A trade show can provide you with new leads, strengthened relationships with clients, and potential new relationships with other exhibitors. In this post, I share in my experience and that of others to describe why this can be an important way to build your legal nurse consulting business.
This is a great time of the year to check with attorney organizations to see when they have in person meetings open to exhibitors.
I exhibited at both local (New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia trial lawyers groups) and national conferences runs by the Association for Justice. (I’m proud to see New Jersey attorney Bruce Stern is now president of AAJ.)
Exhibiting at a Trade Show Puts You Where the Attorneys Are
In 1995, I exhibited for the first time at what used to be the American Trial Lawyers Association (now the Association for Justice). I met many attorneys, and my meeting one particular lawyer had a huge, positive effect on the growth of my business.
At the trade show, I had people put cards in a bowl to select a prize. Let me make a key point. I didn’t do a random drawing. I chose the card of the attorney who seemed to be the most promising.
How did I decide that? I talked to attorneys who came to the booth. I was able to determine their interest in what I offered and also how positive I felt about the nature of our interaction. The attorney whose card I selected was the lead partner of a law firm that had offices In 6 cities.
A Momentous Meeting
I went to this man’s office and delivered the gift to him. He said, “While you’re here I have a case I want to ask you about.” These are magic words for an LNC.
I looked at the case, and I saw immediately something that all of his physician experts had missed. The case involved a child who had gotten 30 milliequivalents of potassium chloride IV push instead of the 3 that was ordered.
I said to him, “Nurses are NOT allowed to give KCl IV push.” None of the doctors had recognized that, and it was a deciding factor in the liability of the case as well as the damages.
This meeting also marked the beginning of a long and mutually profitable business relationship. My income from this firm put my older son through college. This attorney also taught me a lot about how the law functions, the dynamics of law firms, how cases are settled, and much more.
Cost Versus Benefits
I want you to remember this story whenever you hesitate about the cost of exhibiting. I’m not going to pretend that it isn’t expensive. You need to put together a table display and borrow, rent, or buy a booth. The exhibitor has an initial upfront expense, and it doesn’t end there.
Some exhibitors invest in very professional displays. They may upgrade every year, improving logos, and tweaking the design of their booth. No matter what you’re spending money on where your business is concerned, consider it a necessary investment.
In most attempts to get through to a lawyer, you will have to try to get past the gatekeepers. Receptionists and secretaries screen calls, emails get ignored, mailings get thrown out. The attorney has a lot of gatekeepers.
To be able to meet one—or many attorneys—saves you a lot of time and money. Trade shows give you that opportunity. You can reach seven times more prospects at a trade show than you can through any other type of marketing, except by making calls at law firms. You’ll have to hit a lot of law firms in an extended period of time to equal the number of people that you can meet at one show.
The quality of the leads at a trade show is also far better than the quality of leads that you can reach through other means. The leads that you’ll make at a trade show cost you less to close and are usually a much higher caliber of people.
Legal nurse consulting is a people business, and attorneys tend to respond much more positively to meeting a person and being able to ask, “How can you help me with this case?”
If you are friendly, personable, and professional, as you must be at a trade show, you will make an impression. The mailings and email newsletters you send that might otherwise get trashed will have an impact. The attorney will say, “Yes, I remember this LNC. We had a very informative conversation. She struck me as an excellent resource.”
You can improve the attorney’s memory by sending out your newsletter (print or email) personally with a note that refers to your meeting with him or her. One of my colleagues has her husband take photographs of her shaking hands with attorneys. She includes these photos in her mailing.
With a little bit of imagination and a willingness to put yourself out there into the trade show, you can find this to be one of your most profitable business investments.
Now that you’ve seen the benefits of trade show exhibiting, discover how you can go deeper into developing your skills by investing in a new ondemand course. Grab your seat here.