LA Mediators

Mediators of Southern California

Lucky 13! This is my favorite number, and this is my chance to break with my trend of only commenting on the positives in this marketing minute. I want to discuss what I think is the NUMBER 1 mistake that mediators make in their marketing. This is such a bad mistake that it can actually set you back on your quest to develop a sustainable book of business. It is an unbreakable rule in my view, yet it is broken frequently. It is broken by some very prominent mediators in this town, and believe me, when it is broken word travels amongst your potential clientele.

Let's leave aside the existential. Because one can argue that the worst thing you can do for your marketing plan is to do no marketing at all...and of course that is true. The very finest mediator can have no business with no marketing.

So, what is the NUMBER 1 mistake in my view...


In other words: You are soliciting future business during your current mediation session.

I see a lot of lawyers in mediation. I do between 6-8 cases per week. With a minimum of 2 sides, that is at least 12-16 lawyers per week. And at least once per week I hear a story about another mediator, which is told sua sponte (I don't prod). The good stories I like, as a favorable impression of any mediator helps all mediators. And, as I believe there is plenty of business out there, I do not envy another mediator getting a case that I didn't get, and making the client happy (a viewpoint I strongly encourage btw).

But what is the first and worst thing your potential clients complain about? It is the mediator having the nerve to ham-handedly solicit another case during the mediation. (The close second btw is being ineffective, lethargic, and slow, and third is being too pushy, grouchy or evaluative...but that's for another day). A client with any impression like these is not a client you will ever see again!

Think about why trying to hook future business in this setting is wrong on so many levels...

One, the LASC actually has a rule preventing it. I know Charles or someone with a law book can cite it for you.
That rule doesn't apply to a non-court case, but still, it's a good rule.

Two, you look greedy and hungry. Two impressions you DON'T want your prospective future client to have about you.

Three, during a negotiation, if you are trying to get another case, the participants may think you will either work harder or not work harder depending upon whether they have a future case to give you. The participants will also think you're doing the same thing with the other side, which may be influencing you if the other side has another case for you. Your reputation and your integrity is being compromised....or at least the participants think it might be. One is as bad as the other for marketing purposes.


Let's contrast that with a participant beginning to discuss another case with you during the usual chit-chat of mediation. I think that's a fine idea for many reasons. But if your client turns that into a "I should get that case to you" kind of discussion (which happens a lot), your appropriate response should be: "Let's get this one wrapped up first, and then we can think about that" or words to that effect. Think about what a positive message you are giving: You're not hungry or greedy, you are focused on the case at hand, and you have an open door to contact the client after the mediation.

That is the place you want to be to have a successful practice...

You now have a golden opportunity to begin an effective marketing plan AFTER you get the case settled. More about that in the coming weeks.

And speaking of golden: Go Bears!

Your president

Bob Tessier

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Comment by Kym Adams Director of CEDRS on October 21, 2009 at 8:45pm
Hello Everyone, I wanted to give an update to my Facebook Fan page and Group page "Adams Legal Document and Mediation Service Inc."
Since, I have created the fan page and the group page I have had two people contact me wanting to retain my LDA services. It does pay to take the time to network in the 21st century. It's free advertising just costs your time! If anyone needs help establishing a fan page or group page on FaceBook please don't hesitate to contact me and I will walk you through it step by step. You can call me direct on my cell at 951-206-0021. If you get my message (after the 3 Doors Down song) leave me your name and number and I will return your call. Happy Networking Everyone!
Comment by Kym Adams Director of CEDRS on October 3, 2009 at 9:35pm
I just realized that whenever you post something on your FB Fan Page wall it automatically is posted on your Twitter wall. Way too cool. Double the pleasure double the fun! Social Network Marketing there is no end. Also, I discovered that people are attracted to people who care. I care I care I care! I LOVE being a Mediator and helping divorced couples save money and take charge of their destiny ! Wow! what a day so far!
Comment by Kym Adams Director of CEDRS on October 3, 2009 at 12:47pm
There were 13 participants at the Last Supper and I concur with Bob’s #1 rule view and if broken; most likely, it would be the mediator’s Last Mediation with the participants.

I would think that most mediators consider their careers as a “calling” within their circle of life. Therefore, don’t disrupt that circle by your own selfishness.

As they say “Less is More” ….knowing when to market and knowing when to not market yourself is the key.

Speaking of knowing when to market your business, I have some thoughts and experiences to share.
For about a year, I have had a personal FB account and just a few weeks ago created a FB business account (Fan Page) “Adams Legal Document and Mediation Services Inc.” I figured that my personal FB account was getting comments right and left so why not take advantage of free marketing. Yes, at first I invited my friends to be a fan. Next thing, I was getting more and more fans. So, I have decided to devote the spare time (which isn’t much) I have that I would normally give to my personal FB page and give that time to my FB fan page. I want to see if the marketing works. Now keep in mind that anyone can be a fan without being accepted by you like a personal FB page and do not have to be a friend within your FB network. Therefore, if any of you do this keep it professional because that fan page is wide open to EVERYONE who has a FB account. (over 50 million people)

If any of you have a FB Fan page please share your ideas with us too. In a few weeks, I will give an update on what success I have had and my experience in marketing my business via the cyber FB fan page world. (wish me luck)
Happy marketing everyone and “Thank you” Bob for posting another fabulous Marketing Minute volume.

Kym Adams aka Kymsmiles



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