Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic August 31, 1998

RobFrankel (8/31/98 8:59 AM): Two minutes early...and I thought I wouldn't make it

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 8:59 AM): welcome back Rob, did your sunburn heal up?

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:00 AM): I managed to make it back wonderfully bronzed, actually. Thanks for asking..

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:00 AM): BTW, that's very smart of you to put your URL in your name

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:00 AM): I got a bit red yesterday afternoon on a fishing excursion, too much sun.

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:01 AM): Washington State sunburn? I thought you guys just got soaked, not burnt.

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:02 AM): thanks, it's the new online computer store I got up, and yes the sun shines 2 days a year.

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:02 AM): Tell me about your store...ya sell Macs?

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:03 AM): The store is PC based, (market share and all) not any Mac stuff.

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:04 AM): The project is unique in that the HTML is generated by a beta test of a POS system done in Visual Basic

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:04 AM): Full products or just peripherals?

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:04 AM): Full products and parts, emphasis on parts and accessories.

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:04 AM): How does the Visual Basic thing distinguish itself?

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:05 AM): By taking the data from the POS database (also part of the application) and generating HTML pages that interface with an outsourced shopping cart program

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:07 AM): The intent here is too have a Point of Sale system that will make for online storefronts with very little knowledge of websites required.

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:08 AM): What's the name of the product (the beta you're testing)?

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:08 AM): RENO is our beta name.

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:09 AM): That's where the money is. (grin)

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:09 AM): So you're the developer?

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:10 AM): No, I am the HTML tester I guess you'd say, the developer does the VB and then I test and let him know what we should add/subtract.

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:11 AM): the URL computerstuffonline.com was built from the RENO beta.

Jorge R (8/31/98 9:11 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:11 AM): So, what can I do for you today?

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:12 AM): Good morning Jorge, I need you to send me your ICQ again

Jorge R (8/31/98 9:12 AM): Hello rob and guy

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:12 AM): Today, Rob, I am asking the question "What is YOUR cold call intro line?"

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:13 AM): JORGE! Hermano! I was close by your house, but didn't stop in to say hello....

Jorge R (8/31/98 9:13 AM): Guy : 446265

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:13 AM): When you first contact the business, do you ask for their web designer or their advertising decision maker.

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:13 AM): Cold Calls. Yeesh. I hate them. But I do have a strategy for you.

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:14 AM): got it Jorge, will add you back to the list, installed NT workstation and lost the list

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:14 AM): The basic thing to know is this: Always start at the top, even if he/she has NOTHING to do with your area of business.

Jorge R (8/31/98 9:14 AM): really? where did you go on your vacation rob? Did you remember to put your one-inch-thick layer of sun block?

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:15 AM): Everyone else is put there between you and success to slow you down, but when you say, "Mr. BigShot told me to call you specifically, the soldiers sit up and take notice.

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:15 AM): Okay, Jorge, I only made it as far south as Tulum, Yucatan, but I was thinking about ya...

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:18 AM): I have tried to speak to the web designer, so that person is not "out of the loop" when I meet with the check signers

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:18 AM): So Guy, the real cold call line is easy. The harder part is talking to Mr. Big Shot. And that's not all that hard, if your message is compelling. But you can use the same technique, where someone he knows has recommended you call him with what you've g

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:19 AM): The trick, Guy, is to understand that you represent a business decision, not a web decision. Web guys should check you out for Mr. Big Shot AFTER he has heard you, not before.

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:19 AM): referral based calls we'll call that

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:20 AM): Yeah. Personally, I run a service, so I almost never make cold calls any more. But with a product, I make sure I can get my proposition or offer down to one, compelling line that even the dumbest assistant can't screw up.

