Wednesday, May 31, 2006

White After Memorial Day

Continuing on our summer theme, I'm thinking of White Papers! A white paper is simply a position piece that is an excellent way to generate leads. You, or your professional writer, create an article that highlights either your expertise or something critical to your target market, then you place it on your website, or direct mail it to prospects.

I'm writing some white papers this summer, and encourage you to do so, too. You can learn more about white papers at these terrific resources:

Stelzner Consulting White Paper on White Papers

White papers are excellent lead generators, especially in the B2B marketplace. As a result, it seems like just about everybody offers one, which means yours has to be really good to get results. At this site you can explore the art and strategy of creating an effective white paper according to Michael Stelzner, a copy writing specialist, who also happens to be the Editor of the WhitePaperSource Newsletter, which focuses on white paper marketing information. Study carefully, because the white paper that he presents has been crafted with a very specific process in place that you should emulate as well, in addition to reading the worthwhile content.


This site is a one-stop resource for everything you ever wanted to know about white papers. Visit the Writing section for articles on how to pick the perfect title, conduct an interview, create a technical brief, or dozens of other tasks. In the Marketing category you can explore various white paper distribution services and buyers guide aggregators, read interviews with key personnel from companies like KnowledgeStorm or TechTarget, or explore the growing world of PPC (Pay Per Click) white paper syndication and advertising services. There's a news section, an email newsletter, and a forum devoted exclusively to the discussion of using white papers as sales lead generators. Bookmark this one.

These leads come from Larry Chase of Web Digest for Marketers. (That's you. You're a marketer). Subscribe to his weekly email newsletter if you don't already. He's one of my secret weapons because he always has great tools like the two mentioned here.

And, don't be fooled. You can "do" white papers anytime of year.

Try. Fail. Learn. Grow.


Friday, May 26, 2006

Summertime Pursuits

Ah, summertime. Those lazy days filled with sunshine and easy-living are wonderful. Those days also provide you, my dear entrepreneur, with an
excellent opportunity to prepare for fourth quarter. You know, September through early November, the time when business people are both excited to start new projects then totally consumed with planning for next year.

If, like me, you court the business sector, summer is a great time to do a couple of important things:

1) Schedule "introductory" meetings with those in your field. One of the best referral sources is your own colleagues. Reach out and talk to somebody. You don't have to sell a thing. In fact, it's really best if the meeting is simply to get to know each other.

2) Set up meetings with desired clients in your target market. People will have time over the summer for a 30 minute meeting. Again, you're not selling. You're learning what challenges your client faces in the next six months, or why they haven't used conflict management services before. Just remember, don't contact more companies than you can comfortably keep in touch with for the next six months or longer.

3) Do market research. Take your laptop out for a walk. Sit in a park and use Hoovers to find out all the good stuff on your target market. It's important to know who's a leader in the field; what the next 12 months hold; who are competitors. And, Hoover's, the one stop B2B resource, can help with all of that (for a fee, of course).

Set a goal. How about four companies over the entire summer? And, do it. Right now, I'm researching listservs and other online discussion groups for ADR folks. If you belong to one of those, I'd love to hear about it. Drop me a note.

Try. Fail. Learn. Grow.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Taxman Cometh

Yes, April 15th has passed, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be thinking ahead.

Taxes are unavoidable, people. The best way to have a successful business is to keep more money in your pocket instead of Uncle Sam's. Here are two resources to help you do that:

1. File It I highly recommend "File It" (the calendar that becomes a folder) for collecting those pesky monthly receipts for parking or business lunches all in one place. At $14.00 it's a steal!

2. Eva Rosenberg must know her stuff because Entrepreneur Magazine rated her book, "Small Business Taxes Made Easy", one of it's best for 2005.

Protect your assets!

Try. Fail. Learn. Grow.


Thursday, May 18, 2006

Check out Pink Magazine

Yes, I am a magazine addict. But in a good way. My best friend, Kat, once said that all I'd need to be happy on a desert island would be subscriptions to some of my favorite periodicals.

Anyway, I checked out Pink magazine and liked it. It's tagline is: finally a magazine for professional women! This magazine caters to women who are mature and rising in their careers. What's not to like about that?

Pink talks about women in non-traditional careers; brings insights to managing money; and talks about the "B" word: Balance.

