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  #1  
Old June 21, 2015, 02:40 AM
Dien Rice Dien Rice is online now
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Default What are "toll positions"? (A refresher post!)

Hi,

I thought I'd write a quick "refresher" for everyone on... what are "toll positions?" And also, why should you care?

A "toll position" is phrase often used by Harvey Brody. It specifies protection for a desirable product or service, such that, for a customer to get that product or service, the person has to go through you.

There is no way around it... Unless they go through you (and pay you), they can't get the product or service!

Let me first give an example of what is NOT a toll position.

Let's say you open an arts and crafts store. Is that store a toll position?

Generally, no. It's possible for someone to open an almost-identical store next door.

Let me give an example. I have a friend who had a store selling imported exotic products - things like traditional baskets, rugs, jewelry, etc., from overseas cultures.

His store was quite successful, until...

Another, very similar store, opened up a few doors down from him!

Immediately, his sales went down - because the other store was taking a big fraction of his customers!

My friend decided to really compete... He spent money, lowered prices, and so on, trying to drive the other store out of business.

Unfortunately... They must have had deeper pockets than he did. What happened was that my friend went out of business instead, and sadly, he lost so much money he even had to sell his house.

My friend's store did not have a toll position. Anyone could open a similar store close by, and compete with him. That means that customers who wanted to buy some kind of traditional crafts products didn't have to go through my friend... They could go to the store a few doors down, and buy similar products from his competition.

Now, going again with the example of a store, is there ever a case where a store can have a toll position? The answer is, yes...

Here's one example I know of. At the university I attended as a student, there is a "Sports and Recreation" (S&R) building. That building holds all of the indoor sports and recreation facilities - swimming pool, gym, rooms for aerobics classes, badminton courts, squash courts, indoor basketball courts, etc. It is about a 5 min. walk from the S&R building to the main building that had the cafes in it.

However, there is one cafe in the S&R building, and only one cafe. That cafe has a toll position - because there is no space for another cafe.

When I was there as a student, the people who ran that cafe were quite obnoxious. Nobody liked them. But, they still did well... Because people who participated in activities in the S&R Building had no choice!

If people wanted to eat or drink after doing their sports or exercise, without having a longish walk, they had no choice other than to buy from that cafe!

Unless they renovated the S&R building to fit in space for another cafe, they had (and still have) a kind of local toll position. It is impossible for someone to open a competing cafe close by on campus.

(Or off campus for that matter, because it's also a long walk from the S&R building to get off the university campus!)

Another example?

Walt Disney created the character of Mickey Mouse in 1928. The character became popular, through various cartoons, films, and also merchandise (like Mickey Mouse dolls, caps, clocks, T-shirts, games, apps, etc.). Mickey Mouse is copyrighted and also trademarked by the Disney company.

Because of that, nobody else can legally create any products with Mickey Mouse in or on them in the USA, and also in most other countries. If anyone tried to do this in the USA, for example, Disney would come after them with a lawsuit and take all their profits, and they'd probably also be fined.

In this case, copyrights and trademarks are also forms of toll positions. Toll positions stop people from competing with you. That means if you create something valuable - it's impossible for someone to just copy you, "jump on the bandwagon," and make profits from your idea and your blood, sweat, and tears!

I'll share some more examples of toll positions in the next post...

- Dien
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  #2  
Old June 21, 2015, 05:17 AM
Dien Rice Dien Rice is online now
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Default Different types of toll positions...

We talked about "toll positions" and retail stores... And how most retail stores do NOT have a toll position. But, in very specific circumstances, it's possible that some do...

We also talked a little bit about copyrights and trademarks as toll positions as well...

What are some other toll positions? Well...

A patent is a toll position. If you have a product which is patented, then nobody can legally sell a product covered by the patent without your permission, while the patent is in force...

A secret formula can be a toll position. For example, take the product WD-40. It is protected by a secret formula. Nobody can make anything exactly like WD-40, without knowing the secret formula! (As you can imagine, they hold on to that secret formula quite tightly...)

By the way, Wired magazine analyzed WD-40, and claims it knows the ingredients! You can read their article here...

http://web.archive.org/web/201401190...st_whatsinside

What they don't tell you is that this may not be enough to duplicate the product. For example, it's like knowing the ingredients to make apple pie, but not having the recipe. What specifically do you do to these ingredients, and in what order? Unless you know that... You might end up with a heap of mush instead of delicious apple pie, even with the same ingredients!

