August 7, 2006
Please make a note of it.
Bookmark the site and be sure to go there and sign up for the feed of the blog updates.
Also you can enter to win the success system, this month only at www.mediationmarketingtips.com
and if you haven’t checked out the Mediation Biz & Marketing Success System, then you aren’t serious about making a substantial income doing work in a rewarding field like mediation.
Ok, I understand maybe this vision isn’t for you. Maybe you aren’t called to this profession or maybe you think you should struggle to get clients and couldn’t imagine learning from the experts how to build a successful practice.
That’s ok, then the success system isn’t for you!
But if you are serious about making mediation your day job and you want to earn a substantial income doing it and you are committed to this profession, then you owe it to yourself to check out the Mediation Success System because it will give you a short cut and mentoring from highly successful mediators from all over the US and Canada. YOu’ll hear their stories how they built successful practices, mistakes they made, what works to build a practice and what doesn’t. They will give you advice.
Plus, there is an amazing action plan that goes through the four quadrants of my Mediation Biz Success Mastery Model TM that will be a priceless roadmap for you to build the practice of your dreams…
ok, but don’t take my word for it, check it out for yourself.
Test drive the program for thirty days, we have a full money back guarantee. We want you to love it and get great results.
If you don’t, send it back and we will cheerfully refund your money…
oh and as if you needed another reason to check it out, there is a pre-release special going on now until 8/31/06 midnight EST.
Your partner in peace,
August 5, 2006
I wanted to go into a little more depth as I think about the Q & A posted last week. (https://mediationmarketingtips.wordpress.com/2006/08/02/response-to-marketing-question-2-overcoming-lawyers-disincentive/)
Here are some more ideas:
1) Write some articles targeted to the probate/guardianship lawyers. Perhaps the local law journal, legal periodical.
Provide successful case studies and showcase probate attorneys that have successfully used mediation. Interview them and quote them citing the benefits they personally received and the benefits their clients received. Include these quotes and case studies in the articles you write for publication.
You can also use these case studies in your marketing materials, e.g. your web site or on-line articles etc.
Testimonials of lawyers successfully using mediation and how this has benefitted them and their practice could be one of the most powerful tools used to help other lawyers overcome their initial resistance due to their focus on short term economic gain.
Any other ideas?
Let’s hear them.
We are creative and resourceful and together we can figure out how to increase demand for these valuable services…
NEVER GIVE UP!
(can you tell that determination and perseverance are part of my values/virtues?)
Your partner in peace,
p.s. this blog is getting a new look, bookmark it at http://mediationmarketingtips.com/blog
August 3, 2006
There’s no doubt about it, the court annexed mediation programs that have sprouted up across the country set up a system where mediators are expected to give away their valuable service for “free” or little compensation.
Mediators nationwide are sounding off on this topic. NJAPM’s president Anju Jessani has published an article on mediate.com about this issue as have others (See http://www.mediate.com/articles/jessaniA1.cfm).
A law.com blogger posted a blog about this yesterday and it is getting circulated around.
Here is what I know to be true:
1) the court annexed programs provide a great way for new mediators to get experience at the table that otherwise would be difficult to come by; and
2) these same programs devalue the mediator’s service. Everyone is well compensated from the court staff who run the programs to the lawyers at the table except the mediator — the key player.
When people receive something for free or cheaply they do not value it, they take it for granted and develop a sense of entitlement!
Mediators are beginning the process of lobbying the courts and policy makers to change the status quo. Mediation has a proven track record of leading parties to resolve cases, clearing court dockets and fostering satisfied clients. The value in the service provided is measurable and as time goes on will continue to be rewarded by the marketplace (in private mediations it already is as the top commercial mediators in the country earn very high hourly rates for their valuable service).
Thus, we all need to unite and think creatively about how to address the issue of valuation with the courts. Here in New Jersey a resolution was just passed on July 27, 2006, which changes the allotment of free time in a mediation from 3 hours (1.5 hours of prep and 1.5 hours of mediation) to two free hours (1/1 split between prep and mediation). Some see this as progress, although the parties can opt out after the first free hours.
What happens with the court system is the best, most talented and experienced mediators opt out of the program once they have sufficient demand for their services from private clients.
Here’s the article posted on law.com
Let’s hear your comments
from Robert J. Ambrogi‘s blog :
August 2, 2006
Mediators Sell Themselves Short?
