Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic May 21, 2001

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:00 AM): Entered the room.

Frederick ( (5/21/2001 9:00 AM): Morning, StarK - only you and me?

Frederick ( (5/21/2001 9:00 AM): Oh - morning, Rob

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:01 AM): Good Morning! I don't think StarK is here..looks like that was from a few days ago...

Frederick ( (5/21/2001 9:01 AM): So it was

Good morning (5/21/2001 9:01 AM): Entered the room.

Frederick ( (5/21/2001 9:01 AM): Thin pickin's this morning?

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:02 AM): Uh oh, can Good Morning please log in again?

Dave[] (5/21/2001 9:02 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:02 AM): Could be, Frederick. Sometimes it's really slow. Last week, a bunch of people logged on at 9:45! No big deal. I just hang around until there's action.

Joel Reymont (5/21/2001 9:03 AM): Entered the room.

Joel Reymont (5/21/2001 9:03 AM): sorry rob, I'm not thinking clearly this morning. 5 hours of sleep + intense workout

Barb ( (5/21/2001 9:03 AM): Entered the room.

Joel Reymont (5/21/2001 9:03 AM): <-- formerly known as Good Morning

Barb ( (5/21/2001 9:04 AM): Good afternoon, on this Canadian holiday

Del (5/21/2001 9:04 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:05 AM): Hi folks, just grab a chair anywhere...there are doughnuts and coffee on the table in the back of the room....

Mark P-R ( (5/21/2001 9:05 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:05 AM): Hi, Barb -- what's the holiday?

Dave[] (5/21/2001 9:05 AM): Canadian Holiday ? - Oh, happy Victoria Day

Del (5/21/2001 9:05 AM): Rob: Mind if I throw out an Ad-related question to you?

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:05 AM): Sure, Del. Might as well start it off.

Barb ( (5/21/2001 9:06 AM): Rob, are you familiar with Poor Richard's "self-branding"?

Del (5/21/2001 9:06 AM): Out of 4 trade journals in my industry, I'm advertised (line ads) in three of them.

Barb ( (5/21/2001 9:06 AM): thanks, Dave :)

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:07 AM): Hold on a sec barb for Del...

Del (5/21/2001 9:07 AM): Based on sales, Mag 1 pulls 60% of the buyers, Mag 2 pulls 8% and Mag 3 pulls 1%.

Del (5/21/2001 9:07 AM): Should I try a line ad in the 4th, untested journal or up Mag 1 to a 1/6th or 1/4 page display ad?

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:08 AM): Assuming that the rates are close, why wouldn't you dump #3 and test #4?

Del (5/21/2001 9:09 AM): Rob: I'm in a prepaid 1 year contract on all of them.

Del (5/21/2001 9:10 AM): So the question was more along the lines of try a line ad in #4 or not run that ad and instead increase the ad in Mag 1 to see if it draws a larger audience.

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:10 AM): Gosh, it's hard for me to say without seeing the pubs. But if you're looking to upgrade, and you're on a prepaid basis, I would schmooze your ad rep and see if they'll sell you a display on a remnant basis.

Frederick ( (5/21/2001 9:11 AM): Del, If mags 2 and 3 are truly appropriate, why not change the wording and keep changing it until it produces.

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:11 AM): You may actually get it for ten cents on the dollar. All you have to do is give them the art and tell them to run it whenever they have the extra space available.

Del (5/21/2001 9:11 AM): Tried that. :-) A new publisher bought the mag and would rather reduce page count then discount ads.

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:12 AM): You tried the remnant offer?

Del (5/21/2001 9:12 AM): Mag 2: Is the national trade journal, mostly big money companies that tend to have a billion people to make one decision (Rob's favorite kind of client).

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:12 AM): EVERY publication will talk to you about it.

Del (5/21/2001 9:12 AM): Rob: Yes.

Del (5/21/2001 9:13 AM): Rob: Maybe it's just the west coast sales rep. Doesn't want to drop her commission.

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:13 AM): Well, if that's the case -- and again I'm working in the dark -- I'd test #4 first. Then, if it doesn't work, I'd dump the lower producing pub and test display in #1

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:14 AM): I'd go over her head. That's a REALLY bad sales rep you've got. She should do anything to build her sales.

