Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic March 4, 2002

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:00 AM): Look at that...right on time!

John Charlesworth ( Professional Web Tracking) (3/4/2002 9:00 AM): Entered the room.

Elizabeth (3/4/2002 9:00 AM): Entered the room.

Gloria ( (3/4/2002 9:00 AM): On time? Me or you Rob? :)

Frederick ( (3/4/2002 9:00 AM): morning Rob

Jonathan Cohen ( (3/4/2002 9:00 AM): hi Rob

Elizabeth (3/4/2002 9:01 AM): mornin'

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:01 AM): Greetings everyone! Hope you all are surviving through the recession....which I heard on TV this morning "is officially over"....and since it's on TV it must be true.....

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen ( (3/4/2002 9:02 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:02 AM): So,,, who or what's up first today?

John (3/4/2002 9:02 AM): Anyone ever hear of Dollar Host? $3.50 per month!!

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen ( (3/4/2002 9:02 AM): Hi All!

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:03 AM): John, that's sounds downright scary...what else do you have to buy from them?

Sharon Tucci - (3/4/2002 9:03 AM): Entered the room.

Del (3/4/2002 9:03 AM): Sorry guys, gotta run, just broke a finger moving furniture!

Jonathan Cohen ( (3/4/2002 9:03 AM): John - I use complaints, but you should spring for the extra Web stats package

Sharon Tucci - (3/4/2002 9:03 AM): Good afternoon :)

Frederick ( (3/4/2002 9:04 AM): Hey Sharon - long time no see!

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:04 AM): Sharon, it's morning where I am and evening where Jan is, I suspect.

Hugh (3/4/2002 9:05 AM): My company sells virtual servers for under $3.50/mo.. its not as outrageously low in price as people think

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen ( (3/4/2002 9:05 AM): Just after 6pm here, yes...

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:06 AM): See, Jan? I'm getting to be so global!!!

Sharon Tucci - (3/4/2002 9:06 AM): Any discussion topic?

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:06 AM): Alrighty then, who's up first today?

Sharon Tucci - (3/4/2002 9:06 AM): Rob - and nitpicky too LOL

Hugh (3/4/2002 9:06 AM): People with small, barely visited web sites shouldn't be paying $20/month

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen ( (3/4/2002 9:06 AM): I wonder who to ask to write my email to prospects when I have no secretary... My dad? :)

John (3/4/2002 9:06 AM): I just want the cheapest service out there

Peter Cooper ( (3/4/2002 9:07 AM): Entered the room.

Sharon Tucci - (3/4/2002 9:07 AM): Jan - check into getting a virtual assistant or automate what you can :)

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen ( (3/4/2002 9:07 AM): When your chat comes in Danish you can talk about being global :)

Hugh (3/4/2002 9:08 AM): Dollarhost bills yearly I believe

Gloria ( (3/4/2002 9:08 AM): What's the break point on information transfer Hugh? When do you start charging for bandwidth?

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:08 AM): John, I use They're reliable and inexpensive. Lots of good services and products, too. Tell 'em I sent you.

Hugh (3/4/2002 9:08 AM): John: My company does $18 for 6 months of ultra light hosting (50MB space, 1GB traffic)

Jonathan Cohen ( (3/4/2002 9:09 AM): Hugh - monthly, too.

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen ( (3/4/2002 9:09 AM): I do not have enough to do for a virtual assistant I think... I have looked at some though...

John (3/4/2002 9:09 AM): Sign me up, Hugh!!

Hugh (3/4/2002 9:09 AM): We charge for bandwidth over that 1GB.. $2/GB beyond that 1GB included

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:09 AM): that hurts, Jan.....I'm wounded.

Jorge Restrepo (3/4/2002 9:09 AM): Entered the room.

Jorge Restrepo (3/4/2002 9:09 AM): Entered the room.

Jorge Restrepo (3/4/2002 9:10 AM): hello

Hugh (3/4/2002 9:10 AM): John: email or call 877 620 7331

Sharon Tucci - (3/4/2002 9:10 AM): Jan - some virtual assistants require only a few hours of work a month

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen ( (3/4/2002 9:10 AM): You hurt easily for someone in your line of work I think :)

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:11 AM): Wow, it's old home week! First Sharon now Jorge from South America!

