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June/July, 2016
Welcome to YOUR newly designed and re-formatted Results Report.
TAKE ACTION. For on the clock of life or watch of winners THE key word is NOW!
Strategies and ideas for life and business, to help you maximize results!
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"One finds limits by pushing them." 
- Herbert Simon
"Do or do not. There is no try." 
- Yoda
"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose."
- Dr. Seuss

QUESTION: Jeff, have actually heard you speak several times. Always valuable! What I like best, is how you give strategies and ideas, me and my team can use immediately. That means they're proven, easily understood and simple to execute. So how, as a CEO, can I continually remind my folks of the things that matter most—to drive results?

ANSWER: Have you ever heard the figurative business suggestions to sharpen your axe or polish your tools? Me too. Well now, I'm gonna suggest, you also wield your saber.

A saber is a slightly curved blade that's sharp on one edge. It's a powerful tool. And so is this S.A.B.E.R, which will help you achieve a new edge of excellence!

SABER stands for:

S skills +

A attitude +

B behavior +

E execution with excellence =

R results



Do you have the skills you need, to attain the results you desire? If your answer is, "No!" then whatta ya gonna do about it?


What are the skills you'd like to improve? (Make a list.)

How will you upgrade these skills? (i.e., will you read a book, listen to a CD, watch a DVD, enroll in a seminar or online course, or hire a coach or an advisor)

When will you start your new road to results? (Commit to a date. Define a deliverable. Take the first step.)



Is attitude everything? Nope. For without action, it's merely positive fantasy. Yet attitude matters. Lots! And here's the good news. When it comes to attitude, you're the ONE in control. Total control. Positive or negative, it's your decision.

A few years ago, I heard another hotel guest in Battle Creek, Michigan mumble beneath his breath, "It's one of those days!" Heck, it was only 10:00 a.m.! Yet he was already convinced he could place this Monday on the losing side of his "daily scorecard."

So what might influence your attitude? Do you see:

Challenge or opportunity?

Problem or inconvenience?

Dilemma or lesson?

Breakdown or breakthrough?

Mistake or asset?

Failure or fortune?

It's a choice. And the choice is yours!

A sign in a University of Washington oceanography class proclaims: "Man is 97% water, the rest is all attitude."



Plain and simple, it's what you do. Not what you promise. Not what you claim. Not what you boast. Not what you intend. But what you DO.

And all too often, folks ain't doing the right things! They engage in, what our youngest daughter Amanda, (who at the age of nine), began referring to as, "inappropriate behavior." (I know, the wisdom of a sage at a tender age!)

Psychologists even have a fancy term for helping folks who engage in counterproductive conduct: "behavior modification."

With behavior mod, psychologists attempt to positively influence one's behavior, by rewarding new and desirable activities or performance. And making the undesirable behaviors, less attractive.

Whoa. Simple stuff. Good stuff. When it works. Yet often, it doesn't. How come? Because it only works, when you work. With many, when all is said and done, more is usually said than done.

Don't be a sayer. Be a DOER!



To execute with excellence, it's about attention to detail. Doing the right thing. The passion and commitment to deliver at peak levels of performance. Not once. Repeatedly. 

It's about turning the ordinary into the extraordinary. It's about the spirit, the will, the desire, the act to excel. To win.

It's realizing while speed is appreciated, execution with excellence is remembered. Yet to pursue excellence and the right actions, it takes guts. For you'll always be testing your limits. As Paul Harvey once said, "You can outdo you, if you really want to."



That's the name of the game. Like it or not, we keep track. In points. In goals. In grades. In ratings. In dollars. In sales. The simple question, "How'd you do?" is all about results. And results is all about outcomes. Consequences. The tally. The score.

Did you win or lose? Advance or retreat?

Yet what influences or determines the results, are your skills, attitude, behaviors and execution with excellence.

As Dr. Phil McGraw, Ph.D., a.k.a. Dr. Phil, once said,
"At the end of the game, it's about results. Life is a full-contact sport and there's a score up on the board."

S + A + B + E = R! A simple formula.

