Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic November 19, 2001

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 8:59 AM): Hey, it's 9 Am Pacific time.......Time for the Free Clinic! (11/19/2001 8:59 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:00 AM): Greetings, everyone....we try to let the new guys go who's up? (11/19/2001 9:01 AM): Rob, Quick note to let you know the Roundup was a great success. Outstanding value. Already working to refine and deploy the strategy. Be able to serve as testimonial. Keith

Tamra ( (11/19/2001 9:01 AM): Entered the room. (11/19/2001 9:02 AM): Shy group today.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:02 AM): Very cool, Keith. It took a while for me to come down from it, too! Thanks for coming to the event. I know we'll do more stuff!

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:02 AM): Patrick, it takes a few minutes for people to arrive. But does anyone want to jump in?

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 9:03 AM): Rob: You should webcast your events in the future. Ever considered it?

THE WEB NEWSROOM ( (11/19/2001 9:03 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:04 AM): Ben, there's a chance that we could web cast this stuff, but as Keith can tell you, you really gotta be in the room, working with everyone to get the big benefit.

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 9:04 AM): That makes sense...

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:04 AM): I think streaming content is great for remote learning, and live web cast is good for speeches, but NOT dialog and interaction.

Tamra ( (11/19/2001 9:04 AM): I'd love to see a videotape, but not necessarily a webcast -- too dependent on my internet connection being good.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:05 AM): I can tell you this much: that 90 second streaming video I have on my site is being streamed at a rate of about 1000 per week.....

Jeremy ( (11/19/2001 9:05 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:05 AM): Right, Tamra, that's why for now, I'm just featuring the 90 second one.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:05 AM): But enough about me....anyone want to jump in?

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 9:06 AM): I could help author a DVD with you, if you'd want to sell those afterward. *plug, plug* (11/19/2001 9:06 AM): Pretty Good! Any inquiries as a result yet?

Jeremy ( (11/19/2001 9:06 AM): <jump, jump>

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:06 AM): Plugging is totally acceptable, Ben.

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 9:07 AM): =) (11/19/2001 9:07 AM): Entered the room.

Jeremy ( (11/19/2001 9:07 AM): How do you brand a service that, from the outside, looks like everyone else's?

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:07 AM): Yes, Patrick, the streaming has "coincidentally" been running since two important speaking gigs were proposed to I know it works. It's more of that "removing as much doubt as possible before they contact you" thing.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:08 AM): Jeremy, the first thing you've got to remember is that branding for services and products are exactly the same.

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 9:08 AM): Jeremy: Get some help making it *not* look like everyone else's. How's your corporate identity? Do you stand out?

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:08 AM): In fact, the whole point of branding is to differentiate yourself from everyone else -- only in my case, it has to make you "the only solution to their problem."

Jeremy ( (11/19/2001 9:09 AM): That's the goal, but how do you do it?

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:09 AM): In fact, that was what the Big Time Branding Round Up was about! And the FIRST thing you need to do is realize that the brand is NOT about you, it's about THEM. I guarantee you, your compassion isn't doing that.

Jeremy ( (11/19/2001 9:10 AM): Neither are we

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:10 AM): What's your business about Jeremy?

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:10 AM): Judging from the URL, I'd guess that it's about finding that right?

Jeremy ( (11/19/2001 9:10 AM): Mortgages

Elizabeth (11/19/2001 9:11 AM): Entered the room.

Jeremy ( (11/19/2001 9:11 AM): We help fold buy or re-finance their homes

Jeremy ( (11/19/2001 9:11 AM): folks

Jacque ( (11/19/2001 9:11 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:11 AM): How did you come to name it skinnypenny? (11/19/2001 9:11 AM): Jeremy, you sell leads to mortgage brokers?

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:12 AM): If you're in re-finance, you should be cleaning up right now

Jeremy ( (11/19/2001 9:12 AM): Patrick: nope, we are a mortgage broker

Jeremy ( (11/19/2001 9:12 AM): the URL came from one of the initial investors. He thought it was cute. ;(

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 9:12 AM): That's the truth.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:12 AM): Jeremy, why "skinnypenny"? (11/19/2001 9:13 AM): Jeremy, should be pretty simple then. You are licensed in all 48 states?