Sharon Tucci - (3/4/2002 9:11 AM): Hugh - wow, that's a good deal for hosting. We have our own servers and pay more for bandwidth

Gloria ( (3/4/2002 9:11 AM): We use They'll host for $7.95/month but we upgraded to the $9.95 package.

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:11 AM): Jan, don't let this steely facade fool you.....

Frederick ( (3/4/2002 9:11 AM): Question: Does a short sales webpage sell better than a long one, or vice versa? And does branding come into the equation anywhere?

Jorge Restrepo (3/4/2002 9:11 AM): hehe

Sharon Tucci - (3/4/2002 9:12 AM): Rob - I got knocked out of jury duty already so have a clean table today

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen ( (3/4/2002 9:12 AM): Sharon, yes, but still I need to find something that really require someone's help. I have bookmarked some sites in anticipation though...

Hugh (3/4/2002 9:12 AM): Sharon: Bandwidth prices are coming down so fast.. you might want to look at moving your servers

Tamra ( (3/4/2002 9:12 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:12 AM): Fred, this is an interesting question that actually came up in FrankelTips today.

Jorge Restrepo (3/4/2002 9:12 AM): Rob I wonder how to deal with rejects. I mean when a proposal is rejected, how to get the prospect to explain who they chose and why?

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:12 AM): Without going into a long discourse, I've found that long copy actually does sell better.

Sharon Tucci - (3/4/2002 9:13 AM): Hugh - this was NEW pricing from alabanza. They are claiming a current overage charge of $10 per GB!!! (Of course WE are not paying that)

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:13 AM): In fact, when Sharon and I were doing, she was the one who insisted on the longer copy and it did improve our sale message.

Frederick ( (3/4/2002 9:13 AM): Does branding play into this?

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen ( (3/4/2002 9:14 AM): Because you wear people down?

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:14 AM): And yes, branding has everything to do with it, because the more copy you write, the more of your brand personal comes through. That does NOT mean, however, that you write War and Peace on the page. It means you take our time, because these people want information.

Jonathan Cohen ( (3/4/2002 9:14 AM): I agree with Rob, but long copy needs to be 'chunked' into smaller bits, very carefully - just like the end of a chapter in a novel is a logical point to put down a book, you have to keep it being a 'page' turner.

Frederick ( (3/4/2002 9:14 AM): I see

Terri Robinson ( (3/4/2002 9:15 AM): Long copy will sell - if you keep them reading with exciting stuff :)

Frederick ( (3/4/2002 9:15 AM): How long is long? 2-screens-full 10 screens full?

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:15 AM): Yeah, Fred, the Rob Frankel part is that the copy has to be -- you guessed it - about them, not you. And how you solve their problems, not your own.

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:16 AM): Jan, why is it that the people who like me the most treat me the way people who don't like me at all? Any shrinks here today? <G>

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:17 AM): <--- Changing his brand to

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:17 AM): Fred, I think more than three screens is really pushing it.

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen ( (3/4/2002 9:17 AM): Most of the copy I hate is of the long variety though. If I did not like you Rob I would not dare these comments :) It is all in good fun though...

weber (3/4/2002 9:17 AM): Entered the room.

Frederick ( (3/4/2002 9:18 AM): Actually I agree with what's been said, but do favor the short 1-page first followed by a linked 4- or 5-screener. How does that grab you all?

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:18 AM): I know, Jan. But it's fun playing the victim once in a while.....

Jonathan Cohen ( (3/4/2002 9:18 AM): I'm guilty of having multiple pages of fairly long copy on my site...but I think it works.

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:19 AM): Fred, the worst long copy I see is the three screener that makes you go to the next page of three screeners, until they wear you down. I think that pitch works to really unsophisticated people.

Jonathan Cohen ( (3/4/2002 9:19 AM): [suddenly realizing I've painted a target on myself :)]

Tamra ( (3/4/2002 9:19 AM): Frederick, do they click through? Or do you loose some folks who'd read one long page but who don't click?