S.A.B.E.R., a simple tool. Yet perhaps, an even more dynamic "weapon for winning."

How will you wield this S.A.B.E.R.?

The choice is yours!


Ray Jutkins and I first met when we sat next to each other on a flight to Columbus, Ohio in 1997. We became fast friends. For we quickly discovered we were both passionate about marketing, sales and business-growth.

Ray began selling when he was twelve. And he was involved in direct marketing for six decades. Unfortunately, Ray died on January 6th, 2005. Yet the power of his strategies are timeless.

Ray helped folks get better results from their sales and marketing messages; like direct mail letters, E-mail promotions, web site offers, print ads and sales brochures.

Ray was a smart dude. So almost 20 years ago, I asked him to share his knowledge, insights and profitable tips, which you’ll soon see, will still drive your results!

Jeff Blackman: Why is direct marketing a dominant sales discipline?

Ray Jutkins: Because it works. It's a personal "conversation in writing." No matter what you've heard, read or believe, most people look forward to getting messages important to them, on topics they're interested in. The key is, interesting.

JB: So how can messages be more interesting?

RJ: With my 40-30-20-10 formula. 40% of your success is in getting your message to your right audience. People who can buy what you sell. That's key.

Next, 30% is in having an offer that's interesting to that audience.

Creative is 20% of your success, the right words supported by the right graphics.

And 10% is in your choice and mix of media; electronic, print, mail, broadcast, in whatever combination.

JB: Who should you write for?

RJ: Believe it or not, a 13-year-old reading level. If they don't get it, neither will your decision-maker.

TV news and the daily paper are written to a junior high school kid's reading level. An exception is the Wall Street Journal. It's written at a 17-year-old reading level.

JB: How 'bout word choice?

RJ: Keep your opening paragraph to eleven words or less. A quick beginning slips your reader into your full message.

Have sentences average fourteen words or less. Long sentences cause the reader to lose the thought, misunderstand the message or at worse, stop reading.

About 70% of your verbiage should be five-letter words or less. They're easily read and understood. The 500 most common words in English have 13,000 meanings. No wonder we have trouble with basic communication!

A maximum of 25 syllables per sentence is best. To avoid counting, simply use short words and short sentences. It's easier and it works.

JB: And format?

RJ: Keep all paragraphs short. No longer than seven lines. A large block of text looks tough to read, even if it's not. Short paragraphs convey ease. Long ones convey discomfort, i.e., governmental documents.

A P.S. with a key thought or action is a must in every direct mail letter. 80% of your readers will read it first. A post-script or P.S. works in E-mail marketing too. For extra emphasis, use a P.P.S.

     And indent every paragraph at least five spaces. Our eyes pull us in to a point when we see indents. And while we're there, we read.

Plus, don't justify your right-hand margins or proportionally space your sentences. Ragged right margins increase readership.

JB: What else should be avoided?

RJ: Hyphenated words and abbreviations. They can cause confusion and misunderstandings. (P.S. is an exception.)

Also avoid LARGE BLOCKS OF COPY IN ALL CAPS. This reduces readership by 25%.

Lots of reverse type, (i.e., white letters on a black background is worse.) When you reverse out of a dark background, your readership is cut by 33%. A little reverse and some CAPS are fine. Lots are painful!

Make it easy to see. Literally. Type size matters, i.e., 12 point type works, but bigger can be better. If it can't be seen, it won't be read. And use a font with serifs or the little "feet" at the bottom of a letter. Examples of serif fonts are; Times, Times New Roman or New Century Schoolbook. (Most books, newspapers and magazines use serif fonts.)

