Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic November 4, 2002

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:00 AM): Just a little early, but I guess it's better early than never, eh? Um, that's not right.....

Mark Roberts ( (11/4/2002 9:00 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:00 AM): Hi Jonathan....who's up first today?

David Ware ( (11/4/2002 9:00 AM): morning Rob

Lea Conner (11/4/2002 9:02 AM): Hi Rob. I have a question. From a branding perspective, what is the best way to handle business development in slow times? I have found it increasingly difficult not to branch out into areas that I normally would not work in, and I don't know if that undermines my brand.

Pat ( (11/4/2002 9:02 AM): Well, if no one is going to go first, and no one minds if I continue to talk about my "tagline project", then I'll go ahead.

Lea Conner (11/4/2002 9:02 AM): Hi Rob. I have a question. From a branding perspective, what is the best way to handle business development in slow times? I have found it increasingly difficult not to branch out into areas that I normally would not work in, and I don't know if that undermines my brand.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (11/4/2002 9:02 AM): Entered the room.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (11/4/2002 9:02 AM): Good morning everyone.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:03 AM): Lea, I used to think that branching out was the right thing to do, and it is -- but not the way you'd think.

Lea Conner (11/4/2002 9:03 AM): How is that?

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:03 AM): What you want to do is branch out, but not by offering additional services that dilute your brand. You also don't want to dilute your brand messaging.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:04 AM): The thing you want to branch out is your sphere of influence. That means branching out your methods and means of gaining contacts: sales

Lea Conner (11/4/2002 9:04 AM): How do you recommend doing that?

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:05 AM): Believe me, I still get people who want me to do their logos and ads. And I take the work. But I don't promote that as my brand. What I've done over the last year is aggressively promote my services to CEO's of companies...and there are TONS of them out there.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:05 AM): Especially small to medium businesses. You'd be amazed at how many $50 million and under companies are out there.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:06 AM): I make it a point to contact roughly 200 to 300 CEO's every month. At the moment I get about a 7% response rate for follow up. And it works.

Lea Conner (11/4/2002 9:06 AM): 'K. Got it. You are saying to increase the number of people with whom you have contact, but not to change your message about what it is that you do.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (11/4/2002 9:06 AM): Rob, where do you find them?

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:06 AM): Incidentally, I do all of the initial contact by e-mail only.

Lea Conner (11/4/2002 9:06 AM): How do you handle follow-up? I know CEOs are extremely difficult to reach by phone.

Lea Conner (11/4/2002 9:07 AM): How do you find their e-mail addresses? Are you buying lists?

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:07 AM): Exactly, Lea. That's really the thing I had to accept and once I did, I was able to pull some amazing business.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:07 AM): Lea, the only thing I send them -- one time -- is an e-mail that essentially says that I've noticed their company, their branding and how it could be costing them some business.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:08 AM): Then the CEO or his office either e-mails (usually) or calls to set a calling time. We talk. If it goes well, I send them a quick proposal by PDF. We follow up and after that, I check in once every ten working days.

Lea Conner (11/4/2002 9:09 AM): But how are you finding their e-mail addresses? And how do you get them to take your call?

Frederick ( (11/4/2002 9:09 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:09 AM): If you contact just ten a day, you've contacted 250 over the month. Over the course of a year, that's about 3000. Not a huge number.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:10 AM): First, I don't call them. WE only talk on the phone after they've received my introductory e-mail. It's THEIR decision to arrange a call.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:11 AM): Now, that having been said, you need to understand that (as I wrote in FrankelTips last month) timing is everything. Sometimes they sign up fast, sometimes it takes months.

Lea Conner (11/4/2002 9:11 AM): Understood. But how do you even find their e-mail address in the first place?

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:11 AM): You also have to realize that CEO is not necessarily everyone's appropriate contact. It is for me, because branding is a top line issue in every CEO's mind.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:12 AM): For PR, the message might have to be targeted to someone else.

Lea Conner (11/4/2002 9:12 AM): Agreed, but everyone has the same trouble locating the right e-mail address to use. How do you go about finding out e-mail addresses.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (11/4/2002 9:13 AM): Buying lists? Who's a good vendor?

Lea Conner (11/4/2002 9:14 AM): i.e. when you go to a company's website, it's fairly easy to establish whether the company uses or, but aside from that, how are you locating e-mail addresses?

