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Your single biggest competitor isn't who you think

by Tammy Lenski

From the Mediator Tech blog of Tammy Lenski.

Tammy Lenski

Who’s your biggest competitor for mediation clients?

Is it the mediator down the street, the one who’s been in business for a decade and whose name is synonymous with mediation? Or the newly minted mediator who just opened shop across town? Or the world-known guru who gets the high-profile cases? I don’t think so.

Is it the attorneys in your area who specialize in whatever arena you also specialize in? Maybe they now mediate too? I don’t think so.

Is it family therapists and counselors, if you’re a family practitioner? Or EAP and HR consultants if you do organizational work? I don’t think so.

It’s tempting to think that your single biggest competitor for mediation clients is another professional, but that’s a dangerous assumption.

Because your single biggest competitor isn’t another service professional at all. It’s the client himself.

The ADR field is still young enough that most prospective clients aren’t choosing between you and another provider. They’re choosing between doing nothing (beyond what they’ve already done on their own) and someone like you.

So the most effective mediation marketing doesn’t just differentiate you from other professionals, it helps the consumer understand why they should choose your help over the status quo. It helps them understand why the pain of mediation is better than the pain of things as they are. It helps them understand why someone like you can transform the pain of things as they are into a brighter future.

Bits and Pieces

It’s been a good week for recognition. The well-respected blog network, 9rules notified me that they’ve accepted my conflict resolution blog, Conflict Zen, as a member of their network. It’s a pretty big deal to get into 9rules and I’m honored by their faith in my writing and content.

And the International Mediation Institute gathered a list of important ADR blogs from around the world, including Conflict Zen, Mediation Channel, Settle It Now, Mediator Blah Blah, Engaging Conflicts, Brains on Purpose, ICT for Peacebuilding, ADR-blog, Malaysian Mediation, and Civil Negotiation and Mediation, among others. Kudos to the givers, movers and shakers on the list. What great company to be in.

And since blogs are at their best when they engage readers and spur conversation, thanks to all of you for your role in helping my blogs grow and be recognized.


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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