An exclusive distribution agreement can be a toll position. For example, McDonald's will only sell soft drinks made by the Coca Cola company. That's a toll position for Coca Cola - it locks out Pepsi from every single McDonald's restaurant!

How about more "modern" examples? They exist too...

A list of email prospects for a particular type of product can be a toll position. For example, let's say you sell books on how to train boxer dogs. Your email list is a toll position for anyone wanting to reach these specific boxer dog owners!

A great domain name can be a toll position. That's why single word names can sell for thousands or millions of dollars. For example, PrivateJet.com sold for $30.18 million in 2012! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...e_domain_names

As you can see, there are lots of toll positions... Of course, there's more to it than this - but this is the foundation.

I'm talking to Harvey Brody, and again, we're hoping to bring everyone up to date...

Harvey's doing extremely well, and is very happy, healthy, no stress, etc. He still is doing extremely well, both from his "old" toll positions, and new ones... People know Harvey's "old" story, but very few people know the amazing things he's been doing the last 30 years or so... (Gordon and I are among the few who have been privy to this story...) However... If he feels there's enough interest in this topic, he may be persuaded to share more information with everyone...

If you could ask your toll position-related questions to Harvey, and get him to answer, what kind of questions would you ask?

Best wishes,

Dien
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  #3  
Old June 21, 2015, 06:10 AM
teamplayer teamplayer is offline
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Default Re: What are "toll positions"? (A refresher post!)

Hi Diem,
I would like to ask what are some good toll position
opportunities open today, that do not require a big
investment. Are there specific things we should look
at?

Trevor
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  #4  
Old June 21, 2015, 08:24 AM
MichaelWinicki MichaelWinicki is offline
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Default Re: What are "toll positions"? (A refresher post!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by teamplayer View Post
Hi Diem,
I would like to ask what are some good toll position
opportunities open today, that do not require a big
investment. Are there specific things we should look
at?

Trevor

That's the million $ question Trevor.

I've often asked myself that over the years, after first reading about the concept via Gordon and his posts about one Harvey Brody.

I've come to liken it to a unique selling proposition on steroids.

Basically you need to come up with something that enough people want it (to be economically viable) and they can't get it anywhere else.

One way to create a toll position is through positioning... positioning yourself or positioning a product or service your providing through the use of books, articles, speaking engagements and even advertising.

The goal would be to achieve a level of authority or excellence or something of value that no one else is or can provide in the perception of the customer, client or prospect.

Dan Kennedy for instance created a toll position by writing 20-something books.

The thing is in order to build or create a toll position it's either going to take time, money or some sort of resource. Toll positions do not come easily or quickly without some sort of 'skin' in the game.

Don Alm's many advertising concepts are all toll position types of activities. He's out there creating a toll position (and value) by doing something most others refuse, face-to-face selling. That cold calling is his 'skin' in the game.

What type of 'skin' you're looking to invest will determine which direction you should be looking for your own toll position.

But keep in mind no matter what toll position it is, it has to be of recognizable value to enough people to make it economically worth your while– putting up a toll booth on an abandon road gets you nothing.
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  #5  
Old June 21, 2015, 10:05 AM
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GordonJ GordonJ is offline
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Default Dan Kennedy's time...

Just want to point out a huge difference between Dan Kennedy (and many like him)...

Harvey works out of a home office. A few hours a day.

Dan is currently flying all over the country, maintaining a heavy hotel schedule, where his every minute of the day is planned out.

Now, he "probably" loves it. For those of you younger ones, at 65, would YOU want (need?) to be flying all over the country living out of hotel rooms, or would you rather be working from home (when you work)

The other difference, Dan HAS to sell books, programs and consulting. If his sales drop, so does his income.

Harvey's machine keeps churning out cash without him having to be selling, and explains his reluctance for getting into a project which requires that. He's seen Dan Kennedy first hand and has said NO thanks to that lifestyle.

Michael, you're right, setting up the right kind of toll booth taakes time and effort, but may be worth it.

As for Don Alm, all of his projects could be easily duplicated by many people, what sort of proprietary position is that?

Gordon

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelWinicki View Post
That's the million $ question Trevor.

I've often asked myself that over the years, after first reading about the concept via Gordon and his posts about one Harvey Brody.

I've come to liken it to a unique selling proposition on steroids.