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:14 AM): want me to give away all my secrets? here?

Lorilyn Bailey ( (11/4/2002 9:15 AM): Yes, of course we do. :)

Lea Conner (11/4/2002 9:15 AM): Ah-ha! So I was right! Frankel was evading my question! <G>

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:15 AM): Well, you're going to have to subscribe to FrankelTips to find out!!! That's where I get REALLY specific.

Pat ( (11/4/2002 9:15 AM): Nah, just the ones that we need. :)

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:15 AM): <--- Getting down to business here

Lorilyn Bailey ( (11/4/2002 9:15 AM): Ah geez.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:16 AM): Thought ya had me there, didn't ya? Tee hee

Lea Conner (11/4/2002 9:16 AM): OK, is it that specific question answered in Frankel tips? Or is it in a back issue?

David Ware ( (11/4/2002 9:16 AM): Rob, what suggestions can you offer for developing cold email scripts?

Elizabeth (11/4/2002 9:16 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:16 AM): Actually, that's why I have FrankelTips in place. For exactly this kind of thing.

Jonathan Cohen ( (11/4/2002 9:16 AM): What I did once was call the receptionist, say "I've been trying to reach Mr. X by email, and I think I've got the wrong email address. Is it" And she replied, "No, you've got it wrong. It's" :)

Lorilyn Bailey ( (11/4/2002 9:17 AM): I emailed the president of a major company that way once.

Jonathan Cohen ( (11/4/2002 9:17 AM): Lorilyn - it's amazing how well it works, and how sneaky (but legit) it is :)

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:18 AM): David, depending on what you're pitching, I would keep it simple and straight forward. DON'T SELL. Holy cow, this was the point of FrankelTips (not plugging, just coincidentally true) about two weeks ago. All you have to say is, "I think you could be getting more out of your (fill in the blank)" and then ask for an opportunity to show them how.

Jonathan Cohen ( (11/4/2002 9:18 AM): The receptionist assumes you've been given the person's email, and have it incorrect :)

Elizabeth (11/4/2002 9:18 AM): my thought behind buying a list has been to get the names of people with titles that are not the top three or four

Lorilyn Bailey ( (11/4/2002 9:18 AM): Actually, I didn't call. I just figured out the way the format of employee emails and looked up the president's name and send it.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (11/4/2002 9:19 AM): Rob, you focus on the needs of the recipient, right?

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:19 AM): Elizabeth, that's a hard hill to climb. When you work from the bottom up, you're talking to people who can say "no" instead of the people who can say yes.

Lea Conner (11/4/2002 9:19 AM): Rob, do you allow subscribers to Frankel Tips access to archives?

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:19 AM): Working from the bottom up also takes much, much, much longer as you have to go up and down the chain of command for every little thing

Elizabeth (11/4/2002 9:19 AM): but as you mentioned the CEO is not always the person who makes purchasing decisions

Lorilyn Bailey ( (11/4/2002 9:20 AM): In small companies, they often are.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:20 AM): Lea, there are no archives for FrankelTips, but all the commentaries and strategies that appear weekly are downloadable as e-books from

Elizabeth (11/4/2002 9:20 AM): titles like purchasing manager or VP, wholesale operations may not be listed anywhere

Lorilyn Bailey ( (11/4/2002 9:21 AM): Rob is my hero. He sells everything. :)

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:21 AM): Right Elizabeth. It's about targeting. For my services, CEO is entirely appropriate because the VP marketing can be very suspicious and territorial. If the order comes from the top, they're much more likely to move forward.

David Ware ( (11/4/2002 9:22 AM): How do you keep your cold emails from looking like spam - after all, they are unsolicited?

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:22 AM): Lorilyn, I don't sell everything. I give away a ton. On the other hand, if I could figure out a way to lease out my kids for day work, I'd consider it.......<G>

Lorilyn Bailey ( (11/4/2002 9:23 AM): Rob, I know, you certainly do. I'll rephrase: You know how to run a business well.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:23 AM): David, that's the secret to cold mailing. You cannot sell. You have to write the letter so that it appears to be somewhat personal and knowledgeable.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:24 AM): Lorilyn, I follow my own advice. I give away stuff to give people a taste. Then if you wish, they can buy in. I was in Scotland last year and met with a FrankelBee who wagged his finger at me and scorned, "You're giving your stuff should be charging $250 year for FrankelTips...."

