Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic January 7, 2002

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:00 AM): Okay, it's showtime!!!

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:00 AM): Welcome to the World Famous Frankel's Free Clinic! Who's up first today?

Weber (1/7/2002 9:00 AM): Entered the room.

Shane (1/7/2002 9:00 AM): Hiya Rob

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:01 AM): Hi Shane...what's up? (1/7/2002 9:01 AM): Entered the room.

Weber (1/7/2002 9:01 AM): Beetlejuice,Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice

Frederick ( (1/7/2002 9:01 AM): Not me - I'm still hung over from Christmas! (1/7/2002 9:01 AM): morning

Weber (1/7/2002 9:02 AM): Sorry I'm hyped up

Shane (1/7/2002 9:02 AM): Not much, it's 1am in Australia. Just came in for a first time chat. I run the site at

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:02 AM): Weber, chanting doesn't help....

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:02 AM): Wow, Shane, you go first then.

Shane (1/7/2002 9:03 AM): I would just like it if you could go over my web site at and tell me what you think. It's been selling well, about 3% sales conversion from solo ad's and my own list

Peter Clough ( (1/7/2002 9:04 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:05 AM): Anything special or are you just plugging the site?

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:05 AM): ACK! I can't speak for everyone but "Discover How An 18 Year Old Earns A Full Time Automated Income" would turn me off right away

Del (1/7/2002 9:05 AM): Another myss page.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:06 AM): This has Ken Evoy written all over it!

Peter Clough ( (1/7/2002 9:06 AM): Smells like bull to me...

Shane (1/7/2002 9:06 AM): Any suggestions would be great

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:06 AM): Shane, are you making any money with this? (1/7/2002 9:06 AM): Entered the room.

Shane (1/7/2002 9:07 AM): Yes I Am

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:07 AM): I've got to agree with Peter...but if you're making the kind of money you want, hey, by all means. Personally, this is hard sell stuff. I'd be very interested in seeing if you get repeat or referral business from it.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:08 AM): This kind of presentation works well for the really new market. But experienced pro's will avoid it like the plague. (1/7/2002 9:08 AM): I was looking at the title and wondered if this would help: Even an 18 year old can make money at this!

Shane (1/7/2002 9:08 AM): That is an interesting thought, I've had quite a lot of people write and tell me they loved the book so far.

Peter Clough ( (1/7/2002 9:08 AM): "take the internet by the scruff of the neck and make them beg for more" - yikes.

Shane (1/7/2002 9:09 AM): But this is why I came here, To get your straight forward views

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:09 AM): Shane, people will write and tell you anything. Believe me, I get lots of nice notes from people, but not all of them buy my book or tapes.

Del (1/7/2002 9:10 AM): If you have a 3% conversion rate, you're doing better than most eCommerce sites. Stick with what works.

Frederick ( (1/7/2002 9:10 AM): Shane, if it is selling for you and you really are making money - don't change it.

Shane (1/7/2002 9:10 AM): I'm not going to BS you, I'm looking to make money, but not at the risk of looking like a con artist

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:10 AM): To me, this tactic is somewhat short-sighted. There's no real brand there. You're selling your book. But I agree with Del: if it's working for you, then resign yourself to that and go with it. What concerns me is that when you're done selling the book, what have you got?

Alanna ( (1/7/2002 9:11 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:11 AM): Del, also remember that 3% of 100 is 3....I'd be more interested in the real numbers and dollar volume.

Shane (1/7/2002 9:12 AM): What do you suggest I do to make my site, less "hyped" for a lack of a better word

Terri Robinson ( (1/7/2002 9:13 AM): Entered the room.

Frederick ( (1/7/2002 9:13 AM): Why do you want it to be less hyped?

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:13 AM): Well, it depends on what you're building. If you want to sell more stuff after this book, you need to spend more time building your brand, so that they buy more than just a book. They need to buy you.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:14 AM): FWIW, I think the world got burned by the "young genius" thing when the internet bubble burst, too....

Shane (1/7/2002 9:14 AM): Yup, for sure. Totally understood (1/7/2002 9:16 AM): I, like, don't think the internet bubble burst.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:16 AM): Anyone else?

lvlady (1/7/2002 9:16 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:16 AM): You're so young, Jan!!!!

Del (1/7/2002 9:16 AM): Dealing with corporate "price conscious" buyers.

John (1/7/2002 9:16 AM): Entered the room.

Shane (1/7/2002 9:16 AM): Thanks for your honest thoughts guys

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:17 AM): Yes, Del?

