Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic February 18, 2002

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:00 AM): Greetings all....

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:00 AM): Actually showed up on time! Waddya know...

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:01 AM): MJones, what can I do for you today?

MJones (mjones@sunnysidebiz.com) (2/18/2002 9:01 AM): LOL, I usually remember too late to come at all :)

MJones (mjones@sunnysidebiz.com) (2/18/2002 9:01 AM): I just had not been in awhile and just figured I'd show up

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen "admin@eState8.com" (2/18/2002 9:01 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:01 AM): Hey, it's a holiday....sort of. At least in the USA....I'm cruisin'.

Marcos Polanco (2/18/2002 9:01 AM): haylo, jonathan.

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:02 AM): Okay, then, Ben, I guess you're up!

Keith-Elder: http://www.taipnternet.com (2/18/2002 9:02 AM): Entered the room.

John Charlesworth (BellaCoola.com Professional Web Tracking) (2/18/2002 9:02 AM): Entered the room.

Ben Woodward (perpetuainteractive.com) (2/18/2002 9:02 AM): Rockin'. I'm wondering about the name of my company, and the potentially negative effects it might have on my brand and the new business I'm getting...

Keith-Elder: http://www.tapinternet.com (2/18/2002 9:03 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:03 AM): What kind of conflict are you concerned about, Ben?

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen (2/18/2002 9:03 AM): Jonathan, when is the soon in "coming soon"? :)

Alanna (webmaster@lovestories.com) (2/18/2002 9:03 AM): Entered the room.

Ben Woodward (perpetuainteractive.com) (2/18/2002 9:04 AM): The reason I ask is that I want to acquire new business of print and web work, at about a 50/50 ratio, but most of the new biz I'm getting is web-based. It pays the bills, but I'm not sure if the name of the biz is detracting from the idea that we do print work as well...

Ben Woodward (perpetuainteractive.com) (2/18/2002 9:04 AM): Is this too obvious a question? =)

Ben Woodward (perpetuainteractive.com) (2/18/2002 9:05 AM): And I'm wondering if it's worth the effort to drop the "Interactive" from the name, and go with something more broad, like "Creative" or "Design" or something like that...

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:05 AM): Well, the "interactive" thing suggests that you're pretty focused on the web aspect, IMHO...how entrenched is your brand? Could you make the switch to a broader strategy?

Marcos Polanco (2/18/2002 9:05 AM): Ben, why are you branching out?

Del (2/18/2002 9:06 AM): Ewww. Anytime *I* see creative, studio, concept or design in a name, I think non-creative/original.

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:06 AM): One thing I would warn you about is to be sure NOT to use old. tired, phrasing. "Design", in my opinion, is the kiss of death. Just too many designers out there and nobody really know what it entails.

Ben Woodward (perpetuainteractive.com) (2/18/2002 9:07 AM): I'm not, actually, Marcos. I've always offered graphic design, whether it's print based or screen based. The brand could probably easily be changed to another "second-half-of-the-name" but I'm wondering if that might be the first step in resolving the issue.

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:07 AM): I agree with Del on that. I think you have to focus more on -- guess what -- the end user benefit.

Keith-Elder: http://www.tapinternet.com (2/18/2002 9:07 AM): I'm with you Del

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:08 AM): Try thinking of it from the business point of view, Ben, instead of what you like to do. That's how your prospects are viewing it.

Marcos Polanco (2/18/2002 9:08 AM): pls tell us more about the 'perpetua' name and what that aims to convey.

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:09 AM): Marcos, it's probably more telling to know what "perpetua" says to you.

Frederick (the1960area.com) (2/18/2002 9:09 AM): Entered the room.

Ben Woodward (perpetuainteractive.com) (2/18/2002 9:09 AM): Hmmm... interesting. I'll have to turn on the ol' creative juices to get past the host of studio names that usually crop up...

MJones (mjones@sunnysidebiz.com) (2/18/2002 9:09 AM): I am with Marcos, on the meaning of the name

MJones (mjones@sunnysidebiz.com) (2/18/2002 9:09 AM): interactive meaning flash design?

Ben Woodward (perpetuainteractive.com) (2/18/2002 9:09 AM): The name Perpetua was created to refer to an ongoing process, a never-ending development type partnership with my clients...