Jeremy ( (11/19/2001 9:13 AM): yeah rob, except rates are heading up now and we need to make sure we've got a brand that will carry us through.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:13 AM): Well, Jeremy, that's your first problem....Now you know why people hire branding consultants! Doing it yourself works -- for suicide, but not much else. Jeremy, at the risk of sounding self-serving, have you read my book or listened to my tapes?

June (11/19/2001 9:14 AM): hi Rob, if you have some time later: I have some questions regarding the sale of our shopping cart system

Del (11/19/2001 9:14 AM): Entered the room.

Jeremy ( (11/19/2001 9:14 AM): Patrick: no, we're only licensed in Arkansas right now.

Del (11/19/2001 9:14 AM): Then take over one my expired URLs, ""

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:14 AM): June, you're next. Give me a minute with Jeremy here.

Jeremy ( (11/19/2001 9:15 AM): no, not yet rob.

June (11/19/2001 9:15 AM): thank you, Rob

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:15 AM): Jeremy, the problem is that you're trying to brand from the inside out. You give nobody any reason to choose you as their solution, because everything is driven by a boos "who thinks it's cute"

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:15 AM): how can you expect to do business like that? (11/19/2001 9:16 AM): Jeremy, are you primarily offline, then?

Frederick ( (11/19/2001 9:16 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:16 AM): Del is closer to the least give them a shot at knowing why they should look at you......your name is a good place to start.

Jeremy ( (11/19/2001 9:16 AM): Patrick: almost totally offline

Del (11/19/2001 9:16 AM): Mortgage websites tend not to be lead generation portions of the business, Patrick, mostly a customer-service thing.

Tamra ( (11/19/2001 9:17 AM): From an SEO viewpoint might place better on Google

Del (11/19/2001 9:17 AM): Especially for one/two state lenders. (11/19/2001 9:17 AM): Jeremy, may I contact you in an hour?

Jeremy ( (11/19/2001 9:18 AM): sure Patrick.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:18 AM): Jeremy, I kid you not, get the book and the tape -- or at least the book and you'll see where everything makes sense. Also, realize that you have to sell your branding in to your staff to make this work. Otherwise, you're going to continue to push a boulder up the hill, instead of making this stuff work.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:18 AM): June, what was your question?

Jeremy ( (11/19/2001 9:18 AM): About the only reason people go to the website is to read the FAQ or play with the calculators.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:18 AM): Patrick, you're a hustler!

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:19 AM): Yeah, Jeremy, what a waste of your money and effort! You should be closing those leads!

June (11/19/2001 9:19 AM): Hi, I was put in charge to handle the branding/sales of our eCommerce platform

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:19 AM): Powerbasket...I like it so far.

Del (11/19/2001 9:19 AM): Jeremy: Leverage the usability of the site. Get a database online so people can one-stop track their loan "in process" rather than tying up your phone lines talking to an LO or LP. (11/19/2001 9:19 AM): Rob, If I know an easy way to help somebody...absolutely!

June (11/19/2001 9:19 AM): While we have been working on it for more than 2 years, we only released it a couple of months ago - which was a bad decision [last year we would have sold lots of them]

Del (11/19/2001 9:20 AM): This database should be updateable by your senior processor or (quite frankly) anyone.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:20 AM): Okay, so what's the problem?

June (11/19/2001 9:20 AM): I have been trying to get our sales up, and lowered our price even - but it seems that the market is not that interested right now

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:21 AM): ACK!!!! Lowering your price is the LAST thing you should do, June! it telegraphs desperation and undermines all your credibility!

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 9:21 AM): Who do you market your product to, June? DO you pitch the product, or the solutions inherent in its implementation?

June (11/19/2001 9:21 AM): We are prepared to give up 50% for partners that sell our solution, but how do we contact these people without becoming another "spammer" that contacts them with an *incredible* deal

Jeremy ( (11/19/2001 9:21 AM): I like that idea Del. I'm also wanting to get the site setup to do an application online.