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen ( (3/4/2002 9:19 AM): Someone on the copy writing list showed a sales pitch by one of the big sales guns and it was sooo long it wore me down. It was also full of lies and himself so I guess that disqualifies it... :)

Sharon Tucci - (3/4/2002 9:19 AM): As an FYI on copy length -- I'm a numbers person and VERY much believe in testing EVERYTHING...

weber (3/4/2002 9:19 AM): You always hurt the one you love

Sharon Tucci - (3/4/2002 9:20 AM): most of the tests I have run or been involved with have shown that maximum results for MOST things are around 3 screens of copy

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:20 AM): Well, that's where the branding part comes in. Writing is one place where your brand really comes through. More HOW you write than WHAT you write.

Sharon Tucci - (3/4/2002 9:20 AM): over that and response rate diminished

John (3/4/2002 9:20 AM): I own a promotional products business and would like to trade product for a webmaster's service. Any contacts out there?

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:20 AM): Jonathan, I grew up writing 30 second TV spots, so it's hard for me to stretch things out. Even the first version of my book was too short.

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:21 AM): John, have you posted that to the FrankelBiz list? You'd get swamped with replies.

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen ( (3/4/2002 9:21 AM): The problem with HOW coming before WHAT is that it puts the English speaking before the rest of us who have to concentrate on the WHAT just to make sense...

Frederick ( (3/4/2002 9:21 AM): John, e-mail after -

John (3/4/2002 9:21 AM): No I haven't. I suppose that I should

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:22 AM): Jan, that assumes that you haven't hired a professional translator who is sensitive to your brand style.

Peter Cooper ( (3/4/2002 9:22 AM): Jan: You'd be surprised. Most English speaking people would have the same problem. Only, they'd be over-confident and mess it up ;-)

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:22 AM): Jan, I believe more people will fall for the old "site translator" technology and do more damage to their brands before they realize it's cheaper and more effective to have a human on board

Peter Cooper ( (3/4/2002 9:23 AM): Anyone using a site translator is obviously not _serious_ about getting into foreign markets.. they're just trying to pick up the odd customer 'here and there'

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen ( (3/4/2002 9:23 AM): I don't think my English is so bad that I need a translator... :)

Jonathan Cohen ( (3/4/2002 9:24 AM): Jan - how about an editor to polish it up? :)

MarleneJ ( (3/4/2002 9:24 AM): Entered the room.

Frederick ( (3/4/2002 9:24 AM): Jan, I hate to say this in a room full of Americans but many Americans need and English translator - or at least a writer

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen ( (3/4/2002 9:25 AM): Jonathan you have my mail I assume? I did reply to you after last weeks session at least :)

Peter Cooper ( (3/4/2002 9:25 AM): Jan: I think most English-speakers need a translator sometimes! ;-) You should see some of the stuff people write and pass off as 'copy'!

weber (3/4/2002 9:25 AM): I agree with Jonathan - sometimes from another persons perspective you can see if what you say is clear or not

Hugh (3/4/2002 9:26 AM): I'm a horrible writer myself.. I can spell mildly well, but grammar ain't something I do good

Jonathan Cohen ( (3/4/2002 9:26 AM): [Jan - I did reply - hope you got it :) ]

weber (3/4/2002 9:26 AM): I meant Frederick I guess I need an editor for this :)

MarleneJ ( (3/4/2002 9:26 AM): I use babelfish link from altavista, it is rudimentary, but it works for the general idea

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:27 AM): BTW, I hope you all realize, that today, we are represented by USA, South America, Denmark, UK, and the Americans are not dominating...

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen ( (3/4/2002 9:27 AM): hmmm, no. I just got the initial mail and then nothing after that. Maybe you could resend it?

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:27 AM): Marlene, did you have a question I can help you with?

Jonathan Cohen ( (3/4/2002 9:27 AM): Hugh - the key when finding an editor is to find someone that can keep the flavor of your writing and not dilute it into corporate-speak - the way we talk is part of the brand, right Rob?