Basically you need to come up with something that enough people want it (to be economically viable) and they can't get it anywhere else.

One way to create a toll position is through positioning... positioning yourself or positioning a product or service your providing through the use of books, articles, speaking engagements and even advertising.

The goal would be to achieve a level of authority or excellence or something of value that no one else is or can provide in the perception of the customer, client or prospect.

Dan Kennedy for instance created a toll position by writing 20-something books.

The thing is in order to build or create a toll position it's either going to take time, money or some sort of resource. Toll positions do not come easily or quickly without some sort of 'skin' in the game.

Don Alm's many advertising concepts are all toll position types of activities. He's out there creating a toll position (and value) by doing something most others refuse, face-to-face selling. That cold calling is his 'skin' in the game.

What type of 'skin' you're looking to invest will determine which direction you should be looking for your own toll position.

But keep in mind no matter what toll position it is, it has to be of recognizable value to enough people to make it economically worth your while– putting up a toll booth on an abandon road gets you nothing.
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  #6  
Old June 21, 2015, 11:39 AM
MichaelWinicki MichaelWinicki is offline
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Default Re: Dan Kennedy's time...

Hey Gordon,

You probably haven't kept up with Dan much lately but after 9-11 and he got out of the "Success Tour" racket he was part of for a decade.

Over the last 10 years or so his speaking has dropped to nil outside of the annual Info Summit and Super Conference. About everything he does is done from his home between Akron and Cleveland.

All consultations take place at his home. He does virtually no traveling anymore.

His passion is harness racing and can be found at the track racing one of his many horses on an almost nightly basis.

And as far as selling, again his books have reached the point of mass acceptance and his name is widely recognized by those that may at some point require his services.

At this point Dan does one thing to keep his business afloat and that's create some content on a monthly basis. It may not be the equivalent of designing a widget and then let someone else handle the distribution and sales of the widget once it's been tested and proven, but it's probably the next best thing. And it's probably a more likely scenario for many to cross into rather than being able or gifted enough to find or create a product that is both evergreen and can be managed by someone other than the toll position holder.

Don's projects could be duplicated but very, very few have the gumption to go face-to-face, nose-to-nose and toes-to-toes in order to sell a program like he does. Face-to-face selling has become almost extinct due to a variety of reasons– the result is if Don (or someone like him) puts together a profitable program they'll have virtually no competition because no one wants to put in the work or put up with the rejection that comes with cold calling.

Last edited by GordonJ : June 21, 2015 at 12:40 PM.
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  #7  
Old June 21, 2015, 12:42 PM
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GordonJ GordonJ is offline
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Default Re: Dan Kennedy's time...

OK, last week he was in LA, then headed to Miami. My opinion is he's working harder now than he ever has. But, if that is your preferred model, have fun.

Same with 68 year old Don Alm hitting the streets like he did at 35.

Whatever glove fits.

Gordon

PS You think Kennedy would be a more likely scenario??? You don't think he is gifted? ANYONE can find products, FEW can do what Dan does.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelWinicki View Post
Hey Gordon,

You probably haven't kept up with Dan much lately but after 9-11 and he got out of the "Success Tour" racket he was part of for a decade.

Over the last 10 years or so his speaking has dropped to nil outside of the annual Info Summit and Super Conference. About everything he does is done from his home between Akron and Cleveland.

All consultations take place at his home. He does virtually no traveling anymore.

His passion is harness racing and can be found at the track racing one of his many horses on an almost nightly basis.

And as far as selling, again his books have reached the point of mass acceptance and his name is widely recognized by those that may at some point require his services.

At this point Dan does one thing to keep his business afloat and that's create some content on a monthly basis. It may not be the equivalent of designing a widget and then let someone else handle the distribution and sales of the widget once it's been tested and proven, but it's probably the next best thing. And it's probably a more likely scenario for many to cross into rather than being able or gifted enough to find or create a product that is both evergreen and can be managed by someone other than the toll position holder.

Don's projects could be duplicated but very, very few have the gumption to go face-to-face, nose-to-nose and toes-to-toes in order to sell a program like he does. Face-to-face selling has become almost extinct due to a variety of reasons– the result is if Don (or someone like him) puts together a profitable program they'll have virtually no competition because no one wants to put in the work or put up with the rejection that comes with cold calling.
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Old June 21, 2015, 01:37 PM
MichaelWinicki MichaelWinicki is offline
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Default Re: Dan Kennedy's time...