Why do mediators so often work for free? Shouldn’t they be paid fairly for their services? ” Los Angeles mediator Charles B. Parselle, founding partner of Centres for Excellence in Dispute Resolution, raised these questions in a May Los Angeles Daily Journalarticle recently republised on Mediate.com. He observes:
“Los Angeles mediators personally pay for 97% of court mediations, giving away thousands of hours and millions in fees each year, yet overwhelmingly mediators would rather be paid for their professional services.”
Lack of fair compensation among mediators is a nationwide problem, as illustrated by the reactions to Parselle’s article by two Massachusetts blogger/mediators, Dina Beach Lynch at Mediation Mensch and Diane Levin at Online Guide to Mediation. Lynch, who has written about this topic before, says in her most recent post:
“Paying mediators fairly threatens the status quo for key stakeholders like the courts and the organized bar. There seems to be very little incentive for either group to change a system that works for them from a financial and productivity standpoint.”
The question, she says, is what to do about it. If mediators consider themselves invaluable, she asks, why do they continue to accept being treated otherwise?
Diane Levin encountered this issue when she embarked on a career in mediation and was told, “If you do it for money, then you’re cheapening something special.” Yet, she says, mediators’ value is undeniable:
“Mediators boldly go where angels fear to tread — right into the very heart of conflict. And, like intrepid guides, we are able to lead disputants to level ground. We help people achieve resolution and overcome their differences, even in the face of seemingly intractable conflict.”
In my own career, I have long worked as an arbitrator and mediator in labor relations, where there is no question that I will be paid for my services. More recently, as I’ve ventured into civil mediation, I find precisely the problem Parselle, Lynch and Levin describe. Court mediation programs are often pro bono, even in cases where litigants’ pockets are deep. Parselle is correct in suggesting that the solution is simple: Mediators should not be required to work pro bono except to help the needy and indigent, and courts should adopt fair programs that allow mediators to charge for their services as the market dicates. ”
August 2, 2006
I had left an old audio clip on my newsletter site www.mediationmarketingtips.com (which by the way is where this blog is going to be hosted very soon!). [the audio clip has been changed…]
So a few people have signed up to win a copy of the Mediation Biz & Marketing Success System by giving me their top three reasons why they think they should win the system (a $297 value since it includes the 30 day action implementation coaching).
So, in all fairness, I thought I should actually have another contest.
The site has been modified but you can enter to win the Success System (www.mediationmarketingsecrets.com) until August 31, 2006 (midnight EST).
So enter to win today at www.mediationmarketingtips.com
Give me three reasons why you should win and remember THINK BIG about your vision for your practice and how you want to help the world!
NEVER GIVE UP!
your partner in peace,
ps did I say the contest ends August 31, 2006? enter today www.mediationmarketingtips.com
Here is an excellent question from a Mediation Marketing Tips reader who is a member of a very small firm specializing in Probate and Guardianship mediation:
“We specialize in Probate and Guardianship mediation, and believe that these areas could be well served by mediation because they almost always carry with them family relationships or personal relationships that
will continue in the future if they are able to be preserved. However, because elements of these types of law allow for attorneys, even when failing to win their case, to apply to the court for payment out of an estate, there exists little motivation for most attorneys to suggest the
mediation forum to their clients because it will mean a reduction in their billables. We thought of maybe going one step down the ladder to try to reach clients themselves, but this seems a difficult audience to target. Therefore, our most pressing concerns relate to a) how to convince attorneys to use mediation in the Probate context and b) how to reach
clients (“end users”) directly? Ideally, we’d love to be a
mediation-only firm; we just do not have the demand yet.”
First of all, bravo to this firm for having a clear and well-defined niche they are building on.
The core questions here relate to two important themes that rear their heads in a variety of mediation niches:
1) How does one deal with lawyers’ financial disincentive to use mediation?
2) How can we educate the public (within a targeted mediation niche) as to the benefits of mediation so they will press their lawyers to utilize the process or seek out the providers directly?
I. Lawyers’ Disincentive to Use Mediation
Lawyers who are paid by the hour or who can apply for statutory fees often have a disincentive to suggest mediation to their clients. The theory is that these lawyers care more about “billing a case to death” (and are more motivated by their personal financial interest than doing what is best for their clients) than suggesting an alternative process such as mediation that would benefit their clients.
Most people would not deny the reality of the short-term financial incentive lawyers have to bill. Yet, herein lies the opportunity for the mediators and conflict managers to think creatively and help any such lawyers expand their thinking.
(An aside: in all fairness historically there have been other reasons attorneys have not suggested mediation to their clients including lack of familiarity with the process, negative experience with the process (through either mandated mediation at an inappropriate stage of the case or an unskilled mediator), a fear of “appearing weak” to their adversary etc. As the profession has expanded and attorneys have had positive experiences with the process, many of these reasons are not as relevant in developed markets).