Jorge Restrepo (3/4/2002 9:27 AM): I have a question

Jorge Restrepo (3/4/2002 9:28 AM): Rob I wonder how to deal with rejects. I mean when a proposal is rejected, how to get the prospect to explain who they chose and why?

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:28 AM): Jorge, please do go ahead.

MarleneJ ( (3/4/2002 9:28 AM): actually I am bummed I missed last week, and I do not see Mark here today (portal discussion)

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:28 AM): Correct, Jonathan. It's crucial. People "hear" a voice when they read.

weber (3/4/2002 9:29 AM): Jorge - ask them. Tell them something like, Mr. Prospect, I know I lost your business, can you please tell me what I did wrong so I can improve myself?

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:29 AM): Jorge, rejection is part of the business. Let me ask you a very important question: what kind of acceptances are you getting? Are they the kind of business you want?

Hugh (3/4/2002 9:29 AM): Jorge: I usually ask nicely why

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:30 AM): No weber, I don't agree. I never approach rejected prospects for business....I'll say more in a minute

Jorge Restrepo (3/4/2002 9:30 AM): hmm. good question. well...

Frederick ( (3/4/2002 9:30 AM): Marlene, I've just pulled up your site - very interesting. I have a hometownportal. Will contact you later.

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:30 AM): I never go near a client who rejects my services, for several reasons:

Jorge Restrepo (3/4/2002 9:30 AM): There is some kind of economic recession here

weber (3/4/2002 9:31 AM): Rob - Not for biz but to find out why I lost it.

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:31 AM): 1. They probably have their own agenda that has little to do with me.

MarleneJ ( (3/4/2002 9:31 AM): Maybe come up with a template email that you can adjust, sort of a follow up for phone and other contacts, and say a week after you speak ask them if they went with another company why they chose the other

Jorge Restrepo (3/4/2002 9:31 AM): so I am accepting a more wide topics in RFP s

Hugh (3/4/2002 9:31 AM): I have found that on more than one occasion, the prospect has rejected the initial proposal in hopes that I would lower my price

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:32 AM): 2. They likely wouldn't tell me anything constructive, because most of them have a hard time telling you the truth -- and it's not their job to help you win business.

Jorge Restrepo (3/4/2002 9:32 AM): yes, its not their job to help your biz.

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:33 AM): 3. The minute you do that, you're pandering -- subordinating your brand to their whims. The whole point of branding is screening those who are naturally drawn to your brand, and screening out those who are repulsed by it.

weber (3/4/2002 9:33 AM): Rob - If the rapport is built up properly, they will give you their honest opinion.

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen ( (3/4/2002 9:33 AM): Jonathan could you resend it now so I can confirm that I got it?

Sharon Tucci - (3/4/2002 9:33 AM): I agree with Rob here....

Jonathan Cohen ( (3/4/2002 9:33 AM): [Jan - will do]

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:34 AM): Believe me, my outreach program gets rejections and acceptances. I don't worry about the rejections, because there ARE some acceptances, which means it's not me that's wrong, it's those few people I targeted that was wrong.

Sharon Tucci - (3/4/2002 9:34 AM): We get anywhere from 20 to 50 people a day coming to us for quotations for our services

Jorge Restrepo (3/4/2002 9:34 AM): I presented a very good proposal last week, I thought. I was almost sure the client would sign. But today they called me to say that they chose another one.

Shawn Chun (3/4/2002 9:34 AM): Entered the room.

Sharon Tucci - (3/4/2002 9:34 AM): We USED to ask people why they didn't use us, but discovered most of the time it wasn't true :)

MarleneJ ( (3/4/2002 9:34 AM): I agree weber, I think some people would be honest if they were treated politely in a proposal

Shawn Chun (3/4/2002 9:34 AM): Aloha from Hawaii.

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:34 AM): No weber, there's is no rapport if there is no business. Prospects don't want whiners, they want winners.....Hey, that's good!

Sharon Tucci - (3/4/2002 9:34 AM): We used to try and make changes to accommodate everyone... but you can't do that

MarleneJ ( (3/4/2002 9:34 AM): What kind of work are you doing proposals for Jorge?