David Ware ( (11/4/2002 9:24 AM): More like networking...

Lorilyn Bailey ( (11/4/2002 9:24 AM): Rob, how much do you charge?

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:25 AM): David, the #1 mistake I see in cold mailing is that the sender doesn't believe his/her own press. You have to come across confidently. After all, you're asking them to hire you as an expert.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:25 AM): For what Lorilyn?

Lorilyn Bailey ( (11/4/2002 9:25 AM): FrankelTips.

David Ware ( (11/4/2002 9:25 AM): any chance I might get to see a copy of one of your cold emails?

Lorilyn Bailey ( (11/4/2002 9:26 AM): Can't wait to hear the answer to that one.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:26 AM): Lorilyn, FrankelTips is $4,95 a month for all you can eat: Commentary, answers to your questions, sites worth knowing about, other members' comments on your issues.....chock full of stuff.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:28 AM): David, that's something that has to be created for each brand, for each purpose. My letter wouldn't help you. On the other hand, I have a great FrankelCall client for whom I developed a letter...and he's getting 10% response/approval rate on his cold mail. Yikes!

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:28 AM): How was that, Lorilyn?

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:29 AM): BTW, there is a free sample issue of FrankelTips at the site (

Pat ( (11/4/2002 9:29 AM): Rob, are you still offering the FrankelMail?

Lorilyn Bailey ( (11/4/2002 9:29 AM): No, I was just thinking if one person has a template for a cold mail letter, all cold mail letters will look the same. I get tons of them through one of my sites, and they are pretend-friendly, but I know they are a template. I am sure yours is not that way.

Elizabeth (11/4/2002 9:30 AM): back to the buying vs. creating issue, do you think the info available at a site like can be had for free?

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:30 AM): Yes, Pat, FrankelMail is still there at or just click the red telephone above.....

Pat ( (11/4/2002 9:31 AM): Rob, thanks.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:31 AM): Lorilyn, I do use a merge template, but it is so low key that it works pretty nicely. What I DON'T do is use a template for follow ups. Those are intensely custom.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:32 AM): Elizabeth, the info can be found for free. I refer to pay for the information because it saves me literally days of time every week.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:33 AM): Oops that should be "prefer"

Elizabeth (11/4/2002 9:33 AM): thanks. we're still trying to decide on a subscription, but a very nice rep named Jennifer who offered a FrankelBiz discount is sure to get the order if and when we decide

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:35 AM): Anyone else want to jump in with an issue?

Ann ( (11/4/2002 9:35 AM): Entered the room.

Elizabeth (11/4/2002 9:35 AM): sure -- trade shows?

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:36 AM): Fire away, Elizabeth

Lorilyn Bailey ( (11/4/2002 9:36 AM): In queue: I have two services I want to launch. Is a one-month separation in launch dates enough? Or will I confuse people? They have same target audience.

Elizabeth (11/4/2002 9:37 AM): OK, packaging is our actual industry, but we sell packaging to people who don't but it right now

Elizabeth (11/4/2002 9:37 AM): our targets buy a product in a box for a certain price

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:37 AM): Lorilyn: if they're targeted to two different groups, shouldn't be a problem.

Elizabeth (11/4/2002 9:38 AM): We are trying to decide whether to go to packaging trade shows or to go to trade shows for the particular industry we are targeting

Lorilyn Bailey ( (11/4/2002 9:38 AM): Rob, but they're not. They are same audience. Small businesses.

Ann ( (11/4/2002 9:38 AM): What is the difference between corporate identity and brand?

Lorilyn Bailey ( (11/4/2002 9:38 AM): Elizabeth, please go ahead. I don't mean to cut in.

Elizabeth (11/4/2002 9:38 AM): go on with Lorilyn until I can get all this out

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:39 AM): Ann, you're after Lorilyn, okay?

Ann ( (11/4/2002 9:39 AM): no problem

Elizabeth (11/4/2002 9:39 AM): Oh, I don't even know what exactly my question is. I know where you stand on trade shows rob.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:39 AM): Elizabeth, it would appear to me that if you're budget-conscious, you'd want to go to packaging trade shows and attack the specific industries through alternate means. The latter is probably a smaller market on a market by market basis.

Elizabeth (11/4/2002 9:40 AM): Just go on with Lorilyn.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (11/4/2002 9:40 AM): Am I going to mess people up? One service is PR related, the other education.