Any gain from pursuing protracted litigation and billing a case to the max is short term. Thus, the solution is to educate the lawyers and to challenge them to look at the big picture and engage in long term strategic thinking. If you educate them on how using mediation can help them get satisfied clients and build their practice this short term incentive can be turned on its head.
So, while the lawyer may get billables from protracted litigation, studies demonstrate clients are largely unsatisfied with the process regardless of whether they win or lose at trial (heck, we don’t need studies there is a reason there are a lot of lawyer jokes floating around).
Conversely, studies demonstrate that parties are largely satisfied with the mediation process.
The point: lawyers can win in the long run by walking their clients through a mediation process. Even if the case does not settle, significant progress is typically made toward clarifying issues and moving toward resolution. The clients will be happier with the attorneys’ service and goodwill is created in the marketplace for this attorney. While perhaps each case in the aggregate may be worth less to the attorney, the volume of cases should increase.
If as one commentator suggests, the economic savings and satisfaction of the consumer with the mediation process should increase litigation and the demand for the mediation process (since lower transaction costs it is argued could fuel greater demand), then the volume of cases lawyers are dealing with should also increase.
Thus, marketing effort can be utilized to educate attorneys as to the benefits of mediation for building their practices even when it runs counter to their “short-term” financial incentive.
For example, I am putting together a five part ecourse for attorneys for precisely this purpose. I may consider licensing this e-course to other mediators if you are interested in offering this to your niche market.
II. Educating the public about the benefits of mediation (within your niche)
We all need to continue our education efforts! As the public becomes more savvy about mediation and other means of resolving conflict, they will create greater demand for the services. Make this part of your marketing plan.
In the case example we are examining today, the probate and guardianship niche, we can think of some ways to do this.
1) How would you identify where these types of litigants are?
Think about where you would find these people. In the probate context, perhaps hiring a paralegal to search recent probate filings. You could then send out a targeted mail piece including a “free report” or other article outlining the benefits of mediation in the probate context. Be sure to be respectful of the relationship of the potential client with the attorney. Think creatively about how you could offer them something of value and offer to work with them and their attorney toward a peaceful resolution.
I am sure there are other ways to reach these groups, perhaps the morgues (sounds morbid I know). You could have them include a flier with a “free gift” (consultation or discount on a mediation).
If you get out your whiteboard and have everyone in your group brainstorm, I am sure that you could come up with creative ways to reach your target audience and educate them about mediation.
Remember, provide them with something of value and they will welcome your information.
NEVER GIVE UP!
Your partner in peace,
ps do you have a marketing question about your mediation/ADR practice? Go to www.mediationmarketingtips.com and enter your question and get my free newsletter.
July 31, 2006
So by now you may be asking, what does all this “inner mastery” have to do with marketing a mediation/ADR practice?
My answer: almost everything.
Marketing activities are things that you do to promote and grow your business… but building the practice of your dreams is about so much more than just “how to market.”
This is important, and there is plenty of the “how” in this blog — and I will add more and answer your questions, so send them to me… I understand the how is important.
I just *know* that the how alone is not enough. I want you to be well prepared. I feel compelled to underscore the importance of inner mastery and working on creating something that matters from the inside out. This is how you will truly create the business you were meant to create.
So, could today’s topic be more appropriate to my personal circumstances? Today, my nanny quit.
For those of you who don’t know, in addition to being a mediator extraordinaire and being totally committed to helping all of you build thriving practices, I am the mother of three boys. No minor challenge this is. It is HUGE.
So, the nanny/housekeeper quitting today really does throw a lug wrench in my life. Minor obstacle. WE shall overcome!
I might not get as much work done in August as I hoped. I have to step into the home and get some order there. But, I will be flying to CA at the end of the month to do a mediation out there and go to the beach again! So, hey, life isn’t too bad. Now, to find someone to help with my kiddos…
Back to the blog entry on persistence, perseverance and all the like that smacks me in the face today…
Bob Proctor has a great quote from William Penn Patrick on persistence:
“No person, idea or institution becomes great until great resistance has been encountered.”
Maybe the resistance is from “border bullies” who know you and are threatened by the changes you are making or your success.
Maybe the resistance is in the form of challenges and obstacles in your way (like your nanny quitting, or financial challenges, or what?)
Maybe the resistance is in the form of undue criticism or contempt.
Wow. If you are prepared for the fact that resistance will come, you won’t be surprised. (Well, you might still be surprised by the form it takes).
You can prepare yourself for challenges and adversity and get mentally tough.