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:35 AM): Shawn! Welcome. Now we're across about ten time zones in real time! Wow!

weber (3/4/2002 9:35 AM): My point is that if you have spent time with the prospect, got to know them, did a full needs assessment, etc., they will give you the truth.

Shawn Chun (3/4/2002 9:35 AM): Thank You. It is 7:36am here in Honolulu.

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:35 AM): Jorge, forget those rejecting guys -- except to really read their notes carefully. Look at their web sites. There could be a culture clash.

Jorge Restrepo (3/4/2002 9:36 AM): Well I am trying to focus on using the web to help small business do international trade here

weber (3/4/2002 9:36 AM): Rob, actually there is no business if there is no rapport

MarleneJ ( (3/4/2002 9:36 AM): You can't accommodate everyone, but if you use the like it or lump it approach that won't work either

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:36 AM): Jorge, I suspect that you're still not leading enough. In order for people to follow, you must give them something, someone to follow. Otherwise, they don't know where to go.

Jorge Restrepo (3/4/2002 9:36 AM): but this was about building a site for a realtor. Nothing to do. But anyway they told me mine was one of the best proposals

Gloria ( (3/4/2002 9:37 AM): You just hit the hot button for my business Jorge. Please email me after.

Michael Kimsal - (3/4/2002 9:37 AM): Entered the room.

Jorge Restrepo (3/4/2002 9:37 AM): Yes. can you explain that about following?

MarleneJ ( (3/4/2002 9:38 AM): I find that in building sites, many times they just do not understand how a web site will help their business

weber (3/4/2002 9:38 AM): Jorge - but??????

Tamra ( (3/4/2002 9:38 AM): How much "leading" should you do in a proposal? With design, it's really easy to get sucked into designing something for the proposal (on spec).

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:38 AM): Jorge, you have to attack these prospects saying, "Look, you've got a problem and I can fix it." If they don't hear that, forget about doing businesses. They won't know why you're there.

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:38 AM): Then you have to show them that you can fix THEIR problem.

Jorge Restrepo (3/4/2002 9:39 AM): but they finally called me today to say they chose another one

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:40 AM): Tamra, I court clients in several stages. The first is opening a dialogue to see fi there's any interest in what I can do for them. The second is an overview of how we're structured and all the resources we offer. The third is "signup and we'll get started."

weber (3/4/2002 9:40 AM): Jorge - My question to them would have been "What happened?"

Jorge Restrepo (3/4/2002 9:40 AM): most prospects call me saying they are asking for proposals on what they think they know exactly what they need. but they don't.

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:40 AM): Jorge -- if you want to ask them something, THAT'S what you ask: "Why did you go with the other guy?" That will get you a much more honest answer.

MarleneJ ( (3/4/2002 9:41 AM): Jorge, do you do a lot of site development for real estate businesses?

Shawn Chun (3/4/2002 9:41 AM): I hate to chime in here, but people have needs. I think many in business forget that to make money you must fulfill those needs. People have money burning a hole in their pockets, you just have to follow the smoke as they say.

Jorge Restrepo (3/4/2002 9:41 AM): hmm. just shoot that direct question?

MarleneJ ( (3/4/2002 9:41 AM): I think a lot of times businesses like real estate, go with design companies who know something about real estate

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:42 AM): Why not? You'll get a direct answer and some valuable information on your competition -- plus it'll give you a clue as to what that client was really looking for, without their coming right out and saying it.

weber (3/4/2002 9:42 AM): Sure. Here in the USA we are abrupt and very rude. but that's how we are. No offense would have been taken.

Jorge Restrepo (3/4/2002 9:42 AM): Most of the clients here don't see me as a consultant , rather as a web builder

Michael Kimsal - (3/4/2002 9:42 AM): "

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:43 AM): Shawn, that's true. I find that many of us in the service business are less money-oriented than we are service/solution oriented. our drive to help is stronger than our drive to earn.

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:43 AM): Jorge, maybe that's the problem right there.