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen (2/18/2002 9:10 AM): Maybe if you got your brand down the name would come to you?

Ben Woodward (perpetuainteractive.com) (2/18/2002 9:10 AM): And the Interactive began as a literal interpretation, but was carried into an interactive process with my clients and their businesses... So it can be taken a couple of ways...

Ben Woodward (perpetuainteractive.com) (2/18/2002 9:11 AM): Flash design & development is just one thing we offer...

Keith-Elder: http://www.tapinternet.com (2/18/2002 9:11 AM): Rob, does a name have to mean anything really? I ask because I have a hosting company that I run called "Zorka.Com" and people ask me how did you come up with that name or what does it mean a lot. Mostly because they are curious. Your thoughts?

Marcos J. Polanco (2/18/2002 9:11 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:11 AM): I think you're trapped by putting the cart before the horse. You have to take a serious look at your business strategy, then apply the brand strategy to it -- and only then name the brand.

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen (2/18/2002 9:11 AM): Or you could rediscover your name and then focus on what that could mean to people?

Jonathan (copywriter/editor - jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/18/2002 9:11 AM): Ben - you're offering visual solutions, then?

Ben Woodward (perpetuainteractive.com) (2/18/2002 9:12 AM): I think a name should at least allude to a concept, Jan. I don't think it has to have a literal meaning, but it can't be completely arbitrary.

Del (2/18/2002 9:12 AM): Ben: The real question is what your clients think of the name. Do they understand what it represents or do they just say, "dunno what peptuainteractive.com means, but they do some GREAT work.

Ben Woodward (perpetuainteractive.com) (2/18/2002 9:12 AM): Yeah, Jon. that's pretty much it. But it's more than visual... it's conceptual... deeper than just "visual."

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:13 AM): Keith, a name is really important but how you develop it depends a lot on the circumstance in which the brand finds itself. For example, there's no earthly reason why Amazon.com is called that. none. But it was a first player, so it expanded into a vacuum.

MJones (mjones@sunnysidebiz.com) (2/18/2002 9:13 AM): I think having an odd name, that ones needs to explain can be a bonus - you can actually explain it and prospective clients can get a feel for how you mind works in some cases..

Jonathan (copywriter/editor - jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/18/2002 9:13 AM): Ben - but to the end user, what you create is a 'visual' product.

Ben Woodward (perpetuainteractive.com) (2/18/2002 9:13 AM): Interesting idea, Rob. I'm actually working with a local marketing firm (doing their site) and trading some hours for local PR And brand help, so maybe I'll bring this into the mix with him...

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen (2/18/2002 9:13 AM): I am just saying you can use the name as either the catalyst or the end product of a process where you discover what you want to do and how that could benefit people.

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:14 AM): Zorka is probably named that because you really didn't have any grand branding scheme in mind -- neither did Amazon! You find that names which carry a brand strategy are usually those entering tough, competitive fields.

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:15 AM): Yes, Ben, yours is a deeper issue -- you're into basic marketing. You have decide what you are before you can go out and tell people.

MJones (mjones@sunnysidebiz.com) (2/18/2002 9:15 AM): Thanks to Rob and all you folks on the list, I thought a lot about branding before I chose a domain/business name :)

Jodie (ScoreBrowniePoints.com) (2/18/2002 9:15 AM): Entered the room.

weber emperorsherbologist.com (2/18/2002 9:15 AM): Entered the room.

Marcos J. Polanco (2/18/2002 9:15 AM): Ben, what is the outcome of your 'perpetual interactive' relationship with your customer?

Ben Woodward (perpetuainteractive.com) (2/18/2002 9:15 AM): You know, as basic as that seems, Rob... I'm thinking about where I am with the biz, and realizing you're dead on.

Keith-Elder: http://www.tapinternet.com (2/18/2002 9:16 AM): I actually gave some thought to the name Zorka, since it means "business savvy", intelligent, etc... branding I didn't think about you are right

weber emperorsherbologist.com (2/18/2002 9:16 AM): Hi Rob, Del, et al

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:16 AM): Keith, I suggest the situation would be far different if you were to start over again today with a real venture funding behind you. You would have had to think it out in more detail, because investors want to know why you do the things you do -- with their money.

Ben Woodward (perpetuainteractive.com) (2/18/2002 9:16 AM): What do you mean, Marcos?