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordonJ View Post
OK, last week he was in LA, then headed to Miami. My opinion is he's working harder now than he ever has. But, if that is your preferred model, have fun.

Same with 68 year old Don Alm hitting the streets like he did at 35.

Whatever glove fits.

Gordon

PS You think Kennedy would be a more likely scenario??? You don't think he is gifted? ANYONE can find products, FEW can do what Dan does.

Great points as usual Gordon!

Maybe this is where the concept of the "toll booth" becomes a little fragmented.

What I mean by that is maybe we need to consider if it's a toll booth that can command .05 and one that can command $5?

Meaning that some business models are going to be more lucrative with far less work involved than others, but that doesn't mean a toll position that makes a net profit of $20,000 a year and requires a half-dozen hours of work per week is a worthless toll booth. For many folks they would be all over that.

Personally I think the "I'm the expert toll position" is in many cases more easily achieved and is easier to maintain long-term than the "find a product" toll position. In this day and age the ability to knock-off a product is beyond epidemic... which makes the lifespan of products (and a product toll position) shorter and shorter.

And while Dan is both prolific in his ability to churn out content and disciplined about doing it... keep in mind that much of his new content is simply regurgitated from earlier content and he's very good at commenting on someone else's content. I don't fault him for that, it's how I would do it. That doesn't make him gifted. If makes him sharp for knowing what he can get away with while doing as little as possible in the way of brand spanking new content creation.

I've got a toll position product that does reasonable well for me. But it sure wasn't easy nor inexpensive getting it started. In addition you many times need additional funds to achieve market acceptance.

Yeah, you can go the wholesale route but that arena is filled with tiny margins and demanding retailers.

As far as what Don does, once you get an advertising product off the ground, and if it makes sense in the market, reselling existing clients/customers on the idea will become easier over time. Again, is this a $5 toll? No. But for many who would like a toll position and neither have the funds to develop their own products nor the time to become a "I'm the authority" toll position holder, the Don Alm approach is better than a sharp stick to they eye-socket.

Last edited by MichaelWinicki : June 21, 2015 at 01:54 PM.
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  #9  
Old June 21, 2015, 04:22 PM
Thomas Thomas is offline
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Default Re: What are "toll positions"? (A refresher post!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelWinicki View Post
At this point Dan does one thing to keep his business afloat and that's create some content on a monthly basis. It may not be the equivalent of designing a widget and then let someone else handle the distribution and sales of the widget once it's been tested and proven, but it's probably the next best thing. And it's probably a more likely scenario for many to cross into rather than being able or gifted enough to find or create a product that is both evergreen and can be managed by someone other than the toll position holder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordonJ View Post
PS You think Kennedy would be a more likely scenario??? You don't think he is gifted? ANYONE can find products, FEW can do what Dan does.

Most of info products are not really toll positions. You don't have to buy any of Dan's product to learn about writing successful sales letters or how to create "attention-grabbing" headlines. However, if you want to buy HIS product, he will get a cut (unless it's through a secondary market).

On the other hand, creating a platform where you sell other people's products or perhaps getting exclusive rights to their product(s) would be a toll position.

PS. I really like this thread. Thank you for bringing this subject up.
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  #10  
Old June 21, 2015, 05:16 PM
Dien Rice Dien Rice is online now
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Default Info-product toll positions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas View Post
Most of info products are not really toll positions. You don't have to buy any of Dan's product to learn about writing successful sales letters or how to create "attention-grabbing" headlines. However, if you want to buy HIS product, he will get a cut (unless it's through a secondary market).

On the other hand, creating a platform where you sell other people's products or perhaps getting exclusive rights to their product(s) would be a toll position.

PS. I really like this thread. Thank you for bringing this subject up.
I agree that it does depend on how unique, as well as how desirable, the information is... Perhaps also how strong the "brand" is...

For example, "How To Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie was first published in 1936 - which was 79 years ago... And I believe it's still making money today! (The copyright now seems to be held by Donna Dale Carnegie, who is Dale Carnegie's daughter. She wasn't even born yet when the book was written!)

But on the other hand, there are plenty of books published in 1936 that nobody cares about today... Not every toll position is equal!

One thing about some good toll positions is that - if they know how to work them - the toll positions can keep making money for your kids, and even possibly your grandkids...

Best wishes,

Dien
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