Frederick ( (11/19/2001 9:21 AM): May I suggest that if your market is not interested, then that's not your market - Your Market is always interested

June (11/19/2001 9:22 AM): To be clear: I only got to the point of promoting it a couple of months ago, and that before that we had virtually no visitors - so our current price is the one we intend to keep

Jonathan Cohen ( (11/19/2001 9:23 AM): Entered the room.

Jonathan Cohen ( (11/19/2001 9:23 AM): [good morning all, belatedly]

Tamra ( (11/19/2001 9:23 AM): June, I had to dig three pages before I found out you're a Unix-only cart. Put that sort of stuff on the index page & ditch the useless Enter page. Unix programmers are much more likely to HATE splash pages.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:23 AM): June, there's something wrong in your brand...which from your name alone sounds like it should be great. Something must be breaking down between the expectation of "Powerbasket" and the delivery on those promises

Del (11/19/2001 9:23 AM): Jeremy: Quick apps. Not full 1003. People want to give you the basic info and find out what you can do for them. It's kinda like a rate and term phone call.

Del (11/19/2001 9:24 AM): Jeremy: You're welcome to email me later ( That way we don't tie up the conversation here.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:24 AM): Tamra is correct! I didn't even go to the site and just by finding out you're Unix only says to me, "hey, maybe they're not as all-powerful as I thought..."

June (11/19/2001 9:24 AM): Well, compared to our competitors, we have features they would only dream of ?

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:24 AM): Jeremy and Del, can we take that offline for now and help June?

June (11/19/2001 9:24 AM): that's true - thanks for the tip, I'll make that look better

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:25 AM): June, then maybe your first clue is to market to UNIX only prospects

Jeremy ( (11/19/2001 9:25 AM): Yes sir, sorry June (11/19/2001 9:25 AM): Entered the room.

Tamra ( (11/19/2001 9:25 AM): The site is slickly designed -- but maybe too slick. Unix geeks like slashdot, not

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:25 AM): And at least address the fact -- somehow - of the Windows NT, Linux and other platforms. (11/19/2001 9:25 AM): June, get a list of companies hosting their sites on a Unix server, that are in the right SICs

Joel ( (11/19/2001 9:26 AM): Entered the room.

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 9:26 AM): June, there's nothing wrong with appealing to a niche. Just promote your company to be the *only* solution for the niche you're in.

June (11/19/2001 9:26 AM): Patrick - can I just contact these people without becoming a spammer ? (11/19/2001 9:26 AM): You should also target companies with sales of 1,000 times your ticket size

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:26 AM): Also, as we've discussed in previous sessions, contacting well-targeted prospects with a sincere solution is NOT spamming. It's all in HOW you do it. If you're there to help people out, they'll never consider it spam. (11/19/2001 9:26 AM): June, sure. May I contact you in an hour?

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 9:27 AM): If someone contacts me with something remotely relevant to what I do, I don't consider it spam, June. I can always hit a delete button or tell someone "No thanks."

June (11/19/2001 9:27 AM): what about the price ? Our initial price was $1399 / We dropped that to $499 - Bad/Good ?

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:27 AM): In my own real-time sample, we're up to 1300 CEO's and decision-makers. Contacted 1300+ and received only ONE accusation of spam. meanwhile, we have six new accounts pending. (11/19/2001 9:27 AM): June, raise it back up!

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 9:28 AM): Perceived value is where its at. Jack that price back up to where it has some WORTH.

Del (11/19/2001 9:28 AM): June: Other than the "what's currently in your cart" section as you shop, I see nothing that a $199 cart won't do. Am I missing something?

Tamra ( (11/19/2001 9:28 AM): June, maybe advertise on slashdot on extreme tech. And maybe ditch the flash movie (I love it, most Unix geeks think it's the devil's own tool).

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:28 AM): June -- terrible decision to drop the price. If you priced it incorrectly, that's one thing. But that should have been determined earlier. Now it looks as if you're clearing out inventory that didn't sell. What you need to do it work the other end -- building the value and the brand so that $1300 looks like a bargain.

Del (11/19/2001 9:29 AM): Not trying to be cruel there. I'm constantly on the lookout for shopping carts and always testing features.