Del (1/7/2002 9:17 AM): They aren't in the prestige/value segments and they want price over performance.

Del (1/7/2002 9:17 AM): How do you evaluate whether or not it's worth it to cut steep discounts? (1/7/2002 9:18 AM): I'm, like, blonde, too.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:18 AM): Del, you may be looking at it from the wrong end. As you know, my big thing is revenue-generation, mainly through brand strategies and tactics.

Peter Clough ( (1/7/2002 9:18 AM): If they are de-valuing you right out of the gate - the hell with them get another client.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:18 AM): Discounts only devalue and undermine your brand. I think you have to go in there showing them how you make money for them.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:19 AM): Jan, you're such a tease.

Weber (1/7/2002 9:19 AM): Del, can you come up with a "Discount" line of products?

Del (1/7/2002 9:19 AM): Agreed. However, my product is a commodity product to them.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:19 AM): This is why I launched i-legions. It's not enough to tell them what to do -- I have to make the money for them, too! And every i-legions proposal comes with a pro forma with real numbers so they can see how the money is made.

Alanna ( (1/7/2002 9:20 AM): then what do you do along with the product to be their "only solution"?

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:20 AM): If it's a commodity, all the more reason for the brand strategy to take the lead.

Kim - HostbyK (1/7/2002 9:20 AM): Entered the room.

Del (1/7/2002 9:20 AM): If they don't buy mine, they go to a different company offering similar products.

Weber (1/7/2002 9:20 AM): Are they buying 1 time, or is it ongoing?

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:20 AM): Alanna, in my case, i-legions is their only solution to monetizing their databases. nobody else does it.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:21 AM): Weber, it's an ongoing deal. The minimum commitment is 15 months.

Alanna ( (1/7/2002 9:21 AM): sorry Rob, I meant, what does Del do to make his commodity ... etc.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:21 AM): Del, if they're that fickle, your brand isn't strong enough. They have to feel like they're really giving something up by going with someone else.

Weber (1/7/2002 9:21 AM): Rob, I meant Del.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:22 AM): Sorry, guys....thought you were asking me....Del?

Del (1/7/2002 9:22 AM): Rob: The biggest selling advantage I have, and it is a BUYING advantage for the customer, is that my products are industry-specific whereas competitors are not.

Del (1/7/2002 9:23 AM): Except now a competitor HAS joined my market with tiered/volume pricing. Product quality is the same, but their line is small and unestablished as of yet.

Alanna ( (1/7/2002 9:23 AM): do you offer any type of service with the products that make them call you first for the products?

Del (1/7/2002 9:24 AM): Non-industry specific companies have long-standing corporate clients and prices to support it (low variable costs). I can't match those if I tried.

Weber (1/7/2002 9:24 AM): Del, again is it a one time shot or ongoing biz?

Del (1/7/2002 9:24 AM): It' an ongoing, depleting resource.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:24 AM): Del, what have you done in the way of tracking the effectiveness of your product over your competitors'?

Del (1/7/2002 9:25 AM): It's a multiple-repurchase item.

Del (1/7/2002 9:25 AM): Rob- Zero. I can't figure out a way to get purchase data/reorder data about them.

Weber (1/7/2002 9:25 AM): Do they give you a number they would purchase over the program or the year?

Peter Clough ( (1/7/2002 9:25 AM): I love multiple repurchases...

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:26 AM): I think you would do well to demonstrate to your buyers and prospects that your items retain relationships or cultivate better responses than other items.

tony ( (1/7/2002 9:27 AM): Entered the room.

Del (1/7/2002 9:27 AM): Weber: No. Individuals and small companies make their purchases sporadically. Larger companies seem to repurchase every month to every 2 months. The BIG national accounts won't deal with me at current prices.

tony ( (1/7/2002 9:27 AM): good morning

Justice (1/7/2002 9:27 AM): Del, do you offer any deals that encourage long-term loyalty? Such as a special rate offered for purchases at the one-year mark, or discounts after they've purchased a specified volume?

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:27 AM): Well, that's just a thinker issue, Del. But I think you'd agree that a tangible, "our stuff gets double the rate of the industry average" would be pretty convincing. That's what we do with and it works. we have the stats to prove it.

the web newsroom @ (1/7/2002 9:27 AM): Entered the room.

Del (1/7/2002 9:28 AM): Justice: No. I don't believe in the validity of reward programs.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:28 AM): Seriously, if you start with the desired stats and work backwards, it often is easier than you think. It may take time, but it's time you have, because I guarantee you your competition hasn't thought of that yet.