Del (5/21/2001 9:14 AM): Cool. That saves me money in the near term (1/6th B&W ads go up to $1400 in July for a 1x).

Marshal ( (5/21/2001 9:14 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:14 AM): Seriously, Del, talk to her supervisor. She's' costing him/her business by not working with a growing advertiser.

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:15 AM): The supervisor will thank you.

Del (5/21/2001 9:15 AM): Rob: My ad verbiage pulls well...In fact, this last issue, a competitor pretty much used it. I had "emotionally-charged postcards"...They went with "Low-priced postcards" as their opener. They can have those clients. :-)

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:16 AM): Hey, price is no strategy. Your sales are climbing, right? You're on the right track.

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:16 AM): Barb, did you have a question?

Del (5/21/2001 9:16 AM): Rob: I'll do that....The only trouble with remnant space, from what I understand, is that most publishers will want several ad sizes to cover empty ad slots.

Del (5/21/2001 9:17 AM): Sales are really nice (helps to have introduced a new line of humorous greeting cards and a do-it-yourself referral postcard.,

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:17 AM): Del, spend a day on a Mac using Quark. Crank out as many sizes as you can. No big deal.

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:17 AM): If you give them what they want, they'll run it. Give them everything they need so they can't say no.

Del (5/21/2001 9:18 AM): "Spend a day on a Mac using Quark"...LOL. That's my life. ;-)

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:18 AM): Used to be mine, too!

Del (5/21/2001 9:18 AM): Onwards! Help the next in line. :-)

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:18 AM): Does anyone else want to jump in? Mark? Barb?

Barb ( (5/21/2001 9:19 AM): hey, it sounds like Del and I are in almost identical businesses!

Barb ( (5/21/2001 9:19 AM): Del, are you also a printer?

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:19 AM): Do I detect a merger/acquisition here?

Del (5/21/2001 9:19 AM): Barb: No. That's outsourced.

Barb ( (5/21/2001 9:20 AM): in all fairness to Poor Richard's publication, I didn't read it entirely ...

Dave[] (5/21/2001 9:20 AM): Or at least a mutual link arrangement :-)

Barb ( (5/21/2001 9:20 AM): Del, are you a broker? ... can you elaborate here?

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:20 AM): Yes, you were saying about Poor Richard...

Barb ( (5/21/2001 9:21 AM): .... I was just taken aback at the term "self-branding"

Del (5/21/2001 9:21 AM): Barb: Rather than tie up the chat with out conversation, email me any questions you may have: (You can even visit the website to take a look, if you'd like.)

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:21 AM): Hey, if you order from Barb on Tuesday, you get an extra 500 color postcards for only $10 more!

Barb ( (5/21/2001 9:21 AM): <smile> Thanks, Rob

Barb ( (5/21/2001 9:22 AM): will do, Del

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:22 AM): Barb, everyone is trying to jump on the "branding" thing. I received several e-mails from Jay Abraham who is linking up with another warmed over hack trying to promote a branding thing. Neither knows anything about it, but they're jumping on the gravy train just the same.

Barb ( (5/21/2001 9:23 AM): I was somewhat bemused since I'm not interested in selling myself

Barb ( (5/21/2001 9:24 AM): ... hmm, but the last 4 digits of my phone number spell SEXY, so perhaps I should re-consider another vocation <G>

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:24 AM): It gets worse. I've had guys come to me for branding advice -- clearly clueless -- who then turn around and write books about branding. Go figure!

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:25 AM): Anyway, I digress. Who else can I help? Mark? Dave?

Barb ( (5/21/2001 9:25 AM): all kidding aside ... I also thought that would take longer, since I have to be *actively involved* in everything, as it relates to *my* personality

Del (5/21/2001 9:25 AM): Rob: Last week you had mentioned picking up where we had left off...Getting back to a customer too soon? (deal killers)

Dave[] (5/21/2001 9:26 AM): Rob: I have never purchased ads before - Is a 1 year contract standard / recommended ?

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:28 AM): No Dave, nothing in advertising is really standard except the ability to negotiate everything. A one year contract can spell death if you find out that the medium isn't producing.

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:28 AM): Barb, in essence every brand is an extension of the owner's personality. It works best that way.