Let’s focus on when you or your vision come under the attack of critics.
First ask what’s behind the criticism:
1) Ask, is there any validity to it? What can I learn from it? Who is the source and what is their bias?
Once you’ve done that, one of two responses is suggested:
2) To hell with them — successful people are either emboldened by the critics and determined to prove them wrong; or
3) Let it roll off your back — successful people (after analyzing the content and the source) don’t take the criticism to heart and let it roll off their back.
One of my mediation niches is faith based conflict resolution. I also aim to take a holistic approach to conflict resolution. (although I don’t use these approaches in all the secular mediations I do).
Do you know how many people have told me that “you can’t [or shouldn’t] go there.” No one will hire you. Lawyers don’t want to hear that.
I questioned my vision, I questioned myself. Was I on the right track? Was I doing what I was supposed to be doing at the time?
YES! Was the answer I received, so I press on.
Look, you are unique. What you have to offer may be unique, this is what will set you apart from the crowd and help you build something special. Sometimes you have to have the strength and the fortitude to buck conventional wisdom! You can be a pioneer.
The original mediators were pioneers! No one knew what this whole “mediation” thing was, everyone thought it was meditation! You’ll hear this from the pioneers in my interviews for the success system.
Even today as the field is more developed, there are new frontiers. We need to challenge “business as usual” and think creatively about ourselves and what we have to offer the world.
Resistance may come. Welcome it. Know that you are on the path to greatness.
NEVER GIVE UP!
Stay true to yourself and your vision of a better tomorrow!
Your partner in peace,
July 29, 2006
More on Inner Mastery…
I have blogged before about the power of commitment.
Here is a great quote, I’ve seen before and I came across it today and wanted to share it with you.
“The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decisions, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Simple. Profound. True.
Remember the other day I was blogging about building a team? [link to prior blog]
I mentioned the great team members I had, I also mentioned that I wanted to add to my team?
Well, I followed through on my intention. You see, I am committed to continue to build the mediation practice of my dreams!
I am also committed to working smarter not harder. I believe in hiring a team of people to do those things they are good at, so I can focus on the things I’m great at (and let me tell you, organization and admin tasks are not my *strength*).
So, I sent out an email to some of my friends re: my desire to hire some folks to help my businesses.
I got a reply from someone I knew who manages her husband’s construction company and was looking for some extra work. I know her, like her and trust her. It was providence (God for me) providing for a need I had committed to.
Is it magic? maybe. It’s powerful powerful stuff.
What are you committed to? Have you committed yourself to build the mediation/ADR practice of your dreams? Have you given yourself permission to succeed? What’s holding you back?
Make a commitment to yourself today, tell someone about it, write it down, send it to me email@example.com
NEVER GIVE UP!
Committed to your success!
Your partner in peace,
p.s. commit yourself by investing in the best mediation business success tool out there at www.mediationmarketingsecrets.com
July 27, 2006
In continuing with my theme this week re: inner mastery I have a provocative question for you that is critical to your success:
Why do you want it?
Why do you personally want to build the mediation practice of your dreams?
(this, of course, assumes you have a dream).
You can easily learn “how” to do it. It is not rocket science. Some distinctions may be secrets but most of it is straight forward.
Yet, without a clear and powerful motivating forces you may want to give up when the going gets tough. Or, you may not want to take that leap of faith and launch your dream practice when it is time to do so. Tony Robbins says that 20% of success is “how” and 80% is “why.”
I want you to be clear on your motivation. Why do you want it? why do you feel compelled to build it?
Why does it matter to you?
Many of you may be like me and you were called to the field of peacemaking. It is a spiritual quest.
You see, in order to move yourself forward, you need to have a powerful reason(s) that drive(s) you, you need to have leverage over yourself and your motivation.
For me, I am guided by a strong sense of purpose and calling. At this stage of my life I *know* this is what I am supposed to be doing.
I also have financial needs that require me to make a living. This is a motivating force. Some people think that mediation is social work and should not be remunerated. That is hog wash. If you are providing value to people’s lives and saving them thousands of dollars on legal fees, time, energy and what not, you deserve to be paid. The marketplace will reward you for providing value to people’s lives.
I also have a strong desire to “do my life’s work” and be faithful to what I think I’m called to at this time (relates to my purpose). For me it is about contributing in a positive way to the world and sharing my gifts and talents with the world.
How about you?
Can you identify with any of these motivating forces? Do you know what is driving you? The forces should be clear and powerful.
Write it down, send it to me, share it with someone.
The world needs you and if you are not clearly guided by a powerful understanding of why you want it, you probably won’t follow through on the steps you need to take to make it happen.