Weber (1/7/2002 9:28 AM): Del, what we do with the Emperor's Herbologist line for exporters and large manufacturers in the USA is work on a structured schedule. They know if they buy 1 M/T of our JAJA Stevioside the ultimate price is X. Then we have levels that trigger price drops when they reach that purchase amount in volume.

Del (1/7/2002 9:29 AM): Rob: Unrelated to my greeting cards, got a lovely call from a client that ran a direct mail campaign using my postcards in November. Spent under $4,000 total in print and mailing, made $125,000 in commissions.

Weber (1/7/2002 9:29 AM): sorry for mis-spellings === really fat fingers today.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:29 AM): Jeez, Del, what more do you want?????

Del (1/7/2002 9:30 AM): Rob: That's an unrelated product. :p

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:30 AM): It's okay, Weber. I run these transcripts through a spell checker before archiving.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:31 AM): Maybe yes, maybe no, Del. If it's the same company, who's to say that you can't base your claims on your expertise as applied to the other brand?

Frederick ( (1/7/2002 9:31 AM): I'm still having trouble getting local businesses in my area to think of the internet as a means to increase their business. Any suggestions on how to deal with Luddites?

Del (1/7/2002 9:32 AM): One consideration I was thinking about is to offer tiered pricing based on the number of greeting card packages purchased. (E.g. full price with 1-4 packs, a little lower with 5-10 packs and best pricing with 11 packs on.

Weber (1/7/2002 9:32 AM): Whew!

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:32 AM): Frederick, you've been on this one for a long time, now. I'm thinking it may be time to either drastically change things or cut your losses.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:33 AM): Del, tiered/volume pricing is a no-brainer. I do it all the time with my books.

Kim - HostbyK (1/7/2002 9:33 AM): Hi Fredrick.. have you checked out the Mostly Locals website to get idea's from other designers doing Local sites?

Weber (1/7/2002 9:33 AM): Del, that is what we do and it works great. We add the total purchases together which our customers like.

Del (1/7/2002 9:33 AM): The part I dislike is the perceived loss of revenue due to the price drops (assuming same sales volume as last year).

Frederick ( (1/7/2002 9:33 AM): What's the URL. Kim?

Peter Clough ( (1/7/2002 9:34 AM): Don't waste time converting people to anything. Dis-qualify them and move on to real prospects.

Weber (1/7/2002 9:34 AM): Del 100% of nothing is nothing.

Kim - HostbyK (1/7/2002 9:34 AM): is the URL and its a list of Local Designers that contribute there

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:34 AM): Del, the whole point of volume pricing is that you make more dollars. Forget the percentages.

Frederick ( (1/7/2002 9:34 AM): Thanks - I'll check it out.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:35 AM): If you structure your pricing right, you should be making more actual dollars, which is the name of the game.

Peter Clough ( (1/7/2002 9:36 AM): Dis-qualification is tough to learn - but vital - marginal prospects chew up time and rarely turn profitable.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:36 AM): Del, I assume you have fixed unit costs....

Del (1/7/2002 9:36 AM): Rob: Tell you what, once I get my new greeting cards printed and available for purchase, I'll restructure my pricing to tiered levels and give you a sales volume increase/decrease report as well as a dollar % increase/decrease after 30 days.

Kim - HostbyK (1/7/2002 9:37 AM): Oops Fredrick...drop the "s" on the's just

Del (1/7/2002 9:37 AM): Rob: fixed cost (variable actually) is dependant on the volume *I* purchase from my printer. But the difference is only 2-6 cents/unit.

Frederick ( (1/7/2002 9:38 AM): Thanks, Kim

Del (1/7/2002 9:38 AM): I can't remember the fundamental rule on tiered pricing. If you have three tiers (A B C) is B priced closer to A or C?

Jonathan Cohen ( (1/7/2002 9:38 AM): Entered the room.

Kim - HostbyK (1/7/2002 9:39 AM): No problem Frederick...sorry I didn't look before I posted it the first time.

lvlady (1/7/2002 9:39 AM): Del, looks to me like your printer is telling you something. They are using tiered pricing. Must work for them.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:39 AM): Del, the point is that once you move a certain amount of product, it's worth it to take less for each. ROBX sells at one copy a piece for $36.95. But universities buy it in bulk for as low as $18.95 (I think)

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:39 AM): Here's the whole schedule:

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:40 AM): 1 - 3 US$28.95 each, 4 - 9 US$26.95 each , 10 - 24 US$24.95 each, 25 - 49 US$22.95 each, 50+ US$19.95 each

Peter Clough ( (1/7/2002 9:41 AM): A bargain at any price! Really.

