As an RN, you come from an industry that shows scant respect for all you know and all you do. It’s a fact that consumers believe doctors make the big decisions. As a result, it’s doctors who get most of the credit. But you and I know that it is the nurse who has more patient interaction and invariably knows more about what’s really going on with the patient. And it pays substantially to convince attorneys of this fact.
You have undoubtedly racked up years of experiential knowledge. That storehouse and your professional training are your “estate,” as Ben Franklin noted. Before you can effectively promote yourself as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant, you must internalize how valuable you really are, and articulate that value as a USP (unique selling position).
“As nurses we often underestimate our abilities, especially if we’re doing something new, like legal nurse consulting. Don’t underestimate your abilities as I did. With your nursing training and experience, coupled with Vickie’s knowledge, guidance and educational materials, believe me, you will succeed.”
− Lawrence H. Frace, RN, CLNC
First, do the following:
- List every area in which you have ever worked as an RN, your accomplishments and the experiences you gained.
- List every job you’ve held outside of nursing and note what that job taught you.
- List your education in all nursing and non-nursing subjects.
- List situations you recall in which your skills, nursing or otherwise, made a positive difference in the outcome.
- List any accomplishments outside of nursing that might benefit your career.
- List situations in which you’ve had a chance to speak and write effectively, to meet people, and to broaden your social skills.
Once you’ve completed the list, review it and internalize the information until you see a pattern, a unique way of looking at all you can do for attorneys as a legal nurse consultant. Positioning the services you offer in the minds of attorney-prospects is essential to your success. For example, if you have management experience, you’re an expert who understands the way hospitals run and you are an expert on all of the inner workings of those behemoth institutions. But the attorney might not automatically understand this unique knowledge you bring to the table.
Additionally, when developing your USP you will want to distinguish yourself from other nurses with management experience. For example, maybe you work in a university hospital in a major medical center, which is quite different from a manager who works in a private suburban hospital. You will want to address the difference in your USP statement.
Positioning is critical because only when you thoroughly understand how you differ from other CLNC® consultants, and the positive benefit of that difference for attorneys, can you create a perception and image of value in the attorneys’ minds. Positioning makes the attorney see the “match” between your CLNC® services and his needs.
By defining and positioning your expertise as precisely as possible, you can more readily see − and communicate − your value to targeted attorneys. You can then develop tactics for attracting precisely the attorney-clients who need you most.
With all this in mind, scoop up the list you brainstormed earlier. Scan it quickly and highlight two or three descriptions that cut close to the heart of what you can do for attorneys. Flesh them out.
Now craft a sentence that defines you as uniquely and positively different from your CLNC® peers. You might hit on it immediately, or it might take a few days, but keep at it. This is your positioning statement, also known as your USP.
Remember: it’s about differentiation.Your USP communicates the specific reason targeted attorneys should do business with you instead of someone else.
I’m just sayin’
P.S. Comment and share your USP with your CLNC® colleagues.