NEVER GIVE UP!
Your partner in peace,
July 26, 2006
I’ve been spending the past few days listening to audios and really focusing in on aspects of Inner Mastery. (I walked into the bathroom before my mediation the other day and said to myself in the mirror, “I am an extraordinary mediator! I help people resolve conflict.”
Cheesy? Maybe but it’s effective. The attorneys were overly generous with their praise following our time together.
I do not tell you this to impress you or to brag, I’m telling you this to impress upon you the power of our thoughts and beliefs. I was affirming to myself a reality I want to create in the world.
For those of you who don’t know, I created a Mediation Biz Success Mastery Model (TM) which is comprised of four key quadrants:
1) Inner Mastery — aligning your thoughts, beliefs, passion, purpose and physiology for success;
2) Technical Mastery — becoming a highly effective and highly skilled mediator that brings all of you to the table;
3) Marketing & Business Development — this speaks for itself — knowing how to build your practice and implementing action steps; and
4) Practice management — building a team, delegating etc. to run an efficient and productive practice.
listen up folks… because these quadrants are in this order for a reason… Sequencing Matters!
Just like in a mediation the right settlement at the wrong time is no settlement — the right plan, strategies and tactics in the wrong sequence at the wrong time, will not lead to massive success.
That’s right — to quote an old phrase, you must walk before you run.
Indeed, you must start on the inside to create success on the outside.
This subject is too vast to cover in this blog entry, so I am going to focus on one aspect.
Belief. The size of your success will be determined by the size of your belief!
I cannot tell you how powerful your thoughts and beliefs are! You need to believe in yourself and have a vast notion of “possibility.” Limited thinking will limit you and the role you play in this wonderful world.
Think Big about yourself, your world and all the possibilities.
I don’t have more time to write about this right now because I am about to interview an attorney about an important topic (that I will share with you all at a later date)…
Until next time,
NEVER GIVE UP!
Your partner in peace,
p.s. for those of you who haven’t checked out the Mediation Biz & Marketing Success System, the introductory pre-release special expires in 6 short day on 7/31/06 at midnight. You can save $100 now or $120 if you sign up for my newsletter at www.mediationmarketingtips.com.
Go to www.MediationmarketingSecrets.com today, the world needs you. The system will be ready to ship, God willing, some time in August.
Order now before our pre-release special is gone. off to my interview ciao
July 19, 2006
Are you playing to your strengths?
This one can be a little “counter-intuitive” given our programming through our educational system (and otherwise) that we should be “well-rounded” and work on improving upon our weaknesses.
Being well-rounded and strengthening your weaknesses may be an interesting and entertaining way to live but for achieving success — it is not helpful.
If you want to achieve massive success —
Play to your strengths! You are unique. No one else is quite like you. You were given amazing gifts and talents that it is your obligation to share with the world. How are you gifted in helping people manage conflict? How are you a gifted facilitator?
Which of the areas of self-promotion do you enjoy? If you don’t enjoy it or can’t do it well, don’t bother. There will be some parts of biz building you will excel at…
Here are some practical steps:
1. Identify what your strengths are
Think about it, what have you always been good at, what do people complement you on, what comes “easy”. For example, when I was in high school my AP English teacher said I had “literary genes” — I had (have) an innate ability to analyze things. One of my strengths is my analytical ability.
A mediator yesterday told me one of his strengths is to take complex things and make them simple. How about you, write them down.
2) Ask 3 people who know you what they think your strengths are (you might be surprised).
3) Think about your interests and passion — what do you really enjoy doing?
One of the “mistakes” that Woody Mosten made, one of the expert mediators I interviewed in connection with the Mediation Biz & Marketing Success System, was doing business building strategies that he was not good at and didn’t like.
The lesson: play to your strengths in your business and in your marketing. Do those things that you enjoy and can do well.
Woody wasn’t good and didn’t enjoy networking. He was good at writing though. He has successfully written several books and numerous articles that have really helped grow his practice.
Now if you say, “I’m not a good writer.” Remember, writing like anything is a skill that can be learned. Good writing requires good thinking and lots of rewriting. Writing and getting published where your chosen clients congregate will help position you as an expert in your niche and give you great visibility.
If you don’t like to write, think about some of the other strategic business building efforts: speaking/presenting; internet/web; generating referrals (word of mouth) and so on.
If you do like writing, check out my post on the “publishing tip.” Writing is a great way to build your business.
Committed to your success!
Your partner in peace,
p.s. for more information on the business building product and to hear more about Woody Mosten’s experience go to www.MediationMarketingSecrets.com