Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic July 23, 2001

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 8:59 AM): IT may be summer for you, but it's free clinic time for me!

Terri Robinson ( (7/23/2001 9:00 AM): Entered the room.

Terri Robinson ( (7/23/2001 9:00 AM): Good morning to you, Rob!

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:01 AM): Hi Terri...

Terri Robinson ( (7/23/2001 9:01 AM): I missed your live radio interview yesterday :(

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:02 AM): No big deal...we gave away a book a tape set and a FrankelTips subscription or two. The host was busy selling my book!

Terri Robinson ( (7/23/2001 9:03 AM): Did you get a lot of call-ins?

Terri Robinson ( (7/23/2001 9:03 AM): Awesome!

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:03 AM): We had five or six callers over the hour, which was pretty amazing considering how many commercials they pack into those shows.

Terri Robinson ( (7/23/2001 9:04 AM): yep! just like television <grin>

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:04 AM): It's funny -- these local shows get all kinds. mainly people who claim to have a question but end up trying o plug their own businesses. Talk radio brings out some very strange types. (7/23/2001 9:05 AM): Entered the room.

Terri Robinson ( (7/23/2001 9:05 AM): I bet! But, it's great PR for you, right?

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:05 AM): We had a few people who were really articulate, but one guy just wanted to roll out his whole PowerPoint presentation..... (7/23/2001 9:06 AM): Good morning, everyone!

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:06 AM): Yeah, you sure can't get hurt by free publicity, even if it's on at Sunday afternoon. Not exactly business time.

Terri Robinson ( (7/23/2001 9:06 AM): <laffin> wouldn't that be hard to do on radio? PowerPoint is pretty visual!

Terri Robinson ( (7/23/2001 9:06 AM): Hi Tamra! (7/23/2001 9:06 AM): So, Rob, besides the power point guy, did you get any good questions?

Mark P-R ( (7/23/2001 9:06 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:06 AM): This poor guy was trying to do his sales presentation, and obviously did not get anything we were talking about.

Mark P-R ( (7/23/2001 9:07 AM): Good Morning all...

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:07 AM): Hi Mark, Tamra!

Terri Robinson ( (7/23/2001 9:07 AM): Rob, judging by middle of the night infomercials, lots of sales happen off business time! Hi Mark!

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:07 AM): But there were a couple of people who "Saw the light" on the air....

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:08 AM): Terri, next time I'll offer an ice crusher with the book and tapes....

Terri Robinson ( (7/23/2001 9:08 AM): Oh yeah! that would do it for me, Rob <grin>

Terri Robinson ( (7/23/2001 9:09 AM): Key chains are always big "add-ons" too :)

Mark P-R ( (7/23/2001 9:09 AM): OK, Rob ... a quick question ... we sell our motivational designs at a lower price ($5.95 for 11"x14") and I've been using the phrase "Motivation for the Masses" ... does that seem to work for you?

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:09 AM): IS that per poster Mark?

Mark P-R ( (7/23/2001 9:10 AM): yes ... per poster ... laminated

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:10 AM): How are you using the phrase?

Mark P-R ( (7/23/2001 9:11 AM): currently scattered around the site ... but I've been using it recently near the logo

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:12 AM): The thing that kind of bother me about it is that it speaks to a broad market, NOT the person who's visiting your site....

Mark P-R ( (7/23/2001 9:12 AM): explain please ...

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:13 AM): Well, here we are, presenting to a visitor that you're the only solution to THEIR problem....

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:14 AM): ...and in the next moment, you're trying to tell him that this is a "one size fits all" solution. it doesn't exactly make your visitor feel special....

Mark P-R ( (7/23/2001 9:14 AM): very astute ... any suggestions?

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:15 AM): The intent of the line is aimed at mass sales, not a specific person buying a poster or two.

Del (7/23/2001 9:15 AM): Entered the room.

Christina - (7/23/2001 9:16 AM): Entered the room.

Terri Robinson ( (7/23/2001 9:16 AM): It does kind of bring to mind the "masses" of Revolutionary times, Mark - I know I don't want to be seen as one of the "masses" of visitors <grin>

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:16 AM): I think I'd probably move along the lines of what the posters can do to motivate the people at your company. Or perhaps how much better your employees perform when they're surrounded by positive vibes. (7/23/2001 9:16 AM): Speaking from a visual point of view, I'd downplay the "free posters" part a little bit, since that's not what you're selling it's just a benefit of visiting your site. But first thing I saw was the paragraph on "free posters".

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:16 AM): Any time you can get a client/prospect to personalize your solution on to his own problem, you're more than halfway home

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:17 AM): Yeah, I'd TOTALLY lose any mention of FREE. Completely undermines your value.

Mark P-R ( (7/23/2001 9:17 AM): the free part was specifically to help in search engines ... it's worked ... but now I'd like to get more buying customers as well

AzREPORTER ( (7/23/2001 9:17 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:17 AM): You can always "add value" later when they commit to an order

Del (7/23/2001 9:17 AM): Are your customers individual buyers, small companies, fortune XXXX companies, resellers? (7/23/2001 9:18 AM): Rob, isn't it the variety of posters that makes his offering great? I mean, you can get motivational posters all over, but usually it's the same set of ones you find on Franklin Covey type sites.

