Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic November 6, 2000

Andy TeBockhorst ( (11/6/2000 8:58 AM): Patti, are you here alone this morning? (11/6/2000 9:00 AM): hi Andy.. looks like it so far

Andy TeBockhorst ( (11/6/2000 9:00 AM): wow... wonder where the rest of the gang is? Is Rob in today?

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:00 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:01 AM): Yo, I'm here. But it's been radically busy here....

Andy TeBockhorst ( (11/6/2000 9:01 AM): That answers my question... hey Rob (11/6/2000 9:01 AM): Haven't seen him yet.. did it get cancelled and we didn't notice? (11/6/2000 9:01 AM): hi Rob

Andy TeBockhorst ( (11/6/2000 9:01 AM): where's your crew, dude?

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:01 AM): Must be all those Democrats out there, canvassing the neighborhoods to get the vote out. (11/6/2000 9:02 AM): a good busy or PITA busy

Andy TeBockhorst ( (11/6/2000 9:02 AM): Tell us about the Frankel Tapes... Rob Performs the Hot Hits of the 70s, 80s and today?

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:02 AM): Not sure. It's a weir time of year. last week, it was about five or ten minutes before everyone showed up.

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:02 AM): Good busy, Patty. But last month was PITA....

Ken McArthur (11/6/2000 9:03 AM): Entered the room. (11/6/2000 9:03 AM): hello Ken

Ken McArthur (11/6/2000 9:03 AM): hi patty

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:03 AM): No Andy, The Frankel Tapes take up where the book leaves off. This gets down to tactical stuff for day to day business. I found that many, many people -- especially FrankelBees -- wanted to work with me, but couldn't make even the lowest day rate. This seemed the best alternative. (11/6/2000 9:04 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:04 AM): Hi ken. Hi Jackie. Either of you want to jump in and go first?

Andy TeBockhorst ( (11/6/2000 9:04 AM): Hmmm, might need to pick those up!

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:05 AM): Well, Andy, at least this way, I have SOMETHING to offer people. I hate the feeling of leaving folks out in the cold... (11/6/2000 9:05 AM): sounds like it.. the audio sequel

Ken McArthur (11/6/2000 9:06 AM): Hi Rob and crew ..

Ken McArthur (11/6/2000 9:06 AM): I'd like to introduce myself to the group and ask a couple of questions about marketing very technical products to non-technical people.

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:07 AM): I also got a few requests from people who wanted an audio product.

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:07 AM): PERFECT, Ken...go!

Ken McArthur (11/6/2000 9:07 AM): I'm the president of a company that produces software, PortalCube, that can create portal sites in a cost effective way. We want to stress that we can reduce risk to site owners by allowing them to start small, but still be able to grow as large as they need to as their traffic increases.

Ken McArthur (11/6/2000 9:07 AM): We have been having difficulty getting our rather complicated message down to an "elevator pitch" that doesn't take two hours to explain our product and its benefits. I'd be very interested in what works when marketing technical products to business people.

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:09 AM): Okay, Ken, here we go: you know what I'm going to say -- how is your product benefiting your prospects? And are you telling them that when you pitch them?

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:09 AM): Also, what is the pricing structure of the product -- is it a hosted application? (11/6/2000 9:09 AM): Entered the room.

Ken McArthur (11/6/2000 9:10 AM): We reduce the risk of creating complicated community based sites, by lowering the initial cost.

Ken McArthur (11/6/2000 9:10 AM): We do host the application, and it is in the 20K-30K range for the most part.

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:11 AM): BANG! Do you think they understand the phrase, "reduce the risk of creating complicated community based sites"

Ken McArthur (11/6/2000 9:11 AM): Smile - of course not!

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:11 AM): Do you think they even KNOW what those risks are? (We'll get to paying the $20K price tag in a minute)

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:12 AM): You may be assuming they know more than they actually do.

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:12 AM): So right off the bat, to quote Ricky Ricardo, "You got a lot of 'splainin' to do." You may find yourself in the teaching business real quick.