Del (1/7/2002 9:41 AM): When is "Son of ROBX" coming out? Heh. nice title.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:41 AM): Thanks, peter -- check's in the mail!

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:41 AM): Believe me, my per unit costs are way below any of these.

Peter Clough ( (1/7/2002 9:41 AM): please use PayPal, rob

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:42 AM): Actually, Del, when my current business projects are launched properly, I plan to take some time and do that.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:42 AM): Del, I'm wondering if your margins are high enough to tier the pricing in a meaningful way...

Peter Clough ( (1/7/2002 9:42 AM): What sort of clients are signing up for i-legions?

Del (1/7/2002 9:42 AM): Your profit contribution per unit is greater than mine, therefore you can afford the price quantity discounts you show.

Del (1/7/2002 9:43 AM): Same wavelength Rob, eerie.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:43 AM): Of everything I can tell you, the most important is this: you MUST do the thinking for the client. If you don' t take them through every single step, they just don't pay attention. It's YOUR job to show them everything and make sure they get it.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:44 AM): No disrespect meant there, but the point is that clients/prospects are bombarded with stuff every day.

Del (1/7/2002 9:44 AM): None taken.

Justice (1/7/2002 9:45 AM): As a postscript to the loyalty programs, you may want to check out the article at: which refers to a report that suggests "more than two-thirds of online buyers participate in some type of customer loyalty program". I realize the effects of loyalty programs have not been well documented, but they still might be worth investigating. Any way you can get the jump on your competitors is a good thing, right?!

Del (1/7/2002 9:45 AM): Actually, I've been wrestling with a tiered schedule for some time. It's just that I wasn't sure how I wanted to implement it AND that sales would need to increase something like 37% to recover the potential lost profits (greeting card sales only).

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:45 AM): You have to show them what you have, why it works and how it will make them money. You have to do everything but spend the money for them. Otherwise, it won't get done. I kid you not, this is why is happening.

Del (1/7/2002 9:46 AM): Justice: Emotion Marketing (a real live book), is by far the best piece I've read on the power of customer loyalty and loyalty marketing. Made by folks at Hallmark.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:47 AM): Del, you'll be okay if your packages are structured properly and your cost to retail rate begins a about a 10 to 1 ratio.

Del (1/7/2002 9:47 AM): Rob: Let's drop this so we can let others get some of your branding mojo.

Del (1/7/2002 9:47 AM): 10-1 LOL. Not in the greeting card industry. You'd be lucky for a 3-1.

Weber (1/7/2002 9:48 AM): Rob 10 to 1 at the final discount rate or the regular retail rate?

Del (1/7/2002 9:48 AM): ...Unless you're printing on the order of magnitude of hallmark, American greetings, Gibson, etc.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:48 AM): Del, that's everyone else. You're different. You're a new brand. When I published ROBX, NOBODY was charging more than $21.95. McGraw-Hill actually thought the book "no longer had value".

Terri Robinson ( (1/7/2002 9:48 AM): Del, I find that a bit hard to believe with the cost of cards I see in stores today! :)

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:49 AM): Actual production costs are 1/t0 of final retail

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:49 AM): Take a look at what Amazon is charging for branding books just a year or two later!

Weber (1/7/2002 9:49 AM): Thanks Rob

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:49 AM): That should have been "1/10th"

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:50 AM): TEN MINUTE WARNING

Del (1/7/2002 9:50 AM): Terri: But those products you see in the store have a sentimental value added on...They are bought and given to folks you care about. And priced accordingly. Business market segments are MUCH cheaper.

lvlady (1/7/2002 9:50 AM): Rob does the 1/0th apply to all products across the board?

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:50 AM): Del, think of it this way: if you can show how effective th cards are, why wouldn't they buy them at a higher price? If they'll buy at one price, they'll buy at a higher one -- if the brand is there.

Del (1/7/2002 9:51 AM): A typical greeting card purchase for a loved one (friend or family) is $1.89. A B2B/B2C greeting card averages .79 cents. Blech.

Alanna ( (1/7/2002 9:51 AM): Rob: what's the lowest ratio you'd normally do? I have booklet I'm printing, for example, costs $2, but might not be able to get more than $9 for.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:51 AM): No lvlady, not necessarily. Some can go as low as 8 to 1. Some have to go higher. Depends on the product.