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:18 AM): FREE might get you traffic, but on the web, QUALIFIED traffic is especially important. I've been writing about that since 1995.

Terri Robinson ( (7/23/2001 9:18 AM): Why not make a page of free posters separate and submit that page to search engines?

Mark P-R ( (7/23/2001 9:18 AM): Del ... all but resellers ... (7/23/2001 9:19 AM): Or offer the free poster URL only if they sign up for your mailing list!

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:19 AM): Terri, what's the point? People searching for free posters aren't paying customers. Who needs them? (7/23/2001 9:19 AM): Is it mostly HR folks who buy? No matter what the size of the company?

Mark P-R ( (7/23/2001 9:20 AM): actually Tamara it's educators who are primary buying market ...

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:20 AM): Mark, you'd be way better off showing prospects how the posters show up on their bottom line: Better performance, higher productivity, why your posters motivate more than others, etc.

Frederick ( (7/23/2001 9:21 AM): Entered the room.

Mark P-R ( (7/23/2001 9:23 AM): thanks for all the input ... I relinquish the floor ...

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:23 AM): If it's educators, then target your message to them. Either way, they have to know why your posters are the better solution to their issues.

Terri Robinson ( (7/23/2001 9:23 AM): Rob, don't you think that those "freebie" seekers could be buyers down the road?

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:23 AM): But FREE traffic is NO traffic.

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:24 AM): Maybe, Terri, but in the meantime, you're discouraging sales from paying customers because you're cheapening your value and telegraphing them that if they wait long enough, they can hold out for a better deal.

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:25 AM): Besides, FREE really looks desperate....unless you know how to offer it. Anyone been to lately? I have free stuff there, but only as alternatives so that nobody leaves empty handed. The values remain intact

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:26 AM): In my own case, the FREE is there to show the range of consideration the brand offers.

Del (7/23/2001 9:26 AM): Rob: And you focus on tiers of support. So it lends credibility to your brand.

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:26 AM): It displays my concern for helping people regardless of budget.

Frederick ( (7/23/2001 9:26 AM): I keep getting mixed up between the need for traffic and the need for qualified traffic!

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:27 AM): It's a different story with merchandise, though.

Terri Robinson ( (7/23/2001 9:28 AM): good point, Rob. Services and merchandise are definitely two different animals!

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:28 AM): Frederick : It's one of my favorite articles.

Frederick ( (7/23/2001 9:29 AM): Noted. Will read later.

Mark P-R ( (7/23/2001 9:29 AM): FYI - the free part of my site is Print-your-own posters they don't get my merchandise for free...

Christina - (7/23/2001 9:30 AM): can someone update me on the topic, please?

Dave ( (7/23/2001 9:30 AM): Entered the room. (7/23/2001 9:31 AM): Hey, I like the line waaay down on Mark's home page about "some of the greatest thoughts in history". Why not take off on that idea?

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:31 AM): Christina, we're talking about NOT offering free stuff, as it de-values your brand value.

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:31 AM): I find it also distracts people from you r main purpose of business.

Christina - (7/23/2001 9:32 AM): What about offering a contest? We do that on our site,

Del (7/23/2001 9:33 AM): Heh.... Inspiration. Motivation. Posterization.

Christina - (7/23/2001 9:33 AM): do you feel that's distracting from our main purpose of business?

Del (7/23/2001 9:33 AM): Too much coffee.

Frederick ( (7/23/2001 9:33 AM): Personally, I won't include contests on my site, and skip others that have contests - not very businesslike, IMO.

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:33 AM): I have problems with contests, too, Christina, and here's why: If people are already at your site, it means they've exerted the effort to get there. Why distract them when they're in a buying shopping mood?

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:34 AM): I had an uncle who was a car salesman....and he always used to tell me, "Never talk yourself out of a sale". And it's true. They're there to buy...let them!

AzREPORTER ( (7/23/2001 9:35 AM): Contests distracts from the main intent of your site.

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:35 AM): If they've got two minutes at your site and it's between clicking the BUY button or entering the contest, why risk it?

Christina - (7/23/2001 9:36 AM): they're a different breed (7/23/2001 9:36 AM): I think a toy company can get away with contests more than other companies -- if the contest has a fun/play aspect to it rather than just "fill out the form".

Jeremy ( (7/23/2001 9:36 AM): Entered the room.

Frederick ( (7/23/2001 9:37 AM): I think you've got us, there, Tamra.

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:37 AM): You know, everyone thinks that their customers are a different breed. No disrespect here, but this is physics: they only have a certain amount of time. They're arrived at your site for a reason -- to buy.

Christina - (7/23/2001 9:37 AM): we realize that the contest entrants are not necessarily buyers and we don't offer our products as prizes per se

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:37 AM): If you REALLY want to have a contest, put it at the END of the session, AFTER they've finished ordering! As a "thanks for ordering".

