Every day at our Chicago CLNC® Certification Seminar, the housekeeper left a handwritten thank-you note on my pillow. With that little note, she received a pay raise. The money I was leaving for a tip doubled after that second note. Her simple act of gratitude for a small gratuity led to a larger gratuity.
Sometimes silence really is golden. Any negotiating coach will tell you that in a situation where one party to a negotiation makes an offer or statement and a period of silence sets in, the first party to talk or break that silence loses the point. Silence can be uncomfortable when you are talking to attorneys about your legal nurse consulting services, so how do you pull that off?
Two nights ago, Tom and I had dinner in a fairly chi-chi restaurant here in Chicago. It’s known for celebrity sightings, great food and décor. Tom and I tend to eat fairly early (I’m up at 4:00am and usually have two meals before most people eat lunch). We’re not so early that we get caught in the walker stampede as the 2-for-1 early birds make their exits, but we do sometimes bump into the last of the hobbling stragglers.
I recently got together with one of my oldest attorney-clients over some fried oysters and seafood gumbo. Now I’m not talking about his age, but about how long we’ve worked together. He was my first attorney-client when I started my legal nurse consulting business.
I doubt any of us, as CLNC consultants, ever forget our first case. Mine is most memorable for several different reasons. I learned so much, some of it the hard way. I had earned my CLNC Certification a few months earlier and used Vickie’s advice regarding marketing myself by mailing out my resume with my qualifications and a cover letter, then followed up with a phone call. One attorney had a case on his desk, which had been referred to him by another attorney. The case involved a potential client who lived out of state. The attorney drove approximately six hours one way to interview the potential client and his wife. He felt there was probable merit to the case but he needed someone to review the records. He had filed the proper notices to all the possible defendants of a medical malpractice lawsuit.
I live in what could almost be described as a pastoral setting. Although I live in Houston, the fourth largest city in the U.S., I actually live in a city within the city of Houston. It’s a small neighborhood with its own fire and police departments. On Saturday mornings, you can watch the hunky firemen wash and wax the fire trucks. We’ve got a couple of little league and soccer fields and when the weather’s nice the morning air is filled with the sounds of sprinklers and the evenings are filled with the sounds of children having fun and engaging in organized chaos.
I’m still celebrating my birthday thanks to Tom. And the celebration includes lots of great wine.
Ever since my director of education stopped us from serving wine at our breaks at the CLNC Certification Seminars (darn), Tom and I have looked for every opportunity to go wine tasting and usually get that chance around the New Year’s holiday.
I was hired by an attorney to locate a testifying expert. When I sent the contract to the attorney to sign, he sent it back requesting that I put the plaintiff’s name in the contract instead of his. I learned in the CLNC® Certification Program that the contract is always between the law firm and me and that is how I have always done it. Should I consider his request or stick with the way I was taught?
“Certified Legal Nurse Consulting Is Recession Proof. I’m Busier Than Ever!” – An Interview with Dale Barnes – Part 2
Obstacles have to be overcome in every economy. What obstacles are you facing now?
Dale: Vickie, my biggest obstacle is time. Particularly trying to squeeze in time to continue marketing every month. I’ve been a CLNC® consultant for 9½ years, so I don’t have to market at the same level I did in the beginning, but I know that being busy is no justification for not marketing. You taught me to always keep marketing to assure the phone is ringing.
I just got home from the Great Christmas Migration of 2008. Tom and I are bicoastal. His family is in Pennsylvania and mine is in San Diego. Both demand our presence (and presents) at Christmas. This gives us plenty of chances to enjoy the fun of air travel and to meet interesting and helpful people along the way. This year instead of emulating the executives from the auto industry we decided to forgo taking the VMI company jet (Southwest, in our case), and instead flew our various journeys on the same mainstream airline.