June (11/19/2001 9:29 AM): Del - If you take a close look, you'll see that there a things that don't exist in a $199 one. I'm not used to this chat board, so I'm not gonna list them all.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:29 AM): The real problem is that you -- like almost everyone, so don't feel bad -- branded/priced it from YOUR point of view, not the prospects'.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:30 AM): Don't list them all, June. You don't have to. The fact is that you undermined your own brand without anyone having to help you. Now you're playing catch up.

Tamra ( (11/19/2001 9:30 AM): Also, SEO stuff again -- title on every page the same (bad idea!) plus really should include words like "shopping cart" instead of "buy button". Who searches for "buy button"?

June (11/19/2001 9:30 AM): rob - that's true, I might better look for people to try it out as a test-base and let them bring together on how much they think it's worth then ?

Del (11/19/2001 9:30 AM): June: The one thing I liked about your cart when I found it (last month I believe) was the download center option (I think that's what it was called).

Joel ( (11/19/2001 9:31 AM): June: sorry I came in late--can you post the URL of what you're selling really quick? I'd like to take a look. (11/19/2001 9:31 AM): June, Good idea, but I doubt it will work

June (11/19/2001 9:31 AM): Tamra, thanks for the tip

June (11/19/2001 9:31 AM):

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:31 AM): Tamra, that's SEO stuff. June's problems are way bigger than that. In fact, at this point, the more people that find her site -- and are disappointed by what's there -- the worse things get!

Frederick ( (11/19/2001 9:31 AM): To get the price back up, why not make the $499 a price promotion - for 3 months, say. Then put it back up in the future.

June (11/19/2001 9:31 AM): Frederick -That was our plan (11/19/2001 9:32 AM): June, the best way to test a price is to try to sell it at that price, anything else is guessing.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:32 AM): June, here's the thing: If you build a Big Time Brand, you can build a branded community around it -- and those are the people who evangelize your brand to others who are closest to them.

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 9:32 AM): June, I'd be happy to help you with design/marketing of your product to get it in front of the right folks and helping them realize it's essential to their companies... you can get in touch with me through my website, if you'd like. =)

Frederick ( (11/19/2001 9:32 AM): Sell it as 'Our introduction'

Tamra ( (11/19/2001 9:32 AM): Good point Rob. The seo stuff just caught my eye....

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:32 AM): In your case, you're talking about a branded community of UNIX developers and designers.

June (11/19/2001 9:33 AM): Wow - I get lots of reactions here - Thank a lot

Jonathan Cohen ( (11/19/2001 9:33 AM): June - I'd also suggest a comparison chart (I don't see one on the Web site) - point out why your cart is better than the competition, on features/price/etc.

Elizabeth (11/19/2001 9:33 AM): postcards, email greetings, regular cards...what's everyone doing for the holidays?

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:33 AM): I disagree with all of you on the price thing. I'd re-build the brand into something that deserves the $1300 price (assuming there's a market for it). And then I'd never look back.

Jonathan Cohen ( (11/19/2001 9:33 AM): and please, DON'T make the box shake like that - makes me feel like I'm having an aneurysm :)

Del (11/19/2001 9:33 AM): Biz greeting cards here.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:34 AM): ANYONE ELSE? Who's next?

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 9:34 AM): Very good idea: give your market an easy-to-see comparison of why your product is better. (11/19/2001 9:34 AM): Rob, not 'all' of you :)

Tamra ( (11/19/2001 9:34 AM): Elizabeth -- I'm doing an email. No anthrax issues! Then a mktg postcard in January.

Elizabeth (11/19/2001 9:34 AM): rob, what do you think about email cards vs. regular ones?

John Charlesworth ( - Professional Web Tracking) (11/19/2001 9:35 AM): Entered the room.

June (11/19/2001 9:35 AM): Everyone - I will read through your comments - A Big Thank You for all the remarks and I or my partner will contact later if necessary

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:35 AM): Elizabeth, when it comes to really communicating the sincere stuff, I'm all for good old fashioned, anthrax-free snail mail

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 9:35 AM): Blech. Email cards reek of "eh, whatever... here ya go..." Just my opinion, though.