Now, I know anecdotally that there are many, many women in the ADR field. My frustration is that our profession looks a like a pyramid with a few highly recognized, highly compensated men at the pinnacle with more or less recognized, not-as-well compensated, women making the foundation. (This is my opinion and may not bear any resemblance to reality, I know.)

Empowering women to make names as ADR professionals makes sense not only for the profession itself (we'll leave other diversity issues for another discussion) but for those who come after. Where are the female role models?

As I climb down off this big soapbox I'll leave you with five secrets of success from Cathie Black, who is featured on Pink's April/May cover. She turned Hearst Magazines, including Cosmo, Oprah, and Good Housekeeping, into the media powerhouse it is today.

Cathie says:

  1. Have fun

  2. Be Fearless

  3. Live Big

  4. Cherish Family and Friends

  5. Enjoy it All

Try. Fail. Learn. Grow.


Monday, May 15, 2006

May 15! Happy Anniversary Mediation Mensch!!

May 15, 2005 was the very first post of Mediation Mensch.

Today, this blog is one year old, which is ancient in Internet years and blog lifespans.

I hope this past year of sharing my business ups, downs, and opinions has served you well. I certainly learned a lot trolling through cyberspace for tools and strategies that would benefit all our businesses. I made some wonderful blogging buddies and definitely had my thinking expanded.

That's why I'm so eager to take the next step:


The last finishing touches are going on the site now. It's professional yet warm. It's packed with information yet easy to navigate. And, it's all the work of Gayatri Web Solutions who did a wonderful job on a tight budget.

Back to the anniversary, I'm the kinda gal who likes to celebrate for a week. So, I decided to celebrate the launch and our anniversary together.

For one week after launches
any call you register for during that week will be a special price of $19.

That's a great deal because Laser Calls are normally $39 and because you have over 20 different calls to choose from.

So stay tuned. The goes live soon! (If you don't want to miss out, join the annoucement list now.)

Try. Fail. Learn. Grow.

Business Mensch

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

You Get What You Pay For

It's a true enough statement. Just like free advice, services that are free are worth pretty much what you paid for them.

Case in point. I chose to use to do online registration for my Laser Calls. The service is essentially free because there's such a small charge for accepting payments. I signed up well over a year ago but only recently used the service. The customer service was great. My own personal sales rep was comforting and helpful. Almost too helpful.

Long story short, I had a problem each time I used the service. Some of the problems were easily fixable while others were serious and put my reputation in jeopardy. After the May 24 Laser Call (40 in 40: Amazing ADR Ideas) - I will not be an Acteva customer any longer.

I could go on but you get the point. Using free or inexpensive services are great when you're still in development mode. However, I think once you prove your concept, it's critical to find high quality, trustworthy vendors to work with. Otherwise, people will start to think "you get what you pay for" about you!

Try. Fail. Learn. Grow.


Friday, May 05, 2006

Who Makes a Good Mediator or Ombuds?

Recently I had the pleasure of presenting a program at the very first conference of the newly formed International Ombudsman Association.

My talk on being a Private Provider Ombuds was very well received by about 50 attendees (you can find the handouts on under the IOA button). That was gratifying, however, I was even more pleased to be part of such a welcoming, friendly community.

That got me thinking. Clearly, we aren't all friendly, warm and open. Thinking that way could lead to gross generalizations about what types of people can do peace work successfully. So, I thought I'd ask you:

What qualities should a good Ombuds (or mediator) possess to be effective in his or her role?

Things like patience, open-mindedness, flexibility, discretion and integrity come immediately to mind for me, and I could easily list more. What comes to mind for you?

I'm hoping my buddies in the ADR blogging community will share this question with their readers, too. Let's get a robust discussion going, shall we??

Try. Fail. Learn. Grow.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A Learning Community

On one of my jaunts across the Internet I came across a non-profit site called It's mission is to help foundations and non-profits build communities that share information.

Naava Frank, its founder, also pens Kehiliyot, a blog that offers wonderful quotations and learnings from the Torah. Her new posts reminded me that we are a learning community, too. One of my deepest intentions is that we will all prosper and do good in the world because of what we learn from each other.

I find her posts moving (I am a mensch, after all) and hope you'll find inspiration for bringing your brand of alternative dispute resolution to others.

Try. Fail. Learn. Grow.


P.S. If you've been putting off building a website, I've got good news. I've learned a ton recently about creating a great site for under $500. and plan to feature these learnings in an upcoming Laser Call. Meanwhile, is being built as we speak and will launch this May!! I'm too excited.