Christina - (7/23/2001 9:37 AM): I meant that contest entrants are a different breed . . . ppl just looking for freebies

Frederick ( (7/23/2001 9:38 AM): Rob, couldn't contests (for a toy site) be part of the 'stickiness' - bring them back again so they may buy next time.

Eric ( (7/23/2001 9:38 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:39 AM): That's for sure, Christina....I once had a client who spent $300K a year on Pennysaver magazines and wondered why his average sale was so low...

Del (7/23/2001 9:39 AM): Me. Personally. If I'm going to a toy shop, I'm going there to research some products (and hopefully make a purchase). Nothing more.

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:39 AM): No, Fred. They'll come back to enter the contest again, that's all.

Christina - (7/23/2001 9:39 AM): you get what you pay for

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:40 AM): ....then we took the same 300K and put it into promoting his high end stuff, in high end media. And the average ticket sales rose 1000% -- from the $10 loss leader to $100 stuff, with higher end customers.

Christina - (7/23/2001 9:40 AM): Rob's right . . . the contest entrants come back every month, but we have little crossover from entrant to customer

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:41 AM): And in the meantime, you cheapen your brand in front of the REAL paying customers.

Christina - (7/23/2001 9:41 AM): originally, we started the contest as a way to build our email marketing list which didn't work out as we planned

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:42 AM): IT makes no sense. You might as well build the list slowly but credibly. That's what I did with FrankelBiz and what we're doing now with another site we've launched.

AzREPORTER ( (7/23/2001 9:42 AM): Just a note, Rob. Did you know closed last week.

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:42 AM): On this new site, we realize that not every advertiser is right for us, so we turn them away. We also don't buy traffic, because that would lower our response rates.

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:43 AM): Yes, Jim, read about it. There was no plan there. (7/23/2001 9:43 AM): by "don't buy traffic" do you mean pay-per-click?

Christina - (7/23/2001 9:44 AM): we don't have advertising on our site . . do y'all think an online retailer should have advertising?

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:44 AM): in both the new site and FrankelBiz cases, advertisers -- when we get them -- are thrilled with response rates of 5% to 25%. That's the difference between quality traffic and quantity.

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:44 AM): Christina, not advertising per se, but joint ventures, sure.

Christina - (7/23/2001 9:45 AM): I need to work on that . . . partnerships/joint ventures

Terri Robinson ( (7/23/2001 9:45 AM): Christina, I don't think you want to give your visitors a chance to click off to another site if you are selling your own merchandise.

Christina - (7/23/2001 9:46 AM): time to go pack up some merch. . . . thanks Everyone!

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:46 AM): Jim, GreaterGood was one of the last gasps of the original internet ....

Terri Robinson ( (7/23/2001 9:46 AM): joint ventures are great, Rob - especially when the partner has something of value to your customers. Even better when they happen to get big media attention and you profit from it.

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:47 AM): Yup. If you can negotiate them properly, they can add big value on the back end, exposing your brand to another's for free....

AzREPORTER ( (7/23/2001 9:48 AM): We're on the verge for that "big media attention," Terri.

Terri Robinson ( (7/23/2001 9:49 AM): fantastic, James! I'll be watching for it :)

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:49 AM): BTW, if there are any European/Middle East lurkers , it appears that I will be venturing to the Middle East in early November for a speaking gig. I'd like to try to line up appearances on the continent around that date (after November 3.....)

AzREPORTER ( (7/23/2001 9:49 AM): However, each offer I've gotten has "strings" and I like being an independent.

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:49 AM): (TEN MINUTE WARNING)

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:51 AM): BTW, Tamra, by "buying traffic" I mean doing anything to get as much traffic as possible. Some people actually do buy traffic....404, CPC etc.

Terri Robinson ( (7/23/2001 9:53 AM): Rob, I took your advice a long time ago about using articles to get traffic. I submit them to other sites that target my market, so that when they visit me from the article they already are "pre-qualified" a bit.

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:54 AM): Of course, what you're buying is names by the ton. I'm always amused by the amount of junk mail at my AOL account (that I seldom use), which I know is being sold as a "verifiable valid e-mail address" to some sucker.

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:55 AM): Yeah, Terri: articles with a generous reprint policy and discussion lists are still some of the best free marketing tools online.

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:57 AM): (TWO MINUTES) Anyone else today?

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:57 AM): have we all had our coffee?

Terri Robinson ( (7/23/2001 9:58 AM): first cup down and ready for the day, Rob! Thanks for sharing this great info today! See you all next week!

AzREPORTER ( (7/23/2001 9:58 AM): Coffee? Tropicana Smoothie everyday.

Mark P-R ( (7/23/2001 9:58 AM): Lot's of great thoughts in this fun-filled hour ... thanks so much, Rob, for donating your time and talents!!!

Frederick ( (7/23/2001 9:58 AM): Well, I was late to arrive, better leave now - don't want to be late twice in one day!! Thanks Rob and all (7/23/2001 9:58 AM): Starbuck's House Blend. This was my first free clinic, but I'll be back!

RobFrankel ( (7/23/2001 9:59 AM): My pleasure...have a great week everyone! I'll see you online!

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