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:17 AM): Ben, I'm constantly fine tuning my own branding efforts. It's a natural growth thing.

Marcos J. Polanco (2/18/2002 9:17 AM): if I get you, the name is really about the relationship...the process you engage your customers in. the question is, "to what end?"

Ben Woodward (perpetuainteractive.com) (2/18/2002 9:17 AM): You got that right, Rob. ;)

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:18 AM): Marcos, you could argue the other side, too -- Perpetua could be the guys who NEVER get it finished!!! (Joke)

Keith-Elder: http://www.tapinternet.com (2/18/2002 9:18 AM): So let me get this straight: Do you think names that don't convey the goal or meaning of the product or services are bad, or they are good?

Marcos J. Polanco (2/18/2002 9:18 AM): touché, rob.

Ben Woodward (perpetuainteractive.com) (2/18/2002 9:18 AM): Marcos, I guess it alludes to the fact that we have a "perpetual" relationship. I don't just make some graphics and drop them in a FEDEX envelope to my clients. It's an on-going partnership, a "perpetual interaction" of sorts...

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen (2/18/2002 9:18 AM): Branding is a lot about mirroring in my experience. Looking at yourself as well as others...

Karl Green (2/18/2002 9:18 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:19 AM): Ben: If you check out my main page, you'll see I recently deleted the phrase "Obnoxious Bobbing Head" for example.

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:19 AM): Hi Karl....what can I help you with today?

Ben Woodward (perpetuainteractive.com) (2/18/2002 9:19 AM): Do me a favor and strike that from the record when you put up the archives, Rob. I' hate to have that show up at the other end of a Google search... ;)

Dan Limbach (2/18/2002 9:19 AM): Entered the room.

Ben Woodward (perpetuainteractive.com) (2/18/2002 9:20 AM): Sounds good. Thanks for the help. I'll rack my brain a little later on this, and see where it gets me...

Marcos J. Polanco (2/18/2002 9:20 AM): Ben, for what it is worth, the name 'perpetua' suggests marriage...kind of heavy for a name, which is the beginning of the relationship.

Karl Green (2/18/2002 9:21 AM): Just wanted to drop by and see what's being discussed.

weber emperorsherbologist.com (2/18/2002 9:21 AM): Ben, to me it suggests an ongoing relationship

Ben Woodward (perpetuainteractive.com) (2/18/2002 9:21 AM): Weber gets the gold star for the day. =)

Del (2/18/2002 9:22 AM): Ben: Or you stick with the name and fortify it with a tagline that appears everywhere your name/logo is.

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:22 AM): My own perception of the name is probably what you intended: once it's built it runs forever.

weber emperorsherbologist.com (2/18/2002 9:22 AM): Don't worry, I'll say something soon and you'll take it away :)

Ben Woodward (perpetuainteractive.com) (2/18/2002 9:22 AM): "Set your business in motion" is the tagline that usually accompanies the logo...

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:23 AM): Don't get off track: you have to finalize your marketing plan before you set any of this in motion...

Del (2/18/2002 9:23 AM): Ben: But that doesn't help the customer know you can do print work too. :p And didn't you want to go to a 50/50 workload?

azreporter.com (the web newsroom) (2/18/2002 9:23 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:23 AM): Dan, is there something I can help you with today?

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen (2/18/2002 9:24 AM): I would also say you should keep the name and the (re)discover the brand in process of adding a tagline... A real one, not a slogan :)

Ben Woodward (perpetuainteractive.com) (2/18/2002 9:24 AM): The marketing plan I have has about a half inch of dust on it... assuming I can find it... =)

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:24 AM): Jan's in sharp form today.

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:25 AM): Ben, that means your original is out of date. I do this a lot with clients: figuring out what to trash, what to salvage and what to invent.

Ben Woodward (perpetuainteractive.com) (2/18/2002 9:25 AM): Awesome. Great info...

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen (2/18/2002 9:25 AM): I have the time advantage :) It is evening here ;)

Ben Woodward (perpetuainteractive.com) (2/18/2002 9:26 AM): I know, Rob. The main thing I'm trading hours with the local marketing/pr guy is working on my new marketing plan and some local pr. So she should be polished up and shining soon...

Marcos J. Polanco (2/18/2002 9:26 AM): Jan, pls enlighten me as to the difference between a tagline and a slogan, in your book.