Michael Kimsal - (3/4/2002 9:43 AM): "builder" is an interesting word choice - is that how you describe yourself (sorry - I missed the beginning)

Jorge Restrepo (3/4/2002 9:43 AM): so their criteria for choosing my proposal seem to be things like price, or so

MarleneJ ( (3/4/2002 9:43 AM): Tamara also brought up a good point about samples for a proposal, Tamara could you use your portfolio as an example?

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen ( (3/4/2002 9:44 AM): If price is their main concern you are talking to the wrong people I think...

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:44 AM): Jorge, can you see anyone approaching me for just a logo? I doubt it. Yet some do. I'll get rejected by those folks, because they're asking the wrong guy for the wrong thing. They can get a logo for $50. I charge $7500 minimum.

weber (3/4/2002 9:45 AM): With RFP's we made it a rule to not answer them unless we could talk with the person issuing it first. Then we got better info and were not just being judged on who could do it for less.

Jorge Restrepo (3/4/2002 9:45 AM): It's like after all they don't see me as someone who can help their business , just as a web designer or web programmer contractor

Jonathan Cohen ( (3/4/2002 9:45 AM): Jorge - you have to differentiate yourself in another way....provide a solution, not a service. Otherwise you're too vulnerable to being undercut on the price.

Tamra ( (3/4/2002 9:45 AM): I include portfolio samples with initial sales contacts. What clients seem to want is to see an actual design for *their* site in the proposal. I hate doing that.

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:45 AM): Marlene, I never do spec work. You shouldn't, either. If you have a portfolio, that's enough for any prospect. If they want free work, that's exactly what you'll end up doing.

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:45 AM): Jorge, welcome to your brand. It's clearly off target from what you want it to be.

Michael Kimsal - (3/4/2002 9:45 AM): Jorge - is that how you pitch yourself? Or do you pitch another angle, but they're choosing to pigeonhole you?

Tamra ( (3/4/2002 9:46 AM): (you can see our portfolio at <blatant plug>

MarleneJ ( (3/4/2002 9:46 AM): Ok, Tam :)

weber (3/4/2002 9:46 AM): Rob - How would Jorge adjust his brand?

Michael Kimsal - (3/4/2002 9:47 AM): Jorge - we routinely have to turn down work from people who "just want a few scripts". that's not what we do - well, it IS, but it isn't. Does that make sense?

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen ( (3/4/2002 9:47 AM): Jorge you are clearly to defensive if it ends up being about price. I think...

Jorge Restrepo (3/4/2002 9:47 AM): well, I use to provide consultancy in the proposal itself. but charge for web building

Hugh (3/4/2002 9:47 AM): on occasion

I've charged prospects a proposal fee if we do an extensive specification report for them.. and of course if we get the gig we waive the proposal fee.. this is for large proposals though

Ann (3/4/2002 9:47 AM): Entered the room.

Peter Cooper ( (3/4/2002 9:47 AM): Ack, I've never turned down well-paid work yet :-)

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen ( (3/4/2002 9:48 AM): You have to make it about the whole package as that is your solution.

Jorge Restrepo (3/4/2002 9:49 AM): Yes, but how. Most of the prospects aren't aware of their need for a solution. they just want to have a web site.

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:49 AM): Jorge has to move his brand the way I did for my own. In the beginning, I ran an ad agency and did the brand work for free to get the account. But advertising, like web design, became too widespread and soon anyone pitching a low price could get it. I realized the real talent and skill people pay for was in branding, so I switched my branding to, well, branding

Jonathan Cohen ( (3/4/2002 9:49 AM): Jorge - customer education - they probably don't even know why they need a Web site, just that 'everyone needs one'

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:49 AM): (TEN MINUTE WARNING)

weber (3/4/2002 9:50 AM): Explain why they need the whole solution and also give them the price for what they want done.

Hugh (3/4/2002 9:50 AM): Jorge: How big of your clients? Are they small businesses? Individuals?

Michael Kimsal - (3/4/2002 9:50 AM): we just went thru this this morning with someone who 'wanted a website'. we simply asked 'why' and didn't take 'because' as an answer. we gave them a list of questions to answer - basically something to think about before calling us back.

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen ( (3/4/2002 9:50 AM): Who better to lead them by the hand than you?