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:29 AM): Dave, sales reps also want to grab as much as they can to fill their books as fast as possible. So you can get better terms, like anything else: the more you buy, the better the rate. But don't get sucked in by that.

Dave[] (5/21/2001 9:30 AM): Ok, Rob - what do you recommend as a maximum contract period ?

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:30 AM): Dave, you're NOT out of bounds to ask you rep for an arrangement that allows you to lower you rate if your tests confirm success, letting you convert from a spot buy to a year contract.

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:32 AM): Dave, test first -- they're used to this. And then if it works, hammer them for the best rate that also makes sense for your business. And DON'T fall for that "we're raising our rates next week" crap. Let them. You can negotiate them down next week, too.

Dave[] (5/21/2001 9:33 AM): Ok, Thanks Rob

Del (5/21/2001 9:33 AM): Rob: Are you implying that a 1x test run ad (with a provision that if it pulls, you'll commit to a 1 year 12x contract) should be LESS then their normal 1x price?

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:33 AM): Depending on the medium (monthly? weekly? Daily?) you have to give an ad enough frequency to work. No fewer than three times. More if it's smaller space.

Barb ( (5/21/2001 9:33 AM): did someone allude to the fact that getting back to a customer quickly is not a good thing?

Barb ( (5/21/2001 9:34 AM): on a daily basis, I have people who thank me for getting back to them at all <perplexed>

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:35 AM): Del, I've done that...but a 1x test is no test....

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:36 AM): Yes, Barb, especially in the personal service business, getting back to a client too fast can actually harm your business. Those of you on FrankelTips will get an in-depth discussion of this in an upcoming issue.

Barb ( (5/21/2001 9:37 AM): that, I think I understand ... then if they become a client, they'll expect expedited service on a regular basis

Barb ( (5/21/2001 9:38 AM): which makes it difficult to fulfill

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:38 AM): Let me make this clear; it doesn't apply to product businesses. But those of us in the professional service business can get nipped pretty hard by responding too fast. Essentially, it opens the door to cheapening your perceived value as you say, barb -- you become a slave. Also, if you come up with the answer too fast, they don't want to pay your fee?

Del (5/21/2001 9:39 AM): Barb: Same here. But I have a flipside story....One client bought several hundred dollars worth of goods. I emailed them twice within 5 minutes and they were WOWed. Flipside: Another client, 5 digit sales number. Placed an order, responded with a completed product in 1 hour. Order postponed by the client, now indefinitely.

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:40 AM): I know an estate planning attorney in Texas who charges $5K for an estate plan. He mostly does a "search and replace" on a master document for every client. Make a few tucks and nips, but that's about it. Takes maybe an hour or two of the paralegal's time.

Barb ( (5/21/2001 9:40 AM): I can certainly relate, I assure you

Dave[] (5/21/2001 9:41 AM): Haha - Do I dare ask - "What is the optimal time to delay a response to a customer ?"

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:41 AM): But he makes sure the clients' next appointment is booked at least 4 to 6 weeks later. To make sure they don't squawk about it. It's a perception thing. He couldn't charge the $5K if he told them to pick it up after lunch today.

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:42 AM): Responding too quickly can not only make you look desperate, but also be annoying to clients who think you're pestering them.

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:43 AM): Proper response time depends on your business. And the tasks for which you are contacted. I've literally been in a client presentation -- and have figured out the branding strategy before the meeting is over.

Barb ( (5/21/2001 9:43 AM): so Del, now we know why we lose the big money sales :)

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:44 AM): Other times, I've racked my brain. But I charge the same for both.

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:44 AM): In today's FrankelTips, I wrote about self-sabotage. This is just another method!! Ways we undercut ourselves.

Del (5/21/2001 9:45 AM): Mine's templated architecture...I can see waiting 24 hours for larger purchases, but small orders (several hundred dollars), I still get the feeling a shopper wants to see results "same day".

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:46 AM): Funny, the best PR person I know is a follow-up hound. You can't fart without getting a conference report about it via e-mail five minutes later. She's efficient, but it has cost her more than one client.

Del (5/21/2001 9:46 AM): I mean, my company isn't an ad company that charges $$$ for creative, mock-up, etc.