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:26 AM): EVERY brand should do this, incidentally. It's really important to reevaluate your brand as conditions change. You can still keep things 95% intact and make the changes gradually. But you do have to move with the market.

Karl Green (2/18/2002 9:26 AM): Marketing plan? Can I get a sample?

MJones (mjones@sunnysidebiz.com) (2/18/2002 9:27 AM): Marketing plans are usually part of a business plan

Karl Green (2/18/2002 9:27 AM): Is the marketing plan the same as a business plan?

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen (2/18/2002 9:28 AM): Rob will tell you the difference :) Ben's slogan could as well be selling trucks. A good tagline tell you what and how. What you do and how you do it to make you the only solution :)

Karl Green (2/18/2002 9:28 AM): Okay.

Del (2/18/2002 9:28 AM): Rob: I decided to go next-step marketing. Doing a print campaign in my primary trade magazine (which generates around 80% of my existing sales).

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:29 AM): Jan's is on target. A slogan just sells stuff, A tagline conveys MOST but not all of the story as to why you're the best solution to their problems.

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:29 AM): Go Del...And?

weber emperorsherbologist.com (2/18/2002 9:30 AM): Del, you should talk to the editors and see if you can get a story on your company. A case study of how it helped XYZ biz increase their sales, etc.

Del (2/18/2002 9:30 AM): Nothing. Just both excited and nervous and needed to blurt it out to someone other then my wife and dogs. :-)

weber emperorsherbologist.com (2/18/2002 9:30 AM): I used to do that in trade mags, when I was in the Bakery software biz.

Jonathan (copywriter/editor - jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/18/2002 9:31 AM): Del - or even better, write an article on the subject yourself - PR is always cheaper than advertising.

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:31 AM): Okay, then, lacking any other substantive comment from me, good luck!

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:31 AM): Yes, I'm a firm believer n good PR. Even meatball PR. It works.

Del (2/18/2002 9:31 AM): I've (my products) have already been featured twice (two different issues) and I got free press this month as well.

Ben Woodward (perpetuainteractive.com) (2/18/2002 9:31 AM): I like that, Rob (your difference distinction between slogan and tagline). Thanks a mil to everyone for the help!

Frederick (the1960area.com) (2/18/2002 9:31 AM): Rob, I notice you never ask questions of the group (other than to elicit more info on which to base an answer.) Do you think asking conceptual questions of potential clients undermines one's 'expertness'?

MJones (mjones@sunnysidebiz.com) (2/18/2002 9:31 AM): ah yes, PR the red headed step sister of marketing

Jonathan (copywriter/editor - jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/18/2002 9:33 AM): MJones - no, it's a part of marketing...Del can begin to establish himself as an expert by writing trade pub articles, for example.

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:33 AM): Fred, I ask those questions this way in order to get to the solutions faster. That's what this forum is supposed to be.

weber emperorsherbologist.com (2/18/2002 9:33 AM): Del, you got reprints and send them to prospective customers I hope?

MJones (mjones@sunnysidebiz.com) (2/18/2002 9:33 AM): Jonathan I thought so 'til I told my PR person that, so I try to differentiate

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:33 AM): As Jan will tell you -- because we've been discussing FrankelTips -- I'm open to doing whatever it takes to make the forum useful to you guys.

Frederick (the1960area.com) (2/18/2002 9:34 AM): I understand, but Rob, I notice you never ask questions of the group (other than to elicit more info on which to base an answer. Do you think asking conceptual questions of potential clients undermines one's 'expertise'?

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen (2/18/2002 9:34 AM): Jonathan, when will your site and service be open again?

Jonathan (copywriter/editor - jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/18/2002 9:34 AM): Jan - end of April. *ahem*

Frederick (the1960area.com) (2/18/2002 9:34 AM): Oops!

Del (2/18/2002 9:35 AM): Frederick: An expert isn't one who opens their mouth at everything and every opportunity, but smartly keeps it closed until they can render the best possible answer. That's what makes an expert, an expert.

Frederick (the1960area.com) (2/18/2002 9:35 AM): But does asking conceptual questions of potential clients undermine one's 'expertise', do you think??