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:50 AM): Jorge, now you know why my sales cycle with clients is 120 days -- if I'm lucky.

Frederick ( (3/4/2002 9:51 AM): I would take the route - RFP -Our charge for a proposal is $xxx. If you just want to see the sort of work we do, go here and here and here.

Jorge Restrepo (3/4/2002 9:51 AM): small to medium size business

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:51 AM): Michael: I with ya -- in fact, ahead: I make sure my site does as much educating so that we don't waste the prospects' or my time.

weber (3/4/2002 9:51 AM): Rob - so Jorge should pick the aspect of his business he wants and then concentrate his efforts, advertising, sales info on that one specific aspect?

Hugh (3/4/2002 9:51 AM): I have a question regarding handling affiliates.

Peter Cooper ( (3/4/2002 9:51 AM): Isn't it funny how problems are easier to solve when they are not your own?

Michael Kimsal - (3/4/2002 9:51 AM): weber - only problem with 'explaining' something to someone is that you often won't know their business like they do. whether or not that matters, it'll end up putting people in a position of being able to dismiss you because you 'don't know their business like they do'. we try to get people to tell us about their business themselves, and we identify places we can help.

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:52 AM): Weber, Jorge should take the aspect of his practice where he is "the only solution to his prospects problems" and run with that. It's a slower build, but a more reliable one.

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:52 AM): Peter -- you said it, pal.

Jonathan Cohen ( (3/4/2002 9:52 AM): Jorge - what about creating a brochure (or site pages) explaining why realtors need web sites, what the advantages are, and why he's more than 'just another web building'

Jonathan Cohen ( (3/4/2002 9:52 AM): err web builder!

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:53 AM): Michael: Very important that your prospects realize that YOU know you don't know their business. You're not supposed to. You're supposed to add YOUR value ton THEIR business.

Jorge Restrepo (3/4/2002 9:53 AM): ok rob. but in the end prospects seem to choose (or not) me for the price of their web building.

Hugh (3/4/2002 9:53 AM): My company has had this affiliate program (for web hosting) for those who don't want to become resellers. The problem is that well over 90% of our affiliates are totally inactive.. I want to do something to try to revive the program, but don't know what.

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:53 AM): That way, their egos are still intact and your job is easier. The relationship is much stronger, too.

Tamra ( (3/4/2002 9:54 AM): Or, build (ha-ha) on the builder idea -- move to "master craftsman".

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:54 AM): Hugh, how many affiliates do you have?

MarleneJ ( (3/4/2002 9:54 AM): I think price is a consideration, especially for local small businesses

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen ( (3/4/2002 9:54 AM): That was why I called just doing proposals defensive. You have to lead them to see why yours is the solution. It is a different frame of mind I think...

Sharon Tucci - (3/4/2002 9:54 AM): Hugh - the numbers are not surprising and are typical

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:54 AM): Jorge, price is always an easy excuse. That's why I started out by saying it's useless to ask why you got rejected.

weber (3/4/2002 9:54 AM): Jorge - offer a small starter site for really cheap. Then sell add ons.

Sharon Tucci - (3/4/2002 9:54 AM): We have fewer than 5% of affiliates active - in spite of providing a solid support system

Tamra ( (3/4/2002 9:54 AM): Jorge, do you offer "packages" -- 3 page site, X amount? That seems to be what small biz folks want.

Gloria ( (3/4/2002 9:55 AM): Hugh, a lot has to do with what you are offering your affiliates. There is usually pretty good discussion at ReveNews on those topics.

Jorge Restrepo (3/4/2002 9:55 AM): yes Marlene. local small business see price as almost the only factor to consider

MarleneJ ( (3/4/2002 9:55 AM): Hugh, what's the name of your site?

Hugh (3/4/2002 9:55 AM): The problem is that many affiliates get a recurring percentage.. so 18 months ago some of them referred some customers and have been getting commission since

Sharon Tucci - (3/4/2002 9:55 AM): Hugh - why is that a problem?