Del (5/21/2001 9:46 AM): All of which take time.

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:46 AM): Yeah, Del, you have to play them as they roll. Some call for immediate, others should wait. The point is you have to think it through. This is not a "one size fits all" kind of thing, which is the major mistake.

Barb ( (5/21/2001 9:47 AM): we're in a weird business, Del ... clients expect marketing/ad concepts, design and delivery within 3-5 days, or they're gone

Del (5/21/2001 9:47 AM): Ok...So next time I get a Wells Fargo kinda account. Don't rush. Got it. SMACK, right in the head! :-)

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:47 AM): That's telling you something about your business, barb.

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:48 AM): And the clients you have.

Dave[] (5/21/2001 9:48 AM): So Rob, does that mean that an autoresponder is a dumb idea - because you are not able to analyze your customer before sending an autoresponse ?

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:49 AM): In my own business, I know that the more quickly they need me, the less likely it is to happen. It should be the exact opposite, but it isn't. Of course, that's my particular business. YMMV.

Barb ( (5/21/2001 9:49 AM): big clients ... half of the entertainment industry in LA ... ad agencies, I tell to do something with themselves

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:50 AM): Yessiree Dave, that's exactly what it means. Autoresponders are like dynamite. Used properly they can move mountains. Used wrong they can blow your business apart.

Del (5/21/2001 9:50 AM): But your business, Rob, does not, and never will, imply a FAST RESPONSE and COMPLETION. You've got lots to do before giving a company a real solid take on Branding.

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:50 AM): Personally, I have templates that we use to respond to inquiries, but we use different templates for different types. And we always customize them. Nothing goes out generic.

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:51 AM): Del, that's not what the clients think!

Del (5/21/2001 9:51 AM): Us GA companies just print files all day long (Like I said, mine is template architecture. I just drop in the text they want.)

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:51 AM): Yet I agree that a professional service business and a product business are different animals. The techniques are not that different, however.

Del (5/21/2001 9:52 AM): Rob: Easy answer for them, "It took you how long to realize you didn't know enough about your company, that your clients don't know about your company and your prospects NEVER have heard about your company and you want ME to give you a brand in 1 week?"

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:52 AM): Del, I'm talking about Customer response templates, not actual product. (TEN MINUTE WARNING)

Del (5/21/2001 9:52 AM): Rob: My mistake. Misread.

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:52 AM): barb, you're not actually surprised that L.A. entertainment companies are flakes, are you?

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:53 AM): Oh right, Del -- you think that's when they'll hand me the big check? Newsflash: nobody wants to admit they stink at what they do or that they've failed. They can't take a speech like that. It takes much more, um, consideration.

Barb ( (5/21/2001 9:54 AM): LOL, Rob ... but it sure is fun ... I guess they think that because I'm way up here in the Great White North, I've never heard of them :)

Del (5/21/2001 9:54 AM): PC is not my specialty. I don't beat around the bush, I beat the crap OUT of the bush. :-)

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:54 AM): 95% of what I do begins with working around the client's resistance to accepting help. The other 5% is getting them to pay for it!

Barb ( (5/21/2001 9:55 AM): interesting Rob ... that even with your reputation, you're exactly the same as the rest of us

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:56 AM): But your businesses all have their own cultures and procedures. I'm just cautioning you to consider every step. Some can be instant, but others need time.

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:57 AM): Barb, I'm just the same as everyone else. And so all are of my -- and your -- clients. everything else is just perception.

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:57 AM): And branding, of course, guides that perception.

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:58 AM): (TWO MINUTES)

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:58 AM): Holy cow, that hour went fast.

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 9:58 AM): Anyone else before we sign off?

Barb ( (5/21/2001 9:58 AM): Thanks Rob and everyone ... this was a great chat!

Dave[] (5/21/2001 9:59 AM): Bye all - Thanks Rob, Always a pleasure :-)

Del (5/21/2001 9:59 AM): Rob: Price perception comment... increased my card prices, sales went up. :-)

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 10:00 AM): Atta boy!

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 10:00 AM): And now's the time to do it, Del, on your way and growing.

RobFrankel ( (5/21/2001 10:00 AM): Okay, gotta run! See you all online!

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