Elizabeth (11/4/2002 9:40 AM): Packaging trade shows are HUGE and only 11% of attendees are from consumer products companies.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:40 AM): The important thing, Elizabeth, is to notify the special industries people that you'll be at those shows and that they should attend. I did an interview with the AP on this: 80% of the show is wasted because people don't arrange meetings at the show BEFORE the show.

Elizabeth (11/4/2002 9:41 AM): good point!

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:41 AM): Lorilyn, depends on how well the services are integrated. And, from a business point of view, how you're planning to sell them. For example, can you spur sales by offering BOTH at a package price that's less than the price if both were bought separately?

Elizabeth (11/4/2002 9:42 AM): Here's an actual question: is it better to do a mailing that aims to get appts. set up (requiring a response) or to do a mailing just telling people to go to the booth?

Lorilyn Bailey ( (11/4/2002 9:42 AM): No, because people who need education don't necessarily need PR. I will spur the new PR service by combining with other PR service, though.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:43 AM): Elizabeth, I prefer the mailing asking for an appointment. MUCH better chance of pulling business with a personal approach like that

Lorilyn Bailey ( (11/4/2002 9:43 AM): Elizabeth, with book conferences (my experience), you contact the very people you want to meet and call/contact to set up individual appointments.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:43 AM): Lorilyn, why assume that? You'd be amazed at how much business you LOSE by assuming stuff about your clients and prospects.

Elizabeth (11/4/2002 9:43 AM): that was a really big help rob thanks.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (11/4/2002 9:44 AM): Hmmm. So someone looking for education might also be interested in the PR service -- which are basically being launched at the same time?

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:45 AM): Elizabeth, look at it this way: Of those 3000 CEO's I mailed to? Just ONE of them turned into a $50K+ job. Just one. How many of those do you need? And it's all because it's the right message at the right time to the right guy. (11/4/2002 9:45 AM): Entered the room.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (11/4/2002 9:45 AM): Ahem, Rob, right PERSON, not guy. :)

Elizabeth (11/4/2002 9:45 AM): what kind of follow-up did you do after the initial mailing?

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:46 AM): Lorilyn, why not let THEM make that decision? I don't know the products, so I can't make that call here.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:46 AM): Lorilyn, I use "guy" in an equal opportunity sense.....jeezzzzzzzzz

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:46 AM): Elizabeth, NO follow up if they don't respond. Every ten working days if they do. Until they tell me to go away

Lorilyn Bailey ( (11/4/2002 9:46 AM): LOL.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:47 AM): Ann, you want to jump in now?

Ann ( (11/4/2002 9:47 AM): Yes

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:47 AM): BTW, Lorilyn, almost EVERYTHING is an education issue.....

Ann ( (11/4/2002 9:47 AM): What is the difference between corporate identity and brand?

Pat ( (11/4/2002 9:47 AM): Rob - I have a questions about that comment (response every 10 working days). What if they don't respond to you for 3-6 months? How large of a "no response" list do you have?

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:48 AM): Ann, what's the difference between "ann" the name and Ann the person?

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:49 AM): When you look at yourself in the mirror, you see "Ann" in a way you can recognize. but you can't tell anything about Ann just by looking at her image. That's the difference between identity and brand.

Ann ( (11/4/2002 9:50 AM): image is identity...brand is being recognized?

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:50 AM): Ann, if you haven't read my book see the FREE sample chapter at Branding is about how you do what you do and why you're the only solution to people's problems. It permeates everything you do and gives people the ideology to evangelize. An identity is simply a name so people can tag you for reference

Lea Conner (11/4/2002 9:50 AM): Rob, thanks for your help. I'm going to log off and get to work... Whew!

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:51 AM): Bye Lea, BTW, great photo you have on Ryze!

Lorilyn Bailey ( (11/4/2002 9:51 AM): Pat, if he had 7 percent response rate, it's a 93 percent no-response. It's huge.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:51 AM): (TEN MINUTE WARNING)

Lorilyn Bailey ( (11/4/2002 9:51 AM): How about my photo on Ryze. It's only six years old. :)

Ann ( (11/4/2002 9:52 AM): I just recently subscribed to FrankelTips and the Gateway and Apple comparison got me thinking (11/4/2002 9:52 AM): but a 7% response rate is huge too - esp for a direct mail campaign (morning, BTW ;-)

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:52 AM): Pat, if they don't respond after the first e-mail they get dumped, period into a "no repeat" file. The fact is that there is HUGE turnover with these guys and many aren't even there a year later.