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:20 AM): business decision, I like that phrase one of the "hurdles" has been to get folks to get past the advertising issues

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:21 AM): Many of them treat me as if I am just another commission based ad sales person taking an order

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:22 AM): I've always found that Adam Smith was right -- people move in their own self-interest. So play to that. Think of your product from their perspective. Too many inventor's (Inventor's Disease is what I called it in an article) fall in love with their pro

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:23 AM): I think the "advertising" focus of the web thru TV is one form of education that the public receives thru impression rather than first hand experience

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:23 AM): If you ACT like a commission-based salesguy, that's how they treat you. Act like a business pro and you get the business. Sometimes, in fact, it intimidates the underlings to the point where they kick you upstairs.

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:24 AM): I already target the decision maker when contacting. Underlings will only slow the process or drop the ball altogether.

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:25 AM): Yeah, but I feel VERY STRONGLY that the web is not a TV model and that's one of the big problems. Remember, that if you're knowledgeable about the web, you have to lead these people, not follow them...

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:26 AM): Now, one thing to be careful of is this: if you come to them with a better solution, you are also telling the client that they're doing something wrong. Even though you can fix it, you still represent an ego hit...

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:26 AM): I think I keep informed about the web thru ezines, online networking etc.

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:26 AM): I stress INTERACTIVE as a key part of what the web is about.

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:27 AM): I think that being knee-deep in the web is the only way to advise people about it.

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:28 AM): I might be knee deep, I sold my first web in August of 1995.

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:28 AM): But you still would do well to merchandise yourself, whether through name dropping or some other showcases of success.

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:29 AM): Right, I now make Wednesday of the week the day I put LOTS of energy into that very thing.

Jorge R (8/31/98 9:29 AM): what do you offer guy?

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:29 AM): Finally, all of the most successful cold callers keep calling, which is something I'm terrible at. The way to do it, told to me by a pro, is to pretend your prospect owes you $100,000 for over a year.

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:30 AM): I offer Internet Marketing and Consulting services Jorge

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:30 AM): Web hosting, development and design mostly,

Jorge R (8/31/98 9:31 AM): I'd like to move on to another topic..

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:31 AM): Sure, Jorge, go ahead.

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:31 AM): ok by me, what is the new topic

Jorge R (8/31/98 9:31 AM): Similar as me , guy. I'm now moving to web presence consulting.

Jorge R (8/31/98 9:32 AM): Rob I still remember an article you wrote about hiring new people.

Jorge R (8/31/98 9:33 AM): that article showed a light on how to proceed to both hire people and get more clients. I'd like to know more about it.

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:34 AM): What specifically did you want to know?

Jorge R (8/31/98 9:36 AM): well what are the steps to proceed. how exactly does it works..

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:37 AM): Jorge, I could tell you all kinds of things about clients, employees and new business. But you can help by being very specific. I haven't reviewed the article in a while.

Jorge R (8/31/98 9:39 AM): ok Rob. You wrote that a very good way to accomplish both hiring good innovating people and get new clients was to tell the

Jorge R (8/31/98 9:40 AM): you tell the newbies to get themselves a new client and them you guide them on how to do the work

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:41 AM): OKAY. I'm actually meeting someone like that today. If you go down the road, you have to be prepared to do a lot of screening.

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:42 AM): What I do is first screen for character. I want people who are hungry to perform and realize the value of the opportunity I'm giving them. A few are new (like interns) but most are older, looking for a break into the business.

Jorge R (8/31/98 9:43 AM): I sounds really interesting. That's why I'd want to know more details.

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:44 AM): The value is that I get someone who moves in different circles than I do, whose specific mission is to bring in business. But they're not strong enough to manage the business on their own, so they use my company for support.

Jorge R (8/31/98 9:44 AM): so these rookies get hook in to your payroll? thy work on commissions?

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:45 AM): This lets them merchandise themselves better. We work out a split compensation plan. If all they do is bring business and leave, they get 5% of the gross.

Jorge R (8/31/98 9:45 AM): I like that scheme

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:46 AM): If they want to get more involved, they earn more. Personally, I like to work with people who can handle their clients on their own.

Jorge R (8/31/98 9:46 AM): ok and then what..

