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Against Competitor

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This shopper lives in Pueblo, about 125 miles from our offices in Denver. He offered to meet me in Colorado Springs, halfway between Denver and Pueblo. This was worth the drive for me, because it was a corporate-sponsored outplacement with a large budget.

Here is his initial inquiry to me and my follow-up after our first meeting. We generally win 95% of these head-to-head competitions. Even though I don't mention it in the letter, I always follow up with a phone call if I haven't heard from the prospective client within a few days.

From: Austin Weglarz [mailto:aweglarz@gmail.com]
Sent: July 11, 20-- 8:00 AM
To: wsfrank@careerlab.com
Subject: Initial Evaluation of CareerLab


I called and left a voice mail on your cell phone Friday afternoon.  I am making a trip to Colorado Springs tomorrow, Monday July 12th.  I explained on the message I left that I would like to meet with your company as an initial evaluation meeting at 2:30. 

I am meeting with the other outplacement company offered by Tryce Energy also tomorrow afternoon in Colorado Springs.  Hopefully this first meeting is no charge as I would like to use it to make my decision in which company to utilize for this service. Please let me know if this will work, as I am going to be limited in my trips to Colorado Springs for this purpose. Also, I need the directions and address where we will be meeting.


Austin Weglarz
H: 719-555-1212
C: 719-555-1313

Hi Austin,

I really enjoyed our meeting yesterday. Thanks for driving to Colorado Springs.

You asked good questions, and being a purchasing manager, I'm sure you'll make a good decision of career management firms.

I hope I made the career transition process understandable, and fun. Our first priority will be to keep you working in Pueblo without relocation.

You may have further questions, and if so, please give me a call on my cell phone. We want to take care of you and make your career transition smooth and successful.

Call me when you're ready to talk further.


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William S. Frank, M.A.,
25 Reasons I love consulting.
by William S. Frank
  1. Brand. You are your own brand, and you can define it any way you want. For many years, I provided outplacement to the ex-employees of Schlumberger, the world's largest oilfield service corporation. When departing employees left the company, they didn't request outplacement in their severance package. They said, "I want Bill Frank."
  2. Demand. The world will always be full of terrible problems that need solving.
  3. White Hat. I can be a helper and get paid for it.
  4. Pay. I can be paid to do things I'd gladly do for nothing.
  5. Variety. Every day is different.
  6. Happiness. At this stage of my career, I only work for people I respect and care about. If a client micromanages me or is otherwise no fun, I complete the assignment and replace them.
  7. Talent. I'm using 110% of my talents and stretching myself to the max.
  8. Change. I can change my focus any day I want. If you're a McDonald's franchisee, you don't say, "Hey, I've got this great idea for a meatball sandwich—let's try it out today." In consulting you can adjust your focus hour-by-hour, as long as your clients still understand and appreciate what you do.
  9. Income. No one else would pay me as much as I pay myself.
  10. FUN. I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing.
  11. Retirement. I can write and consult as long as I am physically and mentally capable. Peter Drucker worked into his 90s, and when asked which book was his best, he said: "My next one."
  12. Job Security. Although clients come and go, no one can come into my office and say, "Pack up your stuff . . . You don't work here anymore." In 29 years, I've only had one employer: ME.
  13. Travel. I don't have to travel unless I decide to. I travel if it's both FUN and profitable—or at least FUN.
  14. Commute. I live five minutes from my office, a corner office in an upscale six-story tower. In winter, I leave a heated garage at home and drive to an underground heated garage at work. There's seldom time to hear even one song on the radio.
  15. Vacation. Consulting is more fun than vacation (except on Wailea Beach in Maui).
  16. Friends. I have developed hundreds of close acquaintances and several lifetime friends.
  17. Time. I can work as much or as little as I like: four-hour days or 18-hour days. (Of course, my income will reflect that.)
  18. Employees. I can work with employees, subcontractors, partners, or alone—I've done it all.
  19. Passive Income. I've developed several products that provide "mailbox money." I earn while I'm sleeping.
  20. Ethics. I've never had to violate my values or personal code of ethics. I've never had to lie, purposely deceive or harm others, or promise things I can't deliver. I go to bed with a clear conscience. That doesn't mean there's never any conflict. But the conflict is conducted according to generally accepted business practices.
  21. Virtual. My career is fairly portable. With the Internet, e-mail, cell phone, and FedEx, I can work nationally, even internationally from my office—or anywhere in the world.
  22. Purpose. I make a difference in peoples' lives every day. I see it in their faces, hear it in their voices, and read it in their thank-yous.
  23. Experience. Every painful or joyful life experience makes me a better consultant. So does every person I meet or book I read. Grey hair can be good in consulting.
  24. Structure. I have to work very hard, and the clients expect superb results—but I get to structure my days, weeks, months, and years.
  25. Boss. Most of the time, I love my boss.
As I was posting these letters online, I realized I want to communicate my love for consulting. It's just a great business. The single letters, taken together, may create a picture of enjoyment, but in a burst of creativity I listed some of the reasons consulting is such a good fit for me—and perhaps for you, too. They are not prioritized; this is just how they came out.