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:35 AM): No, Fred, I don't. If I understand your question, I ask those questions because I figure this forum is more valuable if people walk away with actionable stuff, not just a broad discussion of topics, ya know? I hate showing up for something and leaving going, "Well that was a complete waste of time."

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen (2/18/2002 9:36 AM): Oh, that's a long way away...

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:36 AM): The only value in asking conceptual questions is to help the expert get a frame of reference for what the client's head is at.

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen (2/18/2002 9:37 AM): Since branding is about them I guess you need to be in constant dialogue...

Jonathan (copywriter/editor - jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/18/2002 9:37 AM): [Jan - if you have a specific question, you can email it to me]

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:37 AM): In fact, when I have new business meetings, one of the most common comments I get is an appreciation of how well I listen. Most experts are really bullshit artists intent on hearing themselves talk.

weber emperorsherbologist.com (2/18/2002 9:37 AM): I agree with Rob. Further, at that point you know how and what to talk to your client about and why.

Frederick (the1960area.com) (2/18/2002 9:37 AM): I was thinking more of asking the client's opinion

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen (2/18/2002 9:38 AM): I read in a sales approach book that all the seller really should have is questions :)

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:38 AM): Personally, I do ask the client's opinion. A lot. But you bring up an interesting point, because many clients have brought me in because they have no opinion or are too confused to render one.

Del (2/18/2002 9:39 AM): Jan: Solution Selling?

weber emperorsherbologist.com (2/18/2002 9:39 AM): Jan - Socratic method

Frederick (the1960area.com) (2/18/2002 9:39 AM): I agree that listening is a nearly forgotten art form for many salespeople.

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:39 AM): That makes them both hungry and insecure/shy. There's a lot of diplomacy involved with the "expert" business. I work very hard to "make my clients heroes" instead of trying to be one myself.

Jonathan (copywriter/editor - jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/18/2002 9:39 AM): you also don't want to give away the store before you sign the contract, either...

Frederick (the1960area.com) (2/18/2002 9:39 AM): I agree that listening is a nearly forgotten art form for many salespeople.

Frederick (the1960area.com) (2/18/2002 9:39 AM): I agree that listening is a nearly forgotten art form for many salespeople.

Del (2/18/2002 9:40 AM): Nah. Lots of people listen. It's just most don't HEAR. They're busy thinking about what they're gonna say when it's their turn to talk again.

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen (2/18/2002 9:40 AM): No, Selling with Integrity although I also read the other one. Selling with integrity is much better I think.

Frederick (the1960area.com) (2/18/2002 9:40 AM): Drat on this board!

weber emperorsherbologist.com (2/18/2002 9:40 AM): Hey, there's an echo in here:)

Frederick (the1960area.com) (2/18/2002 9:40 AM): Drat on this board!d keeps coming back!

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:41 AM): Hey, the harder you listen and drop the ego, the better solution you can provide. I've actually had clients to whom I've listened come up with a far better tag line than mine.

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen (2/18/2002 9:41 AM): Jonathan [I just wondered about using a copy writer and liked your approach when checking your site some time ago...

Jonathan (copywriter/editor - jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/18/2002 9:41 AM): thanks, Jan!

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen (2/18/2002 9:42 AM): Many times people know the answer, but need confirmation. Someone to bounce the ideas up against...

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:42 AM): And it's because they finally stop feeling threatened and see I'm for real -- trying to make them heroes and make their businesses really successful.

Frederick (the1960area.com) (2/18/2002 9:42 AM): I'll try again - Rob, so your client doesn't have an opinion, that's why you're there. If you ask for the client's opinion, could that sound like you don't know either?

Tamra (tamra@hcstudios.com) (2/18/2002 9:43 AM): Entered the room.

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen (2/18/2002 9:43 AM): You have to ask in a way that enables them to answer :)

Jonathan (copywriter/editor - jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/18/2002 9:43 AM): clients also often have ir(rational) opinions, buried deep inside them that they can't quite articulate - a client interview is part of the process of teasing that out of them

Jonathan (copywriter/editor - jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/18/2002 9:43 AM): [hi Tamra!]

Del (2/18/2002 9:43 AM): Frederick: Are you confused about *your own* expertise?

Gloria (lvlady10@earthlink.net) (2/18/2002 9:43 AM): Entered the room.

weber emperorsherbologist.com (2/18/2002 9:44 AM): Frederick - How can you know what to propose if you have no idea of the problem? You get the idea by asking questions.