Ken McArthur (11/6/2000 9:12 AM): Well I think there is some sense of the risk... They read stories constantly now about dot.coms not paying off for investors

Ken McArthur (11/6/2000 9:13 AM): That's the problem in a nutshell - the education business

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:13 AM): When you educate them, specifically about what those risks are, THEN you have a SOLUTION to offer them that makes sense. This is what I have to do every time a client -- or potential client - calls me.

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:14 AM): Sounds like the risk TEHY perceive is the $20 - $30K! THAT they understand, I assure you.

Ken McArthur (11/6/2000 9:15 AM): Actually, in this product range the typical risk is 100K+

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:15 AM): Ken, I suspect that your brand strategy is probably half-cooked: You've got a solution, but until your prospects understand their real problems -- the ones that you understand to be problems but they still can't see -- they won't buy.

Ken McArthur (11/6/2000 9:16 AM): I'd agree with that Rob... I'm looking to cook it to perfection

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:17 AM): That's fine, Ken... That may mean your product is actually UNDER priced. Again, I face that issue all the time. I compete against "branding" firms that charge $500K. I price my services way lower. But too low would suggest that mine is only a "cheap knock off".

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:18 AM): Ken, you may have to re-design your brand (strategically) and change your sales (tactically) to include a longer sales cycles. What are you doing now to educate your prospects?

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:19 AM): And what is your main method of selling? Direct? Web?

Ken McArthur (11/6/2000 9:19 AM): That's possible too... but, I do see a hole in the market for the mid-sized company for a total solution at a reasonable cost.

Ken McArthur (11/6/2000 9:20 AM): Most of our education has been one on one... and hour and a half of face to face... That's working but I need to broaden our reach.

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:20 AM): I agree, but there's a difference between market opportunity and effective brand strategy!

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:21 AM): Ken, start cranking up the web site. The very first article you should write is "10 of the costliest mistakes of building a portal -- and how to avoid them". post it on your site (along with as many others as you can write) and let anyone, anywhere reprint it for free.

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:21 AM): I get tons of business leads off my archives alone.

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:22 AM): And the leads you get from those are PRE-QUALIFIED. you'll spend less time educating. Of course, you still need a better brand strategy so that your elevator speech is down to a sentence. Don't feel bad. It took me years to some up with mine.

Ken McArthur (11/6/2000 9:22 AM): We are in the process of developing our web marketing... launching a new site related to Portal Sites ... that's part of the education aspect and lead generation.

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:23 AM): For the offline markets, print them up and include them in whatever mailings you do, too. You can even offer the article to online mags (, and even print magazines.

Ken McArthur (11/6/2000 9:24 AM): I'm doing exactly that now Rob...

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:24 AM): Engage (formerly AdForce) reprints my archived articles and sends them to their private mailing list of over 3000 industry people. YUMMY!

Ken McArthur (11/6/2000 9:25 AM): Yes, I like that kind of response... I wrote a couple of articles for Internet Day that bounce our traffic way up

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:25 AM): Finally, there's the issue of your name. Are you at And what about portal cube's ability to REALLY communicate its main benefit? (I'm not suggesting that you change the name, just asking)....

Ken McArthur (11/6/2000 9:26 AM): yes we are at - The original concept was a complete set of building blocks for creating powerful portal sites....

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:27 AM): Just went to the site needs work. Definitely.

Ken McArthur (11/6/2000 9:28 AM): absolutely... shoemakers kids and all of that... is the new site launching soon. and we are switching the PortalCube site over to our platform soon.

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:28 AM): (BTW, anyone else have an issue? Get ready to jump in)

LeAnn Lyon ( (11/6/2000 9:29 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:30 AM): Don't get me wrong, Ken, I think you're a veritable cornucopia of good stuff that people need. But it definitely is presented in a way that's more confusing than helpful.

Ken McArthur (11/6/2000 9:30 AM): I totally agree Rob, just trying to figure out how to do that

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:31 AM): ...Having trouble loading (11/6/2000 9:31 AM): it loads but slowly

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:32 AM): Ken, you know what the BEST part of is?

Ken McArthur (11/6/2000 9:32 AM): what's that rob

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:32 AM): "Powered by Portal Cube". That says a lot VERY quickly...

