Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic July 13, 1998

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 8:59 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:00 AM): Dum de dum dum....

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:02 AM): This being vacation time, I'll bet we don't get a lot of people here this morning.

Ira Pasternack (7/13/98 9:06 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:07 AM): Ira! You and I are the only ones silly enough NOT to be on vacation....

Ira Pasternack (7/13/98 9:08 AM): Hi Rob, just us, huh? I was having problems with my provider so I had to switch to my backup, maybe the problem is bigger than just with my one local provider (but it is hard to tell, as they aren't very good)

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:09 AM): Well, last week it was my ISP and west coast issues. Today everything seems working fine on this end. But I want to change hosts.

fez (7/13/98 9:09 AM): Entered the room.

Ira Pasternack (7/13/98 9:09 AM): the closest I get to a vacation is a long weekend, and this past weekend was the first in a month I didn't go anywhere... I finally have a clean inbox and a clean apartment :)

Ira Pasternack (7/13/98 9:09 AM): Who is your host now, why do you want to change?

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:10 AM): Greetings, fez. What can we do for you today

Louise the soaplady (7/13/98 9:10 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:10 AM): By "host" I mean a major league sponsor. It's part of the deal I'm negotiating. Ziff-Davis is also interested.

fez (7/13/98 9:11 AM): Gentlemen, I am here to be educated as only you can.

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:11 AM): We will also be likely changing to a Java format which makes it faster.

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:12 AM): Hey, who are you calling "gentlemen"?!?!?

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:12 AM): Tell us about yourself fez...

fez (7/13/98 9:12 AM): Imagine my embarrassment! Actually, I'm looking for a gig in online advertising sales.

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:13 AM): I see lovely Louise also has no inclination toward vacations....

Ira Pasternack (7/13/98 9:13 AM): Hi Louise (how's the script coming for Liveservice?)

fez (7/13/98 9:13 AM): I'm currently working as a retail channel manager for Sympatico, an ISP here in Canada. I'm caring for sales in BC.

Louise the soaplady (7/13/98 9:14 AM): slowly :) still working on the site so that I am satisfied, then I will implement Liveservice :)

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:15 AM): It's very interesting how pro-active our Canadian members are in this group. Between Canada and Australia there's a lot of activity.

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:15 AM): What are you managing in that retail channel?

fez (7/13/98 9:15 AM): My background includes IVR application sales, 10 years in radio, public speaking on the subject of relationship marketing, and a stint as an entertainment booking agent.

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:17 AM): Does your retail include transactional sites?

fez (7/13/98 9:17 AM): My current job is getting packages of our software on the shelves of retail stores throughout BC.

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:17 AM): Aha! What kind of software are you distributing?

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:18 AM): And why have you chosen retail? That's a tough row to hoe..

fez (7/13/98 9:18 AM): We've also gone to an online dealer activation process which I believe will replace our software. It's a CDROM that includes connectivity software and a customized version of Netscape.

Koit Jatsa (7/13/98 9:19 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:19 AM): I was at a conference a week or two ago with Jaclyn Easton. Did you know about Symantec's experience?

fez (7/13/98 9:20 AM): Sorry to sound confused. The CDROM is the software that'll be replaced. No software is necessary with dial-up networking et al.

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:20 AM): Koit! Are you really dialing in from Estonia?

Koit Jatsa (7/13/98 9:20 AM): Yes,Sir

fez (7/13/98 9:21 AM): I had a history teacher from Estonia, Uno Hurden.

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:21 AM): Symantec's normal retail channel cost per client = US$10. Online cost $US$0.13!!

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:22 AM): It really makes sense to have a strong, download strategy when it comes to software.

fez (7/13/98 9:22 AM): Retail is dead?

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:23 AM): Mainly, because (as in Symantec's case) 50% of the people who download the trial version end up ordering.

Koit Jatsa (7/13/98 9:23 AM): Hi, fez. Please name the place in details. There may be some villages in Estonia...It may be of interest due to my steady interest in culture. Thanks

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:23 AM): Not dead, but wheezing badly. Especially for you, the supplier, when it takes six months to get your money back...

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:24 AM): ...and pay for THEIR advertising...and allow for returns....

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:24 AM): Unless your cost of goods is under $50 and your selling price is over $500, it's hardly worth it.

fez (7/13/98 9:24 AM): It's even worse in our case, as the software isn't needed any longer. I've recommended we abandon the traditional distribution strategy and support online registration 100%.

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:25 AM): Just think how much time and money goes into convincing the distributor and retailers to carry the product...lotsa bucks.

