How to Market and Grow Your Expert Witness Practice: With Personal Attention
November 8-9, 2012
The Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club, Naples, FL
Executive Summary: This is the nation’s most advanced program on expert witness business development. At the conclusion of this small group, limited attendance program, each attendee will leave with a personalized action plan containing numerous concrete, cost-effective action steps to further develop their expert witness practice. Each attendee will also receive individualized written feedback from the faculty regarding their niches, retention agreement, past and current marketing activities, case histories, communication and response policies, testimonial history, billing practices, expert witness web page, a print or online ad or listing, letterhead/business card, and their curriculum vitae. This program is only offered once per year.
Pre-work: Each attendee will be asked to submit for review and written critique the following:
• Detailed Attendee Questionnaire – past clients, forensic case history, areas of expertise, niches, fees, retention agreement, past and current marketing efforts, communication and response policies, qualifications, testimonial history, billing practices, and client valuation.
• Expert Witness Web Page.
• The copy from your online or print ads/listings.
• Fee Schedule/Agreement.
• Business Card.
What you will learn: • How to identify and position yourself in a lucrative niche. • Easy ways to make yourself more attractive to potential clients. • What you can and should do to maximize repeat and word of mouth referrals. • The unique dynamics of marketing an expert witness practice. • Bulls Eye expert witness marketing – how to target the subset of attorneys most likely to hire you. • How to avoid backlashes from inappropriate business development activities. • How to build a platinum brand for your services. • Where and how to speak and write to generate cases. • The best and worst places to advertise and how to draft an ad most likely to produce results. • The pros and cons of expert witness brokers and referral agencies. • How to draft your personalized action plan which you will leave the training session with. • Advanced, but easily implementable networking techniques to develop your expert witness business. • How to properly track your referrals and how to properly value a new client. • Much, much more.
DAY ONE: Thursday, November 8, 2012
7:30–8:00 REGISTRATION & CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST
8:00–8:30 The Six Guiding Principles of Expert Witness Business Development Faculty will discuss and explain the six guiding principles of expert witness marketing: the art of business development is an art – why there is no magic formula that will work for everyone and what to do about it, how to experiment with various techniques, how to better track your results, be patient and persistent, and modifications that work. Questions & Answers.
8:30–9:00 Understanding How Much Each New Client is Worth No marketing technique can be properly evaluated until an expert understands how to calculate how much each new client is worth. In this segment the faculty will explain the numerous factors that must be accounted for in order to determine the true value of a new client. Questions & Answers.
9:00–10:00 The Special Dynamics of Marketing an Expert Witness Practice Marketing an expert witness practice presents unique challenges. In this segment the faculty will discuss the three principles of marketing and how to account for and minimize a potential backlash from poorly conceived or worded marketing materials. Questions & Answers.
10:00–10:15 BREAK AND NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY
10:15–11:15 The 24/7/365 Approach to Expert Witness Business Development A critical concept of expert witness business development is that everything an expert or his staff does can influence how much work the expert is able to obtain. The faculty will detail best practices that will help increase any expert’s case referrals, including telephone intake procedures, gatekeeper assignment, training and protocol, client and lead communication protocol, contact information availability and dissemination, how to excel during the first call from a prospective client, making yourself and your CV as attractive as possible, rate setting, engagement terms, and billing procedures. Examples from the attendees will be critiqued, analyzed, and discussed. Questions & Answers.
11:15–12:00 Best Practices in Evaluating and Tracking Business Development Efforts Any proper evaluation of a business development strategy must accurately account for the direct and indirect revenue generated by the strategy as well as the out of pocket and hidden costs associated with the strategy. In this segment the faculty will explain how to properly account for cost and revenue from an expert witness marketing strategy. Also discussed and explained will be specific methodologies for tracking the success of your business development techniques. Questions & Answers.
12:00–12:45 LUNCH PROVIDED WITH FACULTY
12:45–1:45 Positioning Yourself in the Best Possible Light Expert witnesses who are more attractive to potential clients will get more business. In this segment the faculty will explain how to make yourself as attractive as possible to potential clients. Specifically, the faculty will explain in detail how to project a positive and professional image (and the biggest mistakes experts make in this area), how case selection influences your image, which cases/law firms to seek out and which cases/law firms to avoid, demonstrably effective communication skills, filling in gaps and building your CV, keeping a low profile, and gaining the hands-on and relevant testifying experience that attorneys want to see. Questions & Answers.
1:45–2:45 Maximizing Repeat and Word of Mouth Business: Evidence Based Best Practices By far the most valuable and cost effective business development technique for expert witnesses is generating positive word of mouth. In this section the faculty will discuss the results of their proprietary research about action steps to take and what specifically will make attorneys want to hire an expert again or recommend that expert to a colleague, including: accessibility, exceeding expectations (and how to do this), communication skills, credibility, meeting deadlines, cross-examination performance, a personality that is likeable, fees and billings, work ethic, preparation, strength of opinions, and effectiveness on the witness stand. Questions & Answers.
2:45–3:00 BREAK AND NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY
3:00–4:00 Finding your Niche One of the most common and serious business development mistakes expert witnesses make is holding oneself out as an expert in numerous and broad areas. This is usually done to maximize potential business, but almost always has the opposite result. In this section the faculty will detail the substantial advantages which can flow from positioning yourself in the best narrow and lucrative niche including branding, vastly more efficient target marketing, decreased competition, increased subject matter knowledge, and making yourself far more attractive to potential clients. Questions & Answers.