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:33 AM): The problem there is that it still talks about what you are, not how you're gonna help me out and ease my digital burden in a way I comprehend quickly.

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:34 AM): The main visual ...what does it communicate? Or is it just there to be there? Remember, if it doesn't help, it's hurting.

Ken McArthur (11/6/2000 9:34 AM): exactly

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:35 AM): Ken, did you ever read my book?

LeAnn Lyon ( (11/6/2000 9:35 AM): I'm curious, Rob.. you say the site needs work... what specifically?

Ken McArthur (11/6/2000 9:35 AM): just a placeholder right now rob

Ken McArthur (11/6/2000 9:35 AM): yes I did rob

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:35 AM): You tell me, LeAnn: do you know why you should buy the product?

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:36 AM): Okay Ken. I got ya.

LeAnn Lyon ( (11/6/2000 9:36 AM): I read the three green headlines, and I am interested...

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:37 AM): The point here, Ken, is that I'll bet you're doing this stuff yourself -- or in-house. But this kind of stuff has to be approached from the OUTSIDE in, not the INSIDE out.

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:37 AM): Hey, then, LeAnn, don't let me stop you: make the check out to PortalCube......

LeAnn Lyon ( (11/6/2000 9:38 AM): :-)

LeAnn Lyon ( (11/6/2000 9:38 AM): I may do that! :-)

Ken McArthur (11/6/2000 9:38 AM): Well.. I agree I need outside input .. that's why I'm here

LeAnn Lyon ( (11/6/2000 9:38 AM): Sure I shouldn't make it out to you?

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:38 AM): Ken, do I get a commission here? <G> (11/6/2000 9:39 AM): LeAnn...did the three headlines make you curious or did it tell you what the product was?

Ken McArthur (11/6/2000 9:39 AM): you bet... 10% to any FrankelBee when I get the check

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:39 AM): Ken, overall, I'd say that you missed a chance to recognize that your prospects need to be educated right there on the home page (and in your brand) with their issues first and your answers next.

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:40 AM): Speaking of which, my affiliate program pays $8 per book and $50 per tape).....couldn't resist the plug.

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:40 AM): (JUST CHECKING -- anyone else have a question/issue?)

LeAnn Lyon ( (11/6/2000 9:40 AM): Having only read the headlines, and missing most of this conversation today (sorry!) it sounds like Portal cube will help me set up and run my own portal quickly and easily

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:41 AM): Ken, you should post that to the list.

Fraser McCulloch (11/6/2000 9:41 AM): Entered the room.

LeAnn Lyon ( (11/6/2000 9:41 AM): I have a question, rob... how did the promo you ran on the donation for breast cancer go? Again, sorry if this has already been covered....

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:42 AM): That it will do. The question is whether others are as quick as you AND are directed to the site AFTER getting their feet wet on the issue. Actually Ken, you can see what happened here in real time: a somewhat-educated prospect got to your site after reading about i.

Ken McArthur (11/6/2000 9:42 AM): Thanks rob

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:42 AM): LeAnn, we got a few orders that I can confirm by the "SGK" order instructions. But not a whole boat load.

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:43 AM): In fact, I got a lot more fan mail and kudos for having run the promotion than we did book orders!

Fraser McCulloch (11/6/2000 9:43 AM): Rob, how is the web affecting "old brands" like whisky, alcohol ?

LeAnn Lyon ( (11/6/2000 9:44 AM): So... does that fan mail and kudos affect your brand? :-)

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:44 AM): Fraser, I can't see it doing much over here in the states. The "cool" brands are trying to leverage the web with sites that for the most part, are just eye candy. Nothing substantial. Then again, there are very strict rule here governing marketing and advertising alcohol.

Fraser McCulloch (11/6/2000 9:46 AM): Do you reckon the web for whisky/alcohol is more about distribution, sales tracking, supplier/retailer relations ?

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:46 AM): You bet, Le Ann. More people -- especially women -- got to see me for the first time. And the first time they saw me was in conjunction with an important issue. I think it helped round out my brand, taking it from ethical/fun and providing a bit more depth. We issued a press release, too, to see if any press would be interested.