Ira Pasternack (7/13/98 9:26 AM): As a consumer of software, I definitely prefer to download as opposed to going to a story and buying... in the last year and a half, the only software I bought offline was the software I bought when I bought a new computer, and MS FrontPage, which was not available online so I didn't have a choice.

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:26 AM): Yup. Associate with as many fledgling onliners as you can. You're WAY better off giving them a higher cut of the sales they generate. Quick and clean.

fez (7/13/98 9:26 AM): I've got a manager who's ex-P&G. Has a hard time making the marketing transition. Wants displays, co-op funds, advertising...

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:26 AM): Online buying also traps all your data for later upgrades, which are also more efficient and profitable.

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:27 AM): Fez, your P&G manager has about two fiscal quarters to live. By that time, he/she will already have the resume out...

Ira Pasternack (7/13/98 9:27 AM): Fez, does your manager want a time machine also, to go back to an era they are more comfortable in? ;-)

Louise the soaplady (7/13/98 9:28 AM): meow Ira

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:28 AM): Just wait 'til there's no profit on sales...CEO will hit the roof.

fez (7/13/98 9:28 AM): Brilliant. I simply smile when she speaks and continue to do my own thing.

Ira Pasternack (7/13/98 9:29 AM): But seriously, how do you deal with people who just don't get the fact that the world is changing fast, especially when they are in an industry that is effected by the Net in a significant way already?

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:29 AM): Seriously fez, you should alert them to the Symantec study. You'll be a hero. Even if they insist on using P&G. You're doing it right.

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:30 AM): You can't change people's minds, especially those who are motivated by fear. They only change when they have hard, tangible number to back them up

fez (7/13/98 9:30 AM): Imagine my surpass. We ARE the Net! Well, certainly in our customers minds. We've got 70,000 members and we just sent out our first broadcast email newsletter to the group this week.

fez (7/13/98 9:31 AM): It's sort of like the plumber with leaking pipes at home.

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:31 AM): Well, then, there's your ticket. You should be able to run your own test with them, no? 70,000 is a decent sample.

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:32 AM): Somehow, I smell a company that has dreams of introducing other products into the retail channel...

Ira Pasternack (7/13/98 9:33 AM): So Rob, what can we do to put together some hard tangible numbers that we can all have ready to present to those who are afraid of change?

Louise the soaplady (7/13/98 9:34 AM): you guys are a little over my head right now. Do you perhaps mean me, Rob?<konfuzed>

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:34 AM): Jeez, Ira, if I were Fez, I'd build a little home page that featured a crippled version of the product for download. Then test it against the 70,000 with the newsletter.

fez (7/13/98 9:34 AM): Good nose! The software gets us in the retailers doors. We'll follow it up with E-Phones, Web Phones, Web based TV, etc.

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:35 AM): I mean, what's the downside? That someone in another country actually buys it and increases sales OUTSIDE the retail channel???

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:35 AM): Fez, my schnozz ain't big for nothin'!

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:36 AM): What are you asking Louise, soapiest of ladies?

Louise the soaplady (7/13/98 9:37 AM): I am afraid I am not clear over what product/service fez is talking about ?

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:37 AM): Fez: P&G + old product + bad retail strategy = a ploy to get into retailer's pants.

fez (7/13/98 9:37 AM): The problem I have is that the package I'm currently selling is no longer needed! Originally, it was the only way to connect to the Net. But now, it just keeps getting easier to connect to our ISP service without the customized software. I'd love to make some offers to the membership to test the retail possibilities.

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:38 AM): Louise, Fez has an old software product that the company is trying to have retailers carry. But it makes no sense, unless the company is trying to leverage that product into a relationship for its other products.

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:39 AM): The thinking is that Fez's company will build a pipeline for their other products, because the ISP biz is not hugely profitable by itself.

fez (7/13/98 9:39 AM): Louise, in the old days (2 years ago) the only way to connect to our ISP service was to get a disk that had a customized version of Netscape and a dialer. Now with Windows 95 forward, the software is no longer necessary. I am able to sell only because my customers are ignorant. Not stupid...just uninformed. What a flimsy premise!

Louise the soaplady (7/13/98 9:40 AM): ohhhhh:) I say why bother flogging a dead horse?

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:41 AM): I'll tell you right now Fez, it won't work. Mainly because your P&G twerp will be selling obsolete product into a channel bent on newest and best. DUH! Who needs an MBA?

fez (7/13/98 9:41 AM): The whole retail concept frightens me. Your opinions are interesting...see my dilemma? That's the reason for the career change.

