Thursday, September 14, 2006

Mediation is NOT confidential

Unless I'm mistaken, the act of participating in mediation is not confidential, even though the discussions held within the mediation are generally confidential. That fact gives us mediators a great tool to educate our markets-- testimonials.

Most mediator websites I've seen are 'brochureware'. They state the offerings of the mediator and his or her credentials and some generic thoughts about why mediation is good. It's nice but not compelling.

What is compelling to you, me and mostly everyone else, is the recommendations of others. Our websites should prominently feature our disputants comments (if they are willing) about the benefits of a) the using that particular mediator and b) the benefits of mediation as a top choice for finding solutions. Now, that's attractive and compelling.

Think about it. How often do you ask diners leaving a restaurant if they enjoyed their meal before you go in? You probably see movies that are recommended to you, right? Didn't you wait to get Netflix until someone else you knew had it and liked it? Give potential clients the benefit of a third-party recommendation like a testimonial to aid their decision-making.

How? Figure out a way to ask disputants what working with you was like for them. Then ask if you can use their comments in your marketing materials.

Sure, it'll feel awkward at first, but remember, you're educating people and there's nothing wrong with that.

Try. Fail. Learn. Grow!



At 1:45 PM, Blogger Kristina Haymes said...

great advice Dina. I've seen some mediator websites in the LA area that do this... I've been working on collecting testimonials.

I have found that if you do it at the end of the session in connection with a feedback form, they are relatively easy to collect.

You can also offer them a free article or something in appreciation for their time. I've done this with great success.

Keep up the good work.
Kristina Haymes

At 2:46 PM, Anonymous Paula Lawhon said...

Great idea to ask for feedback as a matter of practice. I also like the idea of providing a standard feedback form which lets participants know their comments may be used in educational and marketing materials - without attribution to the participants to maintain their privacy. I am working on my form now! Thanks!!
Paula M. Lawhon


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