LeAnn Lyon ( (11/6/2000 9:47 AM): Here's another kudos for you....a web person I found through your list has helped redesign our site and now has us ranking top three in five different search engines. THANKS!

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:47 AM): Fraser, in the USA, the alcohol industry has a stranglehold on the distribution of product, and their lobbies have successfully gotten sellers on the web knocked off in order to preserve their distribution channels. It's been pretty ugly.

LeAnn Lyon ( (11/6/2000 9:47 AM): Was any press interested?

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:47 AM): Really? Who did you use LeAnn? Give them a plug!

LeAnn Lyon ( (11/6/2000 9:48 AM): Sage, at

Lynn_ArtemisNorth (11/6/2000 9:48 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:48 AM): No press called me personally, but I'd have to check with my assistant on that.

LeAnn Lyon ( (11/6/2000 9:48 AM): Really great guy, EASY to work with, Excellent rates I felt...

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:48 AM): Hi Lynn! We've got about 12 minutes if you want to jump in! (11/6/2000 9:48 AM): hey sis

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:49 AM): Thanks, LeAnn.

Lynn_ArtemisNorth (11/6/2000 9:49 AM): Thanks.... I think I'll just catch up

Lynn_ArtemisNorth (11/6/2000 9:50 AM): Hey Patti....

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:51 AM): In that case: TEN MINUTE WARNING

Fraser McCulloch (11/6/2000 9:51 AM): Rob, any brands in alcohol you respect and why ?

LeAnn Lyon ( (11/6/2000 9:52 AM): If no one else has anything pressing... some of you saw my "old site" at now my new one is at any feedback?

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:52 AM): In alcohol? Although I hate their stuff, I think that somehow, Absolut has done a good job of creating brand loyalty. I can walk into a bar and really watch people ask for Absolut, and when informed that there isn't any, choose a totally different drink.

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:53 AM): I also think that Budweiser -- despite their pitiful marketing efforts in the last ten years -- has probably established itself as the American beer. (11/6/2000 9:54 AM): A question about search engines. I was subscribing to PlanetOcean and was coming up in the top 5 of most of the search engines. It was this way for about 4 months. Then suddenly, I don't come up at all and I've been submitting pages on a monthly basis. An

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:54 AM): What does the subscription cost, Jackie? (11/6/2000 9:54 AM): Any suggestions? I'm operating on a very slim budget.

Fraser McCulloch (11/6/2000 9:54 AM): Yes, Absolut is cool over here, as is Bud, which seems to have gone under the skin of the UK football tribe (11/6/2000 9:55 AM): LeAnn... the new one is cleaner, less distracting and more to the point

LeAnn Lyon ( (11/6/2000 9:56 AM): Jackie, what I liked about Sage's program for promotion is that it's "guaranteed"... you pay only for the rankings you actually get... Sage, at

Ken McArthur (11/6/2000 9:56 AM): Have to take off folks... Thanks for the input everyone

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:57 AM): LeAnn, shouldn't the "click here for more info" be more like, "Click here to see how Lyon magnets can..."

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:57 AM): By Ken, hope it was helpful.

Fraser McCulloch (11/6/2000 9:58 AM): Rob, re last week advice, I have had 3 invites to speak at Sponsorship Conferences in Dublin, London and Amsterdam. Cheers (11/6/2000 9:58 AM): It's only $8/month and gives updates on each search engine and instructions on how the html needs to be organized, etc.

Ken McArthur (11/6/2000 9:58 AM): very ... thanks Rob

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:58 AM): Atta Boy, Fraser ... make sure you have something to give them when you talk. You'll have people running up to you to do deals.

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 9:59 AM): (TWO MINUTES)

LeAnn Lyon ( (11/6/2000 9:59 AM): Entered the room.

LeAnn Lyon ( (11/6/2000 10:00 AM): Thanks Patti, that's what I was hoping for. And we've added a lot of features: newsletter, FAQ, Testimonials...

RobFrankel ( (11/6/2000 10:00 AM): Okay, everyone, looks like we're off to the races! Have a GREAT week. I'll see you online!

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