Does Ray have more profit-pointers? Of course. While he's probably cruising heaven on his Harley, the legacy of his sage advice lives on at

Your cup of inspiration,   reflection and laughter!
June 23rd, 1989 was the "birth" of two important moments in my life. The first, the "delivery" by my publisher, Successories, of my first book, Opportunity $elling. The second "delivery" or "arrival" proved to be far more significant. Yet initially, I didn't even know about it. It was the birth of our son.
Every June 23rd, I'm reminded of the first line in Harry Chapin’s classic song, Cats in the Cradle: "A child arrived just the other day, he came to the world in the usual way..." (I had the privilege to meet and work with Chapin, when I did college radio at the University of Illinois. Yet little did I realize then, that Chapin and his iconic opening lyric, would forever play a meaningful role in my life.)
Our son, Chad, "came to the world in the usual way," yet for my wife Sheryl and I, he literally "arrived" in an unexpected way.
On the morning of June 27th, 1989, the adoption agency we had been working with, called Sheryl and asked, "Would you and Jeff like to adopt a little boy?" That evening, we held in our arms for the first time, Chad Ryan Blackman.
The past 27 years have been filled with incredible memories and challenging times. Hmmm. A statement every parent could probably make about their children!
Yet from our "favorite photos" collection, here's a picture of Chad and me, when we both, were a wee bit younger! (I'm the one with the mustache!)

Happy birthday son. We love you!

And Chad's younger sister Brittany, recently celebrated her July birthday, as well as the achievement of a goal: to move to a "deluxe apartment in the sky!" Way to go Brit, we're proud of you and love you!
Brittany, like her Dad, is a crazy Chicago Blackhawks hockey fan. Together, we celebrate another Hawks Stanley Cup Chamionship!
And Amanda, our youngest, claims we also need to be celebrating her "half-birthday!" (Is that a thing?)


My dear friend Nancy and I, have been pals since grammar school. And I've always appreciated her positive disposition and optimism. She has a "drive" for success. And proves it, with her license plate:

Who would only want to dream small or medium? Nancy dreams EXTRA LARGE!




At Cafe Patachou in Indianapolis, this sign on the bathroom doors, gives new and humorous meaning—to gender equality!




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MEET JEFF |Jeff helps you win BIG in today's competitive marketplace. His high-energy and high-content messages deliver immediate take-home value, growth and results for you and your team. Whether he works with you once in a dynamic keynote or once-a-month in an ongoing coaching and learning-system, he helps you drive relationships, revenue, profits, results and rewards. Jeff is singularly focused on helping you achieve and surpass your desired outcomes. And you're even protected by Jeff's incredible No-Risk Assurance.
RIGHT FOLKS, RIGHT RESULTS |What's driving current or prospective members of your team? Your salespeople? Service 
                                                    pros? And leaders? What causes them to produce, lead or loaf? What motivates them to attain, or not attain, new levels of success? What direction are they headed? Where do you want their journey to go? How valuable would it be, if you had the answers to these questions? Well now you can!
AUDIO EXCERPTS | Listen to powerful excerpts from Jeff's audio growth tools, CDs or interviews. | LISTEN NOW
"We engaged Jeff as our keynote speaker at our annual national sales event. We're embarking upon a challenging time in our history, and Jeff's assignment was designed to resonate and inspire. Jeff was by far, the most engaging, entertaining and thought-provoking speaker we've ever had. So much so, elements of his presentation are still reverberating, (weeks later), around our organizational communication chain, at all levels. Thanks Jeff for a job well done!"
Michael J. Kelley President & COO
Glantz Holdings, Inc. March, 2016

"From the moment we met Jeff, he was interested in knowing our business at a fundamental level. He spent multiple sessions with our team, learning our merger challenges, interviewing customers and suppliers, and tailoring his "change" message. He then set our conference tone with a fantastic kick-off. I highly recommend Jeff to anyone looking to launch a new initiative or jump-start their organization with new energy and direction. We value his hard work and preparation and were thrilled with his presentation."

Paul Dean Executive Vice President
LBM Advantage February, 2016
"My firm, a commercial insurance program management company, engaged Jeff as a sales training advisor in June, 2014. He helped us design a customized training and reinforcement system. In addition to his people skills, Jeff is consistently prepared for meetings and has excellent follow-up with our team and even 1:1 counsel. We're extremely pleased with our significant improvement and results. That's why we have an ongoing relationship with Jeff, and I enthusiastically recommend him."
Chris Randall CEO
Ultra Risk Advisors Bellevue, WA & Atlanta
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