Ben Woodward (perpetuainteractive.com) (2/18/2002 9:44 AM): I like to think of myself as the guide for my client, rather than the hand-holder. I think asking the client's opinion shows them you need to know the root of their biz, and are looking to provide them with what's best for their business, and not just what *you* think is best.

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:44 AM): No, Fred, it's sounds like the expert wants to know what the client thinks and where the starting point is. Hey, Fred, You got kids? I'll give you an example:

Frederick (the1960area.com) (2/18/2002 9:44 AM): Del, I hope not!

Karl Green (2/18/2002 9:44 AM): So... "Do you have any ideas?" might work.

Tamra (tamra@hcstudios.com) (2/18/2002 9:44 AM): [hi Jonathan, everyone -- I'm running late today]

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:45 AM): I have a great 10 year old kid. A fabulous human, if I do say so myself. But the minute he gets stuck on a homework problem, he says "I need help."

Frederick (the1960area.com) (2/18/2002 9:45 AM): No kids, but I've got an imagination!

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:45 AM): Then I tell him, "Try it yourself. Don't worry about getting it wrong. Then I'll help you."

Ben Woodward (perpetuainteractive.com) (2/18/2002 9:45 AM): that might be too broad for many clients, Karl. I usually try to offer more specific questions, based on what I need to know.

Jonathan (copywriter/editor - jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/18/2002 9:45 AM): Karl - "How did you see this going in your mind? Do you have any particular images or text that really resonates with your business and why you started it?"

Del (2/18/2002 9:45 AM): Frederick: Don't know if you've worked with an expert before, but generally the better ones use "exploratory" tools to determine facts/opinions/ideas.

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:46 AM): At first he whines, but then I explain that by seeing how he got it wrong, it helps me explain to him how to correct the problem.

Del (2/18/2002 9:46 AM): For instance, a branding/marketing person might want to find out what your company does, where in the market they currently are, how they perceive themselves, their existing advertising medium, budgets, etc.

Karl Green (2/18/2002 9:47 AM): Good questions. I sure wish I had good answers.

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:47 AM): That way, instead of teaching him all about multiplication, I can show him that he simply didn't "carry the one to the tens column". The solution turns out not to be a math problem, but in keeping your work neat so you don't confuse the columns!

Peter Clough (cpc@ebasesystems.com) (2/18/2002 9:47 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:47 AM): Karl, I have all the answers, conveniently numbered and stored in shoeboxes.......

Jonathan (copywriter/editor - jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/18/2002 9:48 AM): Karl - and one thing I *always* ask at the end - "Is there anything I've forgotten to ask? Is there anything critical you need to tell me?"

Karl Green (2/18/2002 9:48 AM): What is the number one answer? : o)

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:49 AM): The #1 answer is "Yes, but only if your promise not to tell my wife."

weber emperorsherbologist.com (2/18/2002 9:49 AM): Yes

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:49 AM): Jonathan, THAT'S something I almost never do...or never phrase that way, because I think that's actually telegraphing inexperience....

weber emperorsherbologist.com (2/18/2002 9:49 AM): Didn't mean you Rob hahahahahahaha

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:50 AM): TEN MINUTE WARNING

Tamra (tamra@hcstudios.com) (2/18/2002 9:50 AM): I had one client give me (before I asked) a long missive on how his business was like a Honda Accord (price point, luxuriousness, etc.)

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen (2/18/2002 9:50 AM): "I thought you were the expert?!" :)

Jonathan (copywriter/editor - jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/18/2002 9:50 AM): Rob - I disagree - maybe the 'forgotten to ask' part...but it's amazing how the "Columbo" approach can dredge up that one vital bit of information you find useful later :)

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:51 AM): Tamra, you bring up a good point here: Listening to a client's perspective gives you an idea of how emotionally attached or seriously off track they are. You can tell the ego-freaks right off the bat by the way they talk about their business....

weber emperorsherbologist.com (2/18/2002 9:51 AM): I prefer "Is there anything else you need to tell me?"

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:52 AM): Jonathan, if you do it like Columbo, I agree. But that means you have an agenda.

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen (2/18/2002 9:52 AM): Back to slogans and taglines although in a more profound way...