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:41 AM): Nothing retailers hate worse than buying into obsolete product -- and it hardly works to BUILD a relationship!

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:42 AM): Well, you can always point to these transcripts (they get put up on the web within 24 hours) if your CEO needs convincing...

Louise the soaplady (7/13/98 9:42 AM): I say fez,if you must, that it has to be part of another product, as an 'extra'

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:42 AM): Koit, what brings you here today?

fez (7/13/98 9:43 AM): Oh, did I mention the phone company also gives away the CDROM for free? The only way I can get customers to buy the package is to put so much "value" in it in the form of rebate coupons, books, theater tickets, etc.

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:44 AM): Incidentally, I got a picture phone from 3Com. They're fun, but there's hardly anyone to call

Koit Jatsa (7/13/98 9:44 AM): Thanks, curiosity first. Second, I'm looking something for my own interests. I'll be ready, but not now exactly, sorry.

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:45 AM): Have you considered adding a free 12 month subscription of "Weird Sex Weekly"?

fez (7/13/98 9:46 AM): Louise, where does "the soaplady" moniker come from?

fez (7/13/98 9:46 AM): Nobody reads that stuff, do they?

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:46 AM): Koit, what are you doing presently (business wise)?

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:46 AM): It's not for reading, fez....

Koit Jatsa (7/13/98 9:47 AM): Rob, by the way, the HTML chat is a great idea!

Louise the soaplady (7/13/98 9:47 AM): I make luxurious handmade soap :)

fez (7/13/98 9:47 AM): Ohhhhh. Pictures!

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:47 AM): You think so? I seriously thinking of shifting to a Java based chat as soon as our sponsorship deal closes...

fez (7/13/98 9:48 AM): Canadian distribution? Standard retail channel. Online purchasing opps?

fez (7/13/98 9:49 AM): Oh, that reminds me. Rob, why MAC?

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:49 AM): I still think Louise has one of the best-conceived brands on line. Very clear, credible and compelling.

Koit Jatsa (7/13/98 9:49 AM): Currently? Customizing databases for cultural objects - cemeteries etc. Learning&learning - inet. Training online individual skills to control own behavior. Unfortunately I'm a clinical psychologist for the first.

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:50 AM): Why Mac? Why -- is there another system I haven't heard about?

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:50 AM): Koit -- is this government work or private?

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:51 AM): Once you go Mac, you never go back.

fez (7/13/98 9:51 AM): Koit, are we talking NLP?

Koit Jatsa (7/13/98 9:51 AM): Both.

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:52 AM): Last week, two guys on AM radio from Seattle called me to ask me my opinion on Windows 98. On live radio, I told them it doesn't matter, because I'm a Mac guy. I think their producer got fired...

Koit Jatsa (7/13/98 9:52 AM): Fez, sorry. Repeat more clearly, please.

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:53 AM): (FIVE MINUTE WARNING)

fez (7/13/98 9:53 AM): Re: skills to control own behavior. Are you teaching Neuro Linguistic Programming as a tool for self mastery?

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:53 AM): I should mention that Michael Romero got me a great deal but also has great prices on PC's, if anyone is shopping.

fez (7/13/98 9:55 AM): Rob, I'm in the market for a new home system. I once owned a Macplus with a LQ printer. I came to the "dark side" when I went to work for the phone company. I was intrigued by your MAC focus.

Koit Jatsa (7/13/98 9:56 AM): Fez, no. This is something I'd have to explain in more words, than it is possible in chatroom

fez (7/13/98 9:56 AM): That's fair.

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:57 AM): Gotta tell ya, Fez, they're even better than you can imagine. SOOOO versatile and easy to use. And I never have to take mine to the shop. Just a pleasure to work with.

fez (7/13/98 9:57 AM): To summarize, I've learned to get a new job, buy a MAC and never buy P&G products again.

fez (7/13/98 9:57 AM): To summarize, I've learned to get a new job, buy a MAC and never buy P&G products again.

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:57 AM): (ONE MINUTE)

fez (7/13/98 9:58 AM): And to never hit the "enter" key twice.

Louise the soaplady (7/13/98 9:58 AM): Glad you are happy tho :) Rob

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:59 AM): Okay you guys, I've actually got to get into a car and drive to a meeting across town, so I'm outta here. But feel free to stick around, as always.

Louise the soaplady (7/13/98 9:59 AM): yep, I am off too.. see you next week

Rob Frankel (7/13/98 9:59 AM): I'm just a happy guy, Louise......

Koit Jatsa (7/13/98 10:00 AM): Fez, my address is Please feel free...

©1998, RobFrankel, Contact Us