Del (1/7/2002 9:51 AM): Rob: Agreed. And we also know how stubborn the financial market buyer segment is. :-)

lvlady (1/7/2002 9:52 AM): How do you determine what it should be? Testing, gut feel, what?

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:52 AM): Alanna, you'll get what you charge for it. I submit to you that if you charge $9, they'll probably go as high as $12.95. The emotional barriers are $10, $15, $20...after that, it hits $50 and then you're off to the races.

Alanna ( (1/7/2002 9:53 AM): emotional barriers? can you explain just a bit more there

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:54 AM): LVlady, you have to know your market, but here's a good indication: There are thousands of FrankelBees out there, but I know that $36.95 was too high for most of them. Fine by me, because they really weren't the market I was pursuing. The market I was pursuing was used to paying the price and recognizing the value.

John Charlesworth ( - Professional Web Tracking) (1/7/2002 9:54 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:54 AM): THAT's why I priced it that high. And the right people bought it there. Any lower, and I probably wouldn't have sold many more

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:55 AM): Alanna, depending on what and who you're selling to, there are emotional price barriers have. Believe it or not, anything UNDER $9,95 (one time purchase) is almost considered "worthless" by the consuming public.

Alanna ( (1/7/2002 9:55 AM): how do you know when you've over priced? (other than no one ordering LOL)

lvlady (1/7/2002 9:55 AM): Rob, did you test your theory or is it wiser to stick with your first offering price?

Peter Clough ( (1/7/2002 9:55 AM): At stealth press we moved list price from 24.95 to 29.95 with NO loss of sales...

Alanna ( (1/7/2002 9:55 AM): interesting Rob, I agree on the underprice aspect...

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:55 AM): FREE is a death knell. but when people part with anything between $10 and $15, you know they're serious.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:56 AM): Alanna, you really have to take a look at the PSYCHOGRAPHICS of your prospects. Don't get fooled into that demographics game. People buy because they want something, not because they budget for it.

Alanna ( (1/7/2002 9:57 AM): i agree! would you put ISBN numbers even on booklets?

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:57 AM): The more you know your Branded Community, the more successful you will be. Same thing with your target market.

Peter Clough ( (1/7/2002 9:57 AM): If you are at all interested in retail or library sales you will need ISBN's

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:57 AM): Alanna, it doesn't hurt to have an ISBN number on it. It only helps. Most companies wont find/buy it if it doesn't have the ISBN.

Alanna ( (1/7/2002 9:58 AM): yeah... thanks, i have them from my first book.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:58 AM): My tapes do NOT have a number, because they're only available through my site.

Alanna ( (1/7/2002 9:58 AM): some told me that booklets don't need ISBN's, but i prefer the "value perception" myself

Justice (1/7/2002 9:58 AM): Rob: Quick explanation please... difference between "branded community" and "target market" ?

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:59 AM): ROBX, however, certainly does. And I can definitely tell you that it helped. Also, you want an SAN (Standard Advertiser Number) too.

Alanna ( (1/7/2002 9:59 AM): never heard of SAN myself, thanks

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 9:59 AM): Justice, a target market are people you think are amenable to buying your product. A Branded Community is a group of brand users who find common interest, value and interaction amongst each other through the auspices of your brand.

Weber (1/7/2002 10:00 AM): What does a SAN do?

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 10:00 AM): The Branded Community evangelizes the brand because they love it so much. It's like having your own private army.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 10:00 AM): ONE MINUTE

Justice (1/7/2002 10:00 AM): Thanks, Rob. I was familiar with target market, but hadn't heard "branded community" before.

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 10:01 AM): ACK! Got caught short today, but a LOT of good stuff! I've gotta split, but feel free to hang out. I'll see you all online!

Alanna ( (1/7/2002 10:01 AM): Thanks!

RobFrankel ( (1/7/2002 10:01 AM): Justice, go to

lvlady (1/7/2002 10:01 AM): Thanks Rob

Kim - HostbyK (1/7/2002 10:01 AM): Bye Rob....take care

Justice (1/7/2002 10:01 AM): Will check it out...

Peter Clough ( (1/7/2002 10:01 AM): Happy New Year!

Weber (1/7/2002 10:02 AM): Thanks Rob.

John Charlesworth ( - Professional Web Tracking) (1/7/2002 10:03 AM): See ya!

Kim - HostbyK (1/7/2002 10:03 AM): Bye was educational

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