Have you tried exhibiting at an attorney conference as a way to exhibit your legal nurse consulting services? Do you have fear of exhibiting?
Tackling a Fear of Exhibiting
I knew that exhibiting at an attorneys’ conference was a good way to market my legal nurse consulting services, but I was deeply anxious about the experience. After spending a lot of money to get a space rented and a table set up, would I find attorneys who would talk to me? If they talked to me, would I know what to say and be able to convince them of my legal nurse consulting expertise? How did I overcome my fear? I forced myself to just do it. One exhibiting experience changed my life.
I decided to try exhibiting at an attorney’s conference when my LNC business was 6 years old (in 1995). The first opportunity was an American Association for Justice (then ATLA) conference called Weekend with the Stars held at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
Having never exhibited before, I sought out a colleague who knew the ropes, and she gave me a large teddy bear to sit on my table to attract attention. Teddy wore a patient gown, diaper and a cervical collar. Hanging above his head was an IV bag with 500 cc of Dextrose and Water. An ace bandage was wrapped around his arm. A sign near him said, “This patient needs a nurse.” Reactions to Teddy were mixed. I noticed that children and women enjoyed him, whereas the male attorneys gave him a wide berth or ignored him.
The exhibit was a success. I met an attorney at the Weekend with the Stars who appreciated what I had to offer. When I called him to set up an appointment to go to his office, there was a lot of background noise. I asked him if he could hear me. He requested that I speak louder. “I’m in my private helicopter”, he told me. I was so intimidated by that statement that I nearly hung up.
All the negative self talk came flooding in, as in “Who do you think you are, Pat, to want to work with an attorney who has a private helicopter?”
But I persisted and met with him. When I looked at a nursing malpractice case in his office that day, I immediately saw something that everyone else had missed. A nurse gave a neonate IV potassium chloride. It was a critical factor in the liability of the case. From then on, we worked closely together until I sold my company in 2015. What rewards I got for tackling my fear of exhibiting!
Teddy became a good luck symbol to me, and I used him in several exhibits after that point. He traveled to New Jersey and Pennsylvania for attorney conferences. Finally Teddy came to an untimely end in the Catskills Mountains of New York. The exhibit area was not locked up overnight, and Teddy apparently became the object of attention. I suspect a child played with the roller clamp of the IV tubing. How else to explain the sad discovery the following morning when I went to my booth? Teddy’s arm was saturated with 500 ccs of Dextrose and Water; the IV bag was bone dry. Teddy was retired, never to join me in the booth again.
After I had worked several years with this attorney, and heard no more about the private helicopter, one day I asked him about it. He looked puzzled and said, “Oh, I said that? I don’t have a helicopter. I was probably in the men’s room standing under a fan.”
See the dangers of giving into negative self-talk? I promise there are benefits for overcoming your fear of exhibiting.
Pat Iyer is president of The Pat Iyer Group. Get critical tips about making the most of exhibiting and tackling your fears of exhibiting with this online training.