Hugh (3/4/2002 9:55 AM): Marlene:

Jorge Restrepo (3/4/2002 9:56 AM): no Tamra. I like to offer customized solutions

Gloria ( (3/4/2002 9:56 AM): I wondered that too Sharon. It sounds like word of mouth is not working for you.

MarleneJ ( (3/4/2002 9:56 AM): Hugh, I'll take a peek, and if you want email you, if you like.. your addy on the site?

Michael Kimsal - (3/4/2002 9:56 AM): Jorge - point to any successes - use references. get people to realize that initial price should not be the highest concern.

Hugh (3/4/2002 9:57 AM): Sharon: I guess it isn't a problem, I just think there must be a way to stimulate these people into adding onto the commission they already receive

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen ( (3/4/2002 9:57 AM): Jorge, That is why anyone talking about price (unless at the very end) should be chucked out :)

Gloria ( (3/4/2002 9:57 AM): Recurring ought to work for you Hugh, just like affiliates like long cookie duration.

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:57 AM): FYI: Let's not confuse "small business" with "micro-business".

Tamra ( (3/4/2002 9:57 AM): (Jorge -- same here. But folks like packages. It makes it easy for them to understand. Make them limited, then when you talk you stress the customized solution.)

Sharon Tucci - (3/4/2002 9:57 AM): It's the same thing for us - we provide list hosting services, so commissions are ongoing.

Michael Kimsal - (3/4/2002 9:57 AM): Jorge - we've lost out on bids because they went with lower people - even FBs from the list - they wanted 'just a few scripts' - I can tell you they will end up paying more (and taking longer to complete the project) than if they'd just used us in the first place.

Sharon Tucci - (3/4/2002 9:57 AM): I don't think that ongoing commissions are the issue or part of it, if anything, it SHOULD make it more attractive

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:57 AM): (TWO MINUTES) <--- Rob has to jet out on time today.....

weber (3/4/2002 9:58 AM): We always ask - in the beginning what is your price range or target price....just so we can make sure we are all in the same ball park.

Hugh (3/4/2002 9:58 AM): What is a micro-business?

MarleneJ ( (3/4/2002 9:58 AM): weber, I like that approach

Jorge Restrepo (3/4/2002 9:58 AM): so Michael, how would you deal with that?

Terri Robinson ( (3/4/2002 9:59 AM): Thanks for the great info today, Rob and everyone! See you next week!

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:59 AM): Small business = sales from $250K to $20 million

Michael Kimsal - (3/4/2002 9:59 AM): a couple we've contacted 6 months after the fact just to 'follow up'.

Jan Hviid Hemmingsen ( (3/4/2002 9:59 AM): Not private jet I hope :) A survey here showed that 8 of 10 companies getting a private jet went bankrupt within 3 years :)

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:59 AM): Micro-business = non-funded start-ups, sales under $250K annually.

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 9:59 AM): HUGE difference.

Jorge Restrepo (3/4/2002 9:59 AM): weber, and they always tell you their budget?

Michael Kimsal - (3/4/2002 9:59 AM): and generally find out that they've paid more than they initially thought, and they're problems still aren't solved.

weber (3/4/2002 9:59 AM): Thanks Marlene. We do import and custom manufacturing form China. We got run so many times we wanted to put a stop to it and the question was the best way.

MarleneJ ( (3/4/2002 10:00 AM): I guess I deal with micros then LOL

Michael Kimsal - (3/4/2002 10:00 AM): there's often not much you CAN do at that point beyond saying 'I told you so' but it helps when talking to new clients to have actual numbers/timeframes to point to - both your systems and others' systems

Sharon Tucci - (3/4/2002 10:00 AM): LOL - sorry, Rob, but I don't agree with those numbers and neither does any bank I deal with. We don't do over $20million and aren't considered small business.

weber (3/4/2002 10:00 AM): Jorge - I would say 99% of the time they do. We also tell them that if we can come in under it we will.

Gloria ( (3/4/2002 10:00 AM): Bye everyone.

Rob Frankel ( (3/4/2002 10:00 AM): Okay, everyone. Thanks for a great international session today! Stick around if you like, I'll see you online!

Jonathan Cohen ( (3/4/2002 10:01 AM): bye Rob

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