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Get Busy, Get Paid! How to develop a financially successful mediation practice: a review

by Tammy Lenski
June 2009 Tammy Lenski
One mediator is known for his wacky ties. Another is a former judge known far and wide for being so obnoxious parties settle in order to get away from him. A third is known for her impatience.

All of these are mediators Dr. Randy Lowry describes to illustrate market differentiation in Mediate.com’s DVD, Get Busy, Get Paid: How to Develop a Financially Successful Mediation Practice. And while the ways these mediators are differentiated probably aren’t the ways you’d choose to differentiate yourself, they’re excellent examples of the distinctions markets see.

I had a chance to view this video last week and recommend it for a whole host of reasons. It covers important topics like target markets, market niches and market differentiation in a straightforward, thoughtful way. It challenges you to put the work into understanding what you have to offer. And Lowry sets the stage well for successful practice-building with his practice development pyramid. From the bottom of the pyramid up he describes the phases most mediators go through:

  • Phase 1: Become a trained mediator – the foundation for everything else on the pyramid
  • Phase 2: Practice through volunteering – building your skills and your credibility
  • Phase 3: Part-time practice – you’re getting paid, but not able to support yourself yet
  • Phase 4: Part-time practice – starting to get case momentum, realize it’s time to decide whether or not to commit to making mediation your day job
  • Phase 5: Full-time practice – able to make a reasonable living as a mediator
  • Phase 6: A premier practice – booked months out, people will wait to get on your schedule, you can be selective about the cases you will accept

I particularly appreciate that Lowry emphasizes the importance of good skill and professional credibility as critical for success, good marketing skill or not. At one point in the video he shares this quip from a judge in Atlanta: “You can give a sparrow a certificate saying he’s a peacock. But the peacock knows the difference.”

And I was thrilled to see Lowry describe the value of using interests (over positions) in selling, much as I do in my book. When I watched him describing this, I thought to myself, this man is a kindred spirit.

Randy Lowry has an engaging, humble and entertaining style that ensures the video stays watchable and interesting throughout. I met Randy at the Southeastern Mediators Summit last December and he has a demeanor on video that mirrors his natural warmth and easygoing professionalism off camera. He balances lecture with exercises, and peppers his talk with numerous memorable stories that drive the points home.

The Get Busy, Get Paid DVD and digital course manual is well worth the reasonable $49 US, particularly if you like to absorb information and then figure out how to apply it to your own circumstances. Just one small word of caution, though, if you own a Mac: I tried two different versions of the DVD in three different relatively new MacBooks and they wouldn’t play. Once I got my hands on my husband’s brand new Windows machine, a Dell XPS, I was able to view the video without any problem.

A special thanks to Jim Melamed, who kindly provided me with a copy of the DVD so I could review it here.

Biography


Dr. Tammy Lenski helps people resolve conflict in ongoing business and personal relationships and bring their "A" game to difficult conversations. Since founding her NH-based conflict resolution firm Myriaccord LLC in 1997, Tammy has worked with individuals and organizations worldwide as a master mediator, executive coach, speaker, and educator. Author of the award-winning book, Making Mediation Your Day Job, she recently received the Association for Conflict Resolution’s prestigious Mary Parker Follett award for innovative and pioneering work in her field. Her second book, The Conflict Pivot, was released in 2014.

 



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