Elizabeth (11/19/2001 9:36 AM): but do most people think anthrax free snail mail is an oxymoron?

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:36 AM): E-Mail = efficiency, Snail Mail = "I took some time out of my day for you"

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 9:36 AM): I'm a graphic designer, though, too. So a nice, tactile, sincere card has much more value to me than some, I suppose...

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:36 AM): Nah, IMHO, the anthrax thing is pretty much over....

Jonathan Cohen ( (11/19/2001 9:36 AM): Elizabeth - that's why postcards might work better. Cheaper and flashier too.

Frederick ( (11/19/2001 9:36 AM): E-Mail greeting cards are what grandma sends to her nerdy grandson. Can't see any use for them in business.

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 9:37 AM): Don't let this pseudo-anthrax scare keep you from sending a holiday card to your clients.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:37 AM): When you consider that you're not sending cards to people you don't know, you're fine.

Del (11/19/2001 9:37 AM): Not necessarily flashier. :P

Del (11/19/2001 9:37 AM): With a greeting card, you have 4 sides to complete a story, sentiment, message.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:37 AM): Yeah, personally, I always thought Blue Mountain was a total goof.

Elizabeth (11/19/2001 9:38 AM): Cool. That's what I thought. Wondered about the anxiety level in the rest of the world. Thanks.

June (11/19/2001 9:38 AM): Could the ones that offered me help respond one more time ? The chat script just cut off all the previous messages (11/19/2001 9:38 AM): What a great brand though!

Elizabeth (11/19/2001 9:38 AM): Blue Mt. is fun for silly cards to former coworkers.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:38 AM): The one commodity that's ALWAYS in short supply is time. People appreciate when you spend quality time with them, and snail mail does that job much better. And NOT mail-merged mail, either!

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 9:38 AM): And if you can swing it, try customized cards that push your business, rather than "off the shelf" stuff you get at Kmart. You can easily turn your holiday gifts into nice self-promo items if you plan ahead...

Jonathan Cohen ( (11/19/2001 9:38 AM): Del - yes, but no envelope in case anyone's worried about anthrax etc. (11/19/2001 9:38 AM): June, I can help you target Unix sites that can afford you.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:39 AM): Elizabeth, not as much fun as PillowMail <--- blatant plug

Frederick ( (11/19/2001 9:39 AM): June, transcripts go up on Rob/s site soon after we stop talking.

June (11/19/2001 9:39 AM): Patrick - my partner will contact you offline - is that ok ?

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 9:39 AM): June, I can help with the design/marketing of your promo materials. Get in touch through my site. =)

June (11/19/2001 9:39 AM): Fred - oh, didn't know that - thanks

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:39 AM): Ben, that's a very high-risk tactic. I think just by virtue of sending cards you're doing enough . Personally, I don't send any cards at all.

Del (11/19/2001 9:40 AM): Clearly identified sender will avoid that, unless you're company is "Bob in Arkansas" that the client used once and cancelled midway through the job.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:40 AM): Right June, see the Free Clinic archive link up in the top frame?

Jonathan Cohen ( (11/19/2001 9:40 AM): June - and I can help if you have any writing requirements (oh the shameless plugs)

June (11/19/2001 9:40 AM): ah, ok - thanks all

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:40 AM): Jonathan, plugging is my life! (11/19/2001 9:40 AM): June, sure. 309-661-1364.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:41 AM): Anyone have anything to toss out there?

Elizabeth (11/19/2001 9:41 AM): Our corporate gifts will be packaging related(prob. chocolates from Richart)

Elizabeth (11/19/2001 9:41 AM): They do the most amazing packaging.

Elizabeth (11/19/2001 9:41 AM): So that's sort of promo-ish.

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 9:42 AM): I always send customized gifts to my active client list. Maybe it's because I'm the designer (and I don't have to hire out), but it says "I care" that much more. To me, at least...

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 9:42 AM): Plus, I like getting into doing cool stuff for the holidays. =)

Frederick ( (11/19/2001 9:43 AM): While we are plugging, and as spam nearly raised its head back there, may I suggest a site for people to check out - Business Netiquette International -

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:43 AM): Interesting...wouldn't you want to send out to inactive clients especially? (11/19/2001 9:44 AM): Entered the room.

