Frequently asked questions and my answers

Andrea, what's your forte´?
Two things: 1) Showing consultants how to stop leaving good money on the table and how they can stop asking for work because they are attracting paying projects to them effortlessly. 2) And also, how to treat clients and patients better so they rave about you instead of complain to friends and family and leave you for another specialist.

Are you a life coach?
No, I'm a business consultant, and not a coach. My clients already are doing what they love and know where they want to go. They just need my strategic advice and expertise to reach their goals much faster than going it on their own.

Are you an advertising agency, and don't you get a commission every time your client buys advertising?
No. In fact, I don't want clients to pay for advertising. Advertising is fine for repair services and products, but not very effective for professional services. I prefer that practitioners not pay for promotion, but rather, get paid to promote themselves. I don't get a commission on anything my clients buy that I didn't create. This way I can avoid conflicts of interests.

How long have you been practicing as an independent marketing consultant?
Since 1977. First as a corporate wardrobe consultant, then a corporate etiquette consultant, then, because I was appearing in the national media frequently (using my creative marketing skills) I was asked to represent senior level management consultants who were also authors and speakers. Becoming a personal public relations "agent" and marketing consultant was a natural progression.

Don't you think your fees are too high?
No. If you want me to assist you in generating a very large income then you must value what I am able to do for you. If you're not willing to invest in your own success I won't be able to help you surpass what I've done.

Where is your office?
In my home in Erie Pennsylvania, formerly Toronto, Ontario. It's my intention to return to Toronto by Spring of 2016.

Why are your office hours Noon to 6 PM?
Mornings are my thinking and writing time on behalf of my clients, so I don't take phone calls or appointments until about 12:30 or 1:00. The exceptions are paid speaking engagements, national media/press interviews, and client emergencies.

Do you work weekends?
To stay fresh (with ideas) and to avoid burnout, I usually take weekends off work. In rare cases, and with increased fees, will I undertake work activities on weekends and/or holidays. And, I do offer occasional weekend retreats at my home in which I provide free accommodation to clients who come for two days of tutorials and strategy sessions.

What's the best way to contact you?
By email: That allows me some time to think about a response and I can answer you after I've completed the task I'm working on. You can usually expect a response that day or within a few hours unless it's the weekend or a holiday.

Can I phone you to introduce myself?
I prefer that you introduce yourself by way of the questionnaire I provide on this site. I find that introductory phone calls are time-consuming and not very productive; you'll get my full attention by giving me answers to the questions I ask.

Who do you represent?
I represent those who sell their specialized advice and wisdom: consultants, how-to authors, practitioners, advice columnists, talk show hosts, speakers.

Where are your clients located?
Most are located across the United States and Canada. Some have resided in London, Dublin, Sydney, Singapore, and Cairo.

What kind of services can I expect from you?
One year strategic marketing plan, brainstorming solution sessions, phone tutorials on any topic, campaigns. What do you need?

Do you ever visit your clients where they work?
Just ask. I'm available to travel anywhere in the mainland United States and Canada. I can bring my office with me.

Do your clients ever visit you?
My clients are welcome to visit – by prior appointment – for private advice, tutorials, strategic planning sessions, etc.

Do you ever work on commission?
Rarely. The only exception is when I negotiate and confirm a speaking engagement agreement for a current or former client.

Do you ever discount your consulting fees?
No. I tried it with a pay-what-you-can-afford event for 45 days, but nobody wanted to participate in it. So now I maintain my stated fees.

What forms of payment do you accept for books and short assignments?
Cash, checks/cheques, PayPal payments, Square payments, lay-away plans, Traveler's Cheques, money orders, and specific gift cards: Giant Eagle, Wegman's, Virgin Mobile, Home Depot, Lowe's, Apple iTunes.

Will you give me a testimonial for my service?
When you have been accepted as a client and we have worked together I will be delighted to do so. However it would be a conflict of interests for me to endorse a non-client, as it would preclude my ability to represent a client who provided a similar or competing service to yours.

Will you write me a proposal of your services?
It's easy to find services on this web site (or soon will be). If you absolutely have to have a proposal there is an upfront, nonrefundable writing fee of $2,000. When you retain me, I deduct the proposal fee from the fees for services rendered.

How long is your estimate valid?
Usually 10-14 days. If you wait too long, the terms may expire. Then the fees may be higher.

Will you work for a percentage of the income you obtain for me, commission basis or contingency basis?
No. it's impossible to prove what you've earned before and after I work with you to ensure I'd get paid for the true value of my expertise. Unless you're willing to let me have access to all your bank accounts and sign over the deed to your home as collateral – and I'm pretty sure you wouldn't find either acceptable – I won't be able to work under those terms.

Can I call you to discuss what you can do for me?
I'd prefer you email me. All phone consults are chargeable. Why not just tell me what you want?

Will you invest in my book project?
No, thanks. Want to invest in mine?

Will you write my book for me, do the research, edit it, publish it, promote it and sell it in exchange for 10% of the profits?
If I do all those things it's actually my book. If you want to hire me as a ghostwriter, we can talk about that. And I don't work for a percentage of anyone's income, except in contract negotiations.

I need $20,000 to write and publish my book. Will you send me the money?
No, but if you will order my Angel Attraction Kit, I'll show you the right way to raise the money you need from private investors. (I did it. Follow my lead.)

Will you get me paid speaking gigs so I don't have to do it myself?
If you retain me for my empire-building advice and campaigns, you will have meeting planners contacting you. I don't do telemarketing and it only diminishes your prestige anyway.

Who were the 3 biggest influences in your 35 years of consulting to other consultants?
One of my former clients was E. Joseph Cossman, who was the first I was aware of who created a complete binder of information from his seminar on Mail Order Marketing. I learned so much from him – and other experts and sources – about marketing. Many of his marketing methods still work today. I'm using his seminar and binder concept to teach others the marketing methods inspired by him and two other experts on consulting whom I admired and continue to emulate: Herman Holtz and Howard Shenson, both now departed, as is Mr. Cossman.