Pat ( (11/4/2002 9:52 AM): Lorilyn - What I noticed though is that the initial response rate is high, but then additional responses are fewer and fewer and I can't seem to keep track of everyone who initially showed an interest, but then decided to back off.

Lea Conner (11/4/2002 9:52 AM): Thanks, Rob! <blush>

Pat ( (11/4/2002 9:53 AM): Rob, my problem is that they ARE responding to the first e-mail, and the second. Starting from the third, it could take weeks before they get back to my and my list is starting to become huge.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (11/4/2002 9:53 AM): Pat, I guess that's an organization thing -- always a challenge.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:53 AM): Pat, a very good sales friend of mine told me never to back off after they've shown interest. Not until they expressly tell you to go away. He's right.

skip (11/4/2002 9:54 AM): Entered the room.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (11/4/2002 9:54 AM): Jodie, yes, I heard an excellent direct mail print response is 2 percent, so 7 percent is gigantic.

Pat ( (11/4/2002 9:54 AM): So are you saying if I have 100 people who showed an interest, but then decided not to e-mail or call for 6 months, to continue e-mailing them anyway?

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:54 AM): FWIW, I keep TWO lists. One is a master list and the other is a month list. I use the master list to make sure I never send duplicates. Then I transfer those for this month to the monthly list. That way, I know who I sent what.

Pat ( (11/4/2002 9:54 AM): Rob - what do you do about the people who refuse to respond but may decide to FILTER your e-mail to the trash can?

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:55 AM): No, Pat. If they respond, you follow up by e-mil every ten days

Elizabeth (11/4/2002 9:55 AM): I agree, it works on a guilt level as well as others -- if I've allowed someone to keep calling on me, eventually I will feel too guilty to choose someone else when it does come to decision-time

Pat ( (11/4/2002 9:55 AM): I've been using every 15 working days. I believe you mentioned once before that 15 days was sufficient.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:55 AM): Pat, they go into my trash can. Who needs them? Cold mailing -- even targeted -- is a numbers game. This is why the web and mail merges are so great. You can push hundreds through the mill in a few seconds.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:56 AM): Pat, I'm committed to sending anywhere from 250 to 300 e-mails every month. I only follow up with those who respond. everyone else? Too bad for them! They lose!

David Ware ( (11/4/2002 9:57 AM): Thanks Rob - it's been fun!

Pat ( (11/4/2002 9:57 AM): Rob - but how do you know if they filtered out your e-mail? All you know is that you sent them your e-mail every 10-15 days.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:57 AM): Pat, what does it cost you to keep sending?

Pat ( (11/4/2002 9:58 AM): Rob - basically, time.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:58 AM): (TWO MINUTES)

Pat ( (11/4/2002 9:58 AM): All e-mails are personalized.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:58 AM): No, pat. If they're on a mail merge list, you simply hit the button every 15 days or so.

Pat ( (11/4/2002 9:59 AM): Ah, I see. Thanks. I guess I'll put them in a mail merge list.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (11/4/2002 9:59 AM): Pat, I would think you'd have some kind of time limit -- 3 or 4 months, maybe?

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 9:59 AM): I keep all the hot contacts on my contact manager. I schedule a certain time every day to send personalized follow ups. If I haven't scored anything within six months, I dump them.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (11/4/2002 9:59 AM): Or maybe not.

Pat ( (11/4/2002 9:59 AM): Ah, that's the key I've been looking for.

Elizabeth (11/4/2002 9:59 AM): what mail merge program do you use

Pat ( (11/4/2002 9:59 AM): I wasn't sure what the cut-off time was.

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 10:00 AM): I use emerge for the Mac from

Rob Frankel ( (11/4/2002 10:00 AM): Holy cow, where does the time go? There's smoke on my fingers! Hey thank everyone for a really productive session. Go get 'em out there! I'll see you online!

Ann ( (11/4/2002 10:00 AM): Thanks Rob...I guess I'll be buying your book too!

Pat ( (11/4/2002 10:00 AM): Thanks, Rob. Have a good week everyone.

Lorilyn Bailey ( (11/4/2002 10:01 AM): Buh-bye. Thanks, Rob. You'll be hearing from me soon, too.

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