenue.

3. They reviewed past quotes and proposals. Some of these quotes/proposals turned into sales a year later. The comment from many customers, “No one followed up with me. You’re the first.”

We share such field-tested strategies in our 3-CD “Make Yourself a Super Star” self-study course. For details, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.

Next: Leave no money on the table

Copyright 2021, 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.