So many legal nurse consultants dread marketing. When I taught a program about marketing for the New Jersey Chapter of the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants last month, some of the LNCs present groaned when they talked about how they disliked marketing. They did not see themselves as LNC problem solvers.
Far too many LNC businesses have gotten derailed early on because of that dread. Yet a simple change in mindset can instead reduce marketing fears.
Who Are You Thinking About?
When you worry about making that cold call or exhibiting at a conference, you’re thinking only about yourself. You’re fearing your inexperience will show, that an attorney will ask you a question you can’t answer or you’ll make a mistake that will ruin your future.
Who aren’t you thinking about? Your potential client. In your frightened mind, that person has emerged as the adversary. Of course, you don’t want to approach him or her. You would only be inviting disaster.
This attitude doesn’t make a recipe for success.
Think About the Client
In general, we lose a lot of our fears and problems when we stop thinking about ourselves. Imagine, for example, that your child is having trouble in school. One reaction would be to ask yourself, “Why is this kid making my life difficult?” Another is, “How can I help her?” Which will solve the problem?
Ask yourself: “How can I help the client?”
No formula exists to answer this question. Each client has unique needs, and these may differ from case to case. If you want to help the attorney, you need to be alert and aware of how your special training, skills, and orientation as an LNC give you the ability to offer this expertise to him or her.
You are an LNC problem solver for the attorney. The attorney’s problem includes, for example, needing to know what is in that pile of medical records and not having the time or expertise to wade through them. The attorney has problems you can solve.
How can you identify the attorney’s problems? This means you need to think like an attorney.
Imagine yourself sitting in your attorney office every day. What do you struggle with? Are you worried about electronic medical records that you cannot make heads or tails out of because you’re not used to seeing them in that format? Do you feel clueless in terms of finding a needed expert? Are you having trouble understanding a particular medical condition?
A Case History
An LNC colleague recounted an example of a way in which she demonstrated her value to an attorney. She had developed her expertise in the area of life care planning and had gotten approved through the state’s bar association to present a one-hour continuing legal education (CLE) seminar. She used it as a forum to showcase the useful knowledge she could lend to such cases.
As a result, an attorney approached her and asked if she would have time to go to his office. She did, of course.
He told her about a case involving a car accident in which an African-American woman had been involved. The car had flipped over, her face had hit the asphalt, and she had a lot of keloid scarring. He inquired as what the LNC would do if involved in the case.
She brought her expertise as a life care planner to her response, saying that the woman would need makeup, plastic surgery, and other treatments because of her condition.
The attorney had given consideration to the psychological impact of the injuries, but he had primarily focused on immediate medical needs rather than considering long-term requirements. In addition, he had no knowledge that special makeup existed for facial scarring.
A Win-Win-Win for the LNC Problem Solver
This LNC did an outstanding job of selling her skills while providing an invaluable service to her potential client. Rather than describe it as a double win, I added an extra “win” because the lawyer’s client also realized huge benefits. Rather than having to go through life with unsightly scars, she could take advantage of cosmetics and plastic surgery—thanks to her attorney’s discussion with the LNC.
People become nurses because they want to help others. By keeping that intention in mind, you can translate it to reaching out to attorneys and being an LNC problem solver.
Pat Iyer is president of The Pat Iyer Group, which develops resources to assist LNCs obtain more clients, make more money and achieve their business goals and dreams.
Her related websites include the LNC business coaching services offered through LNCAcademy.com, the continuing education provided on LNCEU.com, the podcasts offered at podcast.legalnursebusiness.com, and writing tips supplied at patiyer.com.
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