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:46 AM): my resellers get 25% monthly

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:47 AM): Here in the USA, it is not tax-smart to take them on payroll, so we crate a vendor-supplier relationship.

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:48 AM): Yeah, but Guy, you have a structured product. We offer a service and there are a lot of different levels of responsibilities to distribute.

Jorge R (8/31/98 9:48 AM): do you think it should work with college students? . Here it isn't smart to put everyone in payroll.

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:49 AM): Generally, Jorge, the younger the candidate, the harder it is. Young kids want everything fast -- and easy. So they work best with the "bring me the account, make the introduction and if I get it, you get a flat 5% of all revenue."

Jorge R (8/31/98 9:49 AM): yes Guy. That's the difference

Jorge R (8/31/98 9:50 AM): So is there a specific profile you have identified?

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:51 AM): Older types understand the entire scenario. It works well with people looking for a second career or ex-advertising types, in my case.

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:51 AM): (NINE MINUTE WARNING)

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:52 AM): I resemble that remark. 18 years of contact sales in media representation.

Jorge R (8/31/98 9:52 AM): ok. Then when you have the client and that person still handles the account. How do you manage it?

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:52 AM): Older types take less hand holding I think.

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:52 AM): Older candidates are wiser, and appreciative of your confidence.

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:52 AM): Exactly, Guy.

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:53 AM): I should add that these types are usually not hard-driven, but then your downside is zero, so it's worth the risk. There is only ONE issue you should be aware of:

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:54 AM): My dad's fatherly line is "Thru practice you gain skill, and thru skill you gain confidence" I first thought he was talking about martial arts, but now that I'm older...

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:54 AM): You MUST make them sign a document that forbids them from merchandising YOUR resources for THEIR exclusive benefit.

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:55 AM): and have more practice...I am more confident.

Jorge R (8/31/98 9:56 AM): that's point is really important

Jorge R (8/31/98 9:56 AM): that's point is really important

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:57 AM): I left an ISP as marketing director and some of the accounts have called me to work with them, I didn't call them and solicit my services, I don't feel that conflicts do you guys?

Jorge R (8/31/98 9:57 AM): But they handle all the contacts with the client?

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:57 AM): But like I say, it takes a lot of screening to come up with good candidates. One guy here was 60 years old, but used to handle a restaurant account.

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:57 AM): I have already gotten new accounts elsewhere too.

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:58 AM): He eventually led me to a $25,000 TV board development deal.

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:58 AM): Guy, I think you're right. I see no problem with that at all.

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 9:58 AM): Jorge, I think your rep should handle the account to the point they are designated to do so.

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:59 AM): Oops. I missed a beat. Before, I was saying a 60 year old ex-ad guy got me a restaurant account he used to handle.

RobFrankel (8/31/98 9:59 AM): (TWO MINUTES)

Jorge R (8/31/98 9:59 AM): yes rob. that word make a difference. ex-ad

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 10:00 AM): If their job calls on them to "service" the account keeping in contact then that makes for a longer relationship between your business theirs with that rep as the "bridge" between the two

Jorge R (8/31/98 10:00 AM): I'd like to structure a networking plan like that but I haven't the details finished yet

RobFrankel (8/31/98 10:01 AM): Finally, Jorge, it's REALLY IMPORTANT to publicize the offer. To this day, I get seven inquiries a week. But be careful how much responsibility you give them, or it turns unprofitable very quickly. And if you give them too much leash, they can destroy you

RobFrankel (8/31/98 10:02 AM): Hey, this was intimate, but productive! I guess a lot of people are vacationing. I've gotta run, but stick around if you like.

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 10:03 AM): Till next week, have a good one Rob. Thanks for the input.

Jorge R (8/31/98 10:03 AM): ok. Thanks a lot Rob. Bye Guy. See you next week!

Guy Cook - computerstuffonline.com (8/31/98 10:04 AM): I sent you the ICQ notification Jorge, thanks again.

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