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:52 AM): Did I ever tell you guys about my phone calls with Jay Abraham? In 60 minutes, the only words I ever spoke were "Hi Jay" and "Great, Take care!"

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:53 AM): This was clearly a guy who was not intent on listening to anyone -- which is a real help when it comes to discerning whether the relationship is going to work.

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen (2/18/2002 9:53 AM): I hope it was not a $500 Frankel call?! :)

Karl Green (2/18/2002 9:54 AM): I probably shouldn't say this but I'm not impressed with Jay Abraham.

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:54 AM): As far as taglines go, they really should go about 65% to 70% of the way to convey your brand, but DON'T expect them to do all the heavy lifting.

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:54 AM): No, it was Jay trying to wheedle me out of my tape product!

MJones (mjones@sunnysidebiz.com) (2/18/2002 9:54 AM): I have no idea who JA is :)

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:54 AM): Karl, nobody else is, either. WE had a thread about that on FrankelTips last month.

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:55 AM): Jan, for $500, I'll listen to anyone for an hour!

weber emperorsherbologist.com (2/18/2002 9:55 AM): Rob, getting back to Jonathan's point. Isn't it better to know everything up front rather than be surprised because of something the client kept hidden because you didn't ask, or they were to embarrassed to bring it up due to no opening to do so?

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:56 AM): The FrankelCalls are great, because the only people who call are the types who really do listen. I must say they are my favorite form of consulting because everything happens in compressed time and both parties get off the call totally rushed.

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen (2/18/2002 9:56 AM): hehe, yes I would too :)

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:57 AM): Absolutely, Weber, but you'll never know everything. That's why client management is an art form. You have to balance the responsibilities so that you don't get blind-sided. That means not being a lazy expert, too.

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen (2/18/2002 9:57 AM): The call reference also emphasize how important preparation and planning is. Unplanned is a phone call a sure waste of time usually...

weber emperorsherbologist.com (2/18/2002 9:57 AM): I'm not advocating being lazy, just thorough.

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:57 AM): A good expert keeps asking and suggesting, checking along the way as you progress. That way, there is shared responsibility and fewer surprise that bite you in the ass.

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:58 AM): (TWO MINUTES)

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:58 AM): Right Weber, but you'd be amazed at how many "Experts" burn their clients because they don't ask enough.

Frederick (the1960area.com) (2/18/2002 9:58 AM): That's the answer I was looking for, Rob

Jonathan (copywriter/editor - jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/18/2002 9:58 AM): that ties into the idea of scheduled milestones

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen (2/18/2002 9:58 AM): Continuous communications is usually the best way to ensure success no matter what you do I think.

weber emperorsherbologist.com (2/18/2002 9:59 AM): Shared Responsibility? I don't buy it. As the vendor, we always get the blame if something goes wrong ..... regardless

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:59 AM): Those are the people that make my business very difficult. Lots of "consultants" out there who practice a "scorched earth" policy.

weber emperorsherbologist.com (2/18/2002 9:59 AM): Damn V key doesn't seem to want to work today.

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 9:59 AM): You don't have to Weber. I never get into those hassles.

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 10:00 AM): Wow, what a session today-- on a holiday in the USA no less! Thanks everyone, this was a nice one!

weber emperorsherbologist.com (2/18/2002 10:01 AM): For the custom manufacturing side of our biz, it seems to hit from time to time. The client "Forgot" to tell us something. But it's our fault in their eyes.

Jonathan (copywriter/editor - jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/18/2002 10:01 AM): bye Rob, all

Frederick (the1960area.com) (2/18/2002 10:01 AM): Thank you, Rob

Gloria (lvlady10@earthlink.net) (2/18/2002 10:01 AM): Only caught the last 20 minutes but well worth it. Bye everyone!

RobFrankel (rob@RobFrankel.com) (2/18/2002 10:01 AM): I'll see you all online!

John Charlesworth (BellaCoola.com Professional Web Tracking) (2/18/2002 10:01 AM): See ya!

Jonathan (copywriter/editor - jacohen@damnfinewriting.com) (2/18/2002 10:01 AM): [Tamra - did you hear from my friend?]

Karl Green (2/18/2002 10:02 AM): Bye

weber emperorsherbologist.com (2/18/2002 10:02 AM): Take care. Thanks Rob

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