Del (11/19/2001 9:44 AM): I'm sending out cards only to those that spent X dollars with me. (Historically, those that spend less than X are one-time buyers.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:44 AM): Hey, why go to a site to learn about netiquette? Use common sense! If someone wants to meet me because we REALLY might be able to help each other, why wouldn't I want to meet them?

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 9:44 AM): That'd be too much, Rob. I send nicer gifts to my active clients as an appreciation factor and as a securing of repeat business (graphic design is a great repeat business service), and I send my "inactive" clients something personal, but not quite as expensive/time-consuming. I see where your logic comes in though...

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:45 AM): In my business, which I realize is not like most, the client gift strategy has never worked.

Frederick ( (11/19/2001 9:46 AM): Because, Bob, there is a grave misinterpretation about who and WHY people might want to meet you (or any other stranger.)

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:46 AM): And now that I think about it, those gifts that I've received have never motivated me to do more business with vendors.

Elizabeth (11/19/2001 9:46 AM): Ben -- FYI, when I used to hire designers frequently, the gift DID affect who got called next year! (11/19/2001 9:46 AM): The best use of gifts I've seen so far is sending them to your vendors. Talk about great service!

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 9:46 AM): It's worked nicely in the past. Last year, I got a product packaging job out of my gift selection (I baked bread and designed a package for it, then sent it to my best dozen clients).

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 9:47 AM): Must be a designer thing. ;)

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:47 AM): I can understand a little item that serves as a reminder throughout the ballpoint pens. I like those. But I hate big bulky stuff that takes up space, or -- forgive me -- food.

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 9:47 AM): That's a good point, too, Patrick.

John Charlesworth ( - Professional Web Tracking) (11/19/2001 9:47 AM): A competitor unknowingly sent me a $100 gourmet gift basket this summer :-) Wanted to talk about how they could help me. Didn't even visit our website to see what we did...

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:47 AM): Ben, your idea works, because you featured your work product into the gift. Another example of your packaging.....

Del (11/19/2001 9:47 AM): How Design mag is a great source for self-promo ideas. :-) (11/19/2001 9:48 AM): Rob, try sending a gift basket to the people you hire instead of the people that want to hire you.

Frederick ( (11/19/2001 9:48 AM): Wall calendars are good value for the money spent.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:48 AM): John, you're kidding! That's hysterical!

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 9:48 AM): That's okay, Rob. I got good response from mine. As long as someone doesn't send me a fruitcake or something, food doesn't bother me.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:48 AM): That's smart Patrick. I like that twist on it.

Elizabeth (11/19/2001 9:48 AM): In my old office, the receipt of food was more of an ego thing

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 9:48 AM): HOW is the best...

John Charlesworth ( - Professional Web Tracking) (11/19/2001 9:49 AM): Rob, they then scheduled a phone call with me and proceeded to tell me all about their hush-hush upcoming products!

Elizabeth (11/19/2001 9:49 AM): It allowed the recipient to say, oh, look at how much people love me (11/19/2001 9:49 AM): *laugh*

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:49 AM): Is it true that there are only about 7 fruitcakes in the entire universe and that nobody eats the, but keep sending them on to the next guy?

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 9:50 AM): Another idea is to celebrate holidays most don't. Send your clients a card for Groundhog's day or for Arbor day. You'll get an extra little spot in their brain next time they might need your services (although this may just work for those of us in the creative service sector).

Elizabeth (11/19/2001 9:50 AM): Bob -- I def. agree.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:50 AM): Hey, since we have about ten minutes left (TEN MINUTE WARNING) let's take a minute to talk about that: competitive goofs that you can leverage to your own gain. Anyone have any to share?

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:50 AM): I like that, Ben. Smart

Elizabeth (11/19/2001 9:50 AM): Sorry, meant Ben

THE WEB NEWSROOM ( (11/19/2001 9:51 AM): Entered the room. (11/19/2001 9:51 AM): A drug company ran a $100,000 television campaign with the wrong 800#, which a competitor immediately snapped up.

