I’m just wondering…because I get a lot of notes and questions from mediators about how to transition from doing court annexed mediation to building a private client base.
Now, hear me clearly, DON’T ask for business until people know you, like you and trust that you can do a good job.
Once you have established some trust and done good work for them (through the court’s panel) or through a free speaking presentation (people can get a strong sense about you from your presentations), then, when appropriate, don’t be afraid to let them know you are available.
Jeff Krivis in his book, How To Make Money As A Mediator (and create value for everyone), notes that it is when we provide value and listen to attorneys’ and other potential clients’ problems that we are then positioned to let them know we may be able to help.
Case in point, I did a mediation the week before last where one of the attorneys was talking about how his clients were involved in another lawsuit. He mentioned that the opposing attorney was particularly difficult. I asked if they had been assigned a mediator by the court. He said they had but the mediation hadn’t taken place. I casually said, well if things don’t work out with the court appointed mediator, let me know, I’d be happy to help.
He sent a fax a couple of days later asking me to mediate the other case. True story.
You need not be aggressive or “salesy” but sometimes when the time is right and you know of a need, offer to fill it.
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