In the previous Part I post, I role played a story where an inventor, named Sam, had a conversation with a shyster invention marketing company (IMF) with the fictional name Intergalactic Marketing and Patents (IMAP).
Unfortunately, the legitimate IMFs are very few in number and the shyster IMFs, who appear much like slugs eating your garden after a spring deluge, seem to be everywhere.
In this post, Part II, inventor Susan has a conversation with Jim Bigdeelz at IMAP, just as Sam did in the previous post. As you'll see, her conversation will go a bit differently from Sam's conversation.
Here we go (again).
IMAP Call to Inventor Susan ————————————————————————-
IMAP: Hello, may I speak with Susan, please?
Susan: This is Susan.
IMAP: Hi, Susan, this is Jim Bigdeelz with Intergalactic Marketing and Patents. I wanted to follow up with you about your hair styling wand. Do your have a few minutes.
Susan Oh, yes. What did you think of my product?
IMAP: Susan, I hope you are sitting down.
We reviewed your product and, simply put, we believe it is a home run. We feel your product could sell many millions in the marketplace. We’d love to work with you to get it onto store shelves everywhere, into all the big box retailers. How does that sound to you?
Susan (a bit shocked): Well, that sounds, .. uhh .. great to me.
But, Mr. Bigdeelz, I must tell you, I have presented to a variety of retailers and, so far, no one seems interested. They tell me my product seems a bit pricey compared to similar products – they don't think consumers will buy my Wavy Wand.
My customers tell me my product is far superior to anything they have seen and they love my product.The truth is, I have spent a lot of money on my product, I'm frustrated, just cannot seem to get any traction to the larger market.
How can you help me? What do you offer?
IMAP: Susan, we hear stories just like yours every day from our clients and it breaks our hearts. Here’s the deal: it is all about knowing the right contacts and also about making the right presentation to them.
We have relationships with all the key decision-makers at ‘big box’ retailers. Concerning presentation, prospective companies must be able to visualize your product immediately. This requires advanced CAD tools, like TurboCAD Deluxe for proper 2D and 3D renderings of your product. Here at IMAP we say: the ‘right’ people plus the ‘right’ presentation equals success.
Susan: Sir, I must tell you that my PowerPoint presentation and sell sheets have gotten me meetings with key decision-makers. The features of my product are simple and easily understood, I cannot imagine why CAD tools would be necessary – seems overkill to me.
IMAP: Ma'am our experience has been that simple presentations won’t even get you in the room with the key decision-makers at the big retailers. Amateur presentations just don’t cut it in today’s high-tech world.
Susan: (skeptical) So, have you worked with other inventors like me? What is your success rate? What stores are they selling in now? Also, your headquarters are at 1652 Elm Street in Jacksonville, Florida, right?
IMAP: Great questions, Susan. Yes, indeed, that is our address.
We have worked with hundreds of inventors just like you! Just last week I was in Bentonville to meet with Walmart execs for one of our clients.
Susan: How many people do you have on staff? How many years have you been in business? Lastly, can you give me a list of inventors who have achieved success working with your company whom I can contact for feedback?
IMAP: (a bit annoyed at her questions) We are indeed a large firm and, honestly, I don't know the exact headcount we have here. Our reputation in the industry is unsurpassed. We have been in business for quite some time now.
Regarding your last question, we have confidentiality agreements with all our clients, so we cannot give out customer name or contact info. I'm sure you understand.
Susan, with IMAP on your team, we can achieve success with your product. Our Gold package can put your product in front of all the key decision-makers at big box retailers to get your product launched for only $14,950.
Susan: Mr. Bigdeelz, I did a bit of research on Intergalactic Marketing and Patents prior to our call today. Would you like to know what I found?
IMAP: (a bit uncertain) Uhhh, sure…
Susan: I checked with the BBB and with the Florida Secretary of State's office and found no negative reports on your company.
IMAP: (brightening up) Well, of course, I told you we had a stellar reputation in the industry, veterans at helping inventors.
Susan: Well, perhaps the reason is a bit less ‘stellar.' I discovered that your LLC was filed for that address less than 7 months ago. Doesn't sound like ‘years' of business to me. Furthermore, if you have helped ‘hundreds' of inventors in 7 months you, Mr. Bigdeelz, must be an extremely busy man.
IMAP: (flustered) Uhhh … Why do you say that ma'am?
Susan: I say that because I did a Google search on 1652 Elm Street and zoomed in with the satellite view. I noticed there is just a UPS store at that address with a small laundromat in the adjoining building. There were only two cars parked in front of your address, I'm guessing yours and the receptionist's cars? You've been very busy handling ‘hundreds' of clients then?
IMAP: Susan, I have a call on hold.
It's been … umm … a ‘pleasure' talking with you. I wish you the best of luck with your product. I have to take the other call now. Have a good day!
The above fictional story is a slightly embellished version of a real call I had with a similar firm. The company had, indeed, been in business for only 7 months as an LLC in Florida. Also, the address was a UPS store – the address was in reality only a PO box.
I was working on behalf of an inventor client who was ready to ‘sign on the dotted line' with this company for a large sum of money for their ‘services'. After I reported to him the results of my sleuthing, the inventor decided not to proceed with the company.
I saved the inventor thousands of dollars. I charged him nothing for my advice and assistance because I am an inventor also. I only get paid if I am able to help an inventor to successfully license an invention, then I get a portion of future royalties. When (and if) the inventor gets paid, I get paid. It feels like the right way to do business.