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 9:51 AM): Not sure this is a "goof," but I've found that watching the news to see what companies are cutting staff helps me target potential design clients.

Tamra ( (11/19/2001 9:51 AM): (John, contact me after this is over -- I have a client who might need BellaCoola's tracking stuff....)

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:52 AM): Personally, my favorite is when a dopey ad exec sends a mass e-mail to his client list and forgets to put his entire address book in the BCC space instead of the CC (11/19/2001 9:52 AM): perhaps not quite a goof, but a company I've been following on their open mailing list is giving such bad service to people that we're able to talk to many of their existing clients - they may end up becoming our clients instead.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:52 AM): Can you say "500 Free leads"?

Tamra ( (11/19/2001 9:52 AM): Don't know if this is a goof, but we get a lot of "our last web developer screwed up" folks as clients

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 9:53 AM): Tamra: Designers goof up all the time and lead me right into hungry clients.

Mad Hatter (11/19/2001 9:53 AM): Entered the room.

John Charlesworth ( - Professional Web Tracking) (11/19/2001 9:53 AM): Tamra, what's your email address? I'm at

Tamra ( (11/19/2001 9:54 AM):

Mad Hatter (11/19/2001 9:54 AM): I'm late..

Tamra ( (11/19/2001 9:55 AM): I thought the rabbit said that!

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:55 AM): Mad Hatter, we only have few minutes...Want to ask something quick?

Mad Hatter (11/19/2001 9:55 AM): I always report International holidays on my discussion lists.

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 9:55 AM): Heh, heh... Tamra made a funny.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:55 AM): Nice one, Tamra....!

Mad Hatter (11/19/2001 9:56 AM): No Rob... I was trying to catch-up with you. Thanks. (You know me, but I'm late..)

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:57 AM): Okay, well it seems that we're winding down for the day....Anyone else?

Mad Hatter (11/19/2001 9:57 AM): I made the funny... Tamra caught it...

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 9:57 AM): Rob: Real quick before we go... I'm considering writing a book on creativity & business. Would it be alright to contact you by email sometime to get some tips on getting a business book to the bookshelves? Is that something you discuss "on the clock?" I ask, simply because I've extremely wet behind the ears with something like this, and I'm only in the very early stages of planning....

Jonathan Cohen ( (11/19/2001 9:58 AM): Rob - free email newsletters - clutter, or useful client retention strategies?

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:58 AM): Ben, I can tell you everything you need to know. Save you about ten months and lots of attorney's fees!

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 9:59 AM): Jonathan: I've got one that helps keep me in front of clients and gives them fairly useful info on a regular basis. Contact me if you'd like to see what I provide, or if you want some tips on making it useful...

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 9:59 AM): Awesome, Rob. I'll shoot you an email a little later in the week 9assuming I have the time with all the traveling and holiday-ing).

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 9:59 AM): Jonathan, e-newsletters are getting REALLY tired. Just more clutter. So unless they have utility (i.e., FrankelBiz) for the users or content they value (FrankelTips for pay), forget it. Really think it through, though, because they can work if you structure them right (11/19/2001 10:00 AM): Jonathan, just make sure it's useful information for THEM not just a plug for you.

Rob Frankel ( (11/19/2001 10:00 AM): Okay, folks, it's a new week -- let's get out there and make some dough! I'll see you online!

Mad Hatter (11/19/2001 10:00 AM): On my newsletters my readers think I am a god... It is the AOL syndrome I think..

Jonathan Cohen ( (11/19/2001 10:01 AM): Ben - I also have information in terms of books and publishers, if you're interested - want me to email you a summary?

John Charlesworth ( - Professional Web Tracking) (11/19/2001 10:01 AM): Great session. See y'all next week!

Frederick ( (11/19/2001 10:01 AM): Thanks Rob - by all

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 10:01 AM): Everyone have a good holiday (and a good week, to you non-USAers). (11/19/2001 10:01 AM): Take care all.

Ben Woodward ( (11/19/2001 10:01 AM): That'd be great, Jon. Just put BOW before my domain to reach me by email...

Jonathan Cohen ( (11/19/2001 10:01 AM): will do.

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