4:00–5:00 Identifying your Target Market Business development can be greatly facilitated when an expert witness is able to identify and reach the precise subset of lawyers most likely to hire that expert. In this section the faculty will explain the benefits of finely targeted lead identification and will provide specific strategies for doing so including bar association membership and practice sub groups, online directories, CLE attendees and faculty, stand alone bar associations, networking, and leveraging your research. The faculty will use volunteer attendees as examples and discuss and explain how these volunteers can identify and reach their target market. Questions & Answers.
DAY TWO: Friday, November 9, 2012
6:30–7:00 CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST
7:00–8:00 How and Where to Advertise: Evidence Based Best Practices Many experts shy away from advertising. Most shouldn’t. Research and evidence suggests both that advertising can be remarkably cost effective and that, for most experts, there is little if any backlash from tasteful, factual ads. In this section the faculty will discuss and explain SEAK’s detailed research on expert witness advertising including the best and worst-rated places to advertise. The faculty will also specifically explain what should and should not be in expert witness advertisements, how specifically to maximize the effectiveness of your ads, and how and where to test advertising. Exercise: Example ads from the attendees will be critiqued, analyzed, and discussed. Questions & Answers.
8:00–9:00 Advanced Networking Techniques Networking has consistently been shown to be one of the most cost effective methods for developing an expert’s practice. In this segment the faculty will explain six specific techniques for staying in front of clients and how specifically to implement each. The faculty will further describe methods for networking with one’s colleagues and how this can lead to case referrals. Also covered will be which professional organizations to join, how to leverage your personal relationships, why you should serve as a mentor, which conferences you should attend, and how to use online networking through LinkedIn to boost your expert witness practice. Exercise: The faculty will lead an interactive discussion utilizing volunteer attendees on what action steps these attendees should implement to improve their networking. Questions & Answers.
9:00–9:15 BREAK AND NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY
9:15–10:00 Speaking Speaking can be very good for business. In this segment the faculty will explain the subtle nuances that need to be navigated to get the most out of one’s speaking engagement. The faculty will explain where to talk, how to get invited, when the best time to talk is, and how to get invited back. The benefits and drawbacks of each category of venues will be candidly described. The faculty will also describe how to calculate the true cost of your speaking engagements. In addition, the faculty will offer advice on risk management so that the expert’s presentation does not come back to haunt the expert. Exercise: The faculty will lead an interactive discussion utilizing volunteer attendees on what action steps these attendees should implement to obtain helpful speaking opportunities. Questions & Answers.
10:00–10:45 Writing Publishing can also be quite helpful to an expert’s practice development. In this segment the faculty will explain how to choose the correct topic to write on, the various types of writing that experts can do (white papers, articles, peer review articles, books, etc.), how to calculate the cost of writing, risk management considerations influencing your title, content, and where to publish. Exercise: The faculty will lead an interactive discussion utilizing volunteer attendees on what action steps these attendees should implement to utilize writing to promote their expert witness practices. Questions & Answers.
10:45–11:00 BREAK AND NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY
11:00–12:00 Your Expert Witness Web Site Some experts have found having a dedicated website to be helpful to business development. Others have not. In this section the faculty will discuss their research as to how trial attorneys view expert web sites and give candid advice as to whether experts should develop one. The faculty will explain low and no cost ways to develop and optimize a web presence without creating a web site from scratch. The faculty will also explain the most common ways to create your web site and how experts should and should not optimize these. Also discussed will be what should and should not be on an expert’s web site. Exercise: The faculty will lead an interactive discussion utilizing volunteer attendees on what action steps these attendees should implement regarding a web presence to support practice development. Questions & Answers.
12:00–12:45 Lunch With Faculty Provided
12:45–1:15 Expert Witness Brokers and Referral Services: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Numerous third party “matchmakers” such as brokers and referral services can be utilized to facilitate case referrals. The faculty will provide a frank description of the results of their research on how satisfied other experts have been with these services. Included will be a discussion of which services are most highly rated by your colleagues and what experts should know before deciding whether to work with matchmakers including, experiences of your colleagues, contracting, common issues, the types of cases you are likely to get, fee collection, tire kickers, restrictive covenants and other issues. Questions & Answers.
1:15–2:15 Personalized Marketing Plans Attendees will work with faculty to pull together a personalized marketing plan to greatly expand their practices. Questions & Answers.
2:15–2:30 Conclusion The faculty will answer any final questions.
Registration Information: Tuition is $1,295 and includes two days of unique and practical instruction, individualized feedback, a detailed printed course manual not available anywhere else, and continental breakfast and lunch with faculty each day.
Continuing Education Information: There are no continuing education credits available for this program.
Faculty: Steven Babitsky, Esq., is the President of SEAK, Inc. Mr. Babitsky trains hundreds of experts every year through SEAK’s scheduled programs for expert witnesses, invited presentations, and customized expert witness training programs presented to corporations, associations, and governmental agencies. He also serves as a one-on-one consultant to expert witnesses who desire to improve their expert witness practices. He is the creator and co-seminar leader for the Annual National Expert Witness Conference and numerous one and two day training seminars. Attorney Babitsky is the co-author of numerous texts including How to Market Your Expert Witness Practice: Evidence-Based Best Practices, The A-Z Guide to Expert Witnessing, How to Become a Dangerous Expert Witness, Writing and Defending Your Expert Report and Never Lose Again: Become a Top Negotiator by Asking the Right Questions.
LOCATION/HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS: A limited block of rooms will be available at special rates at the site hotel, The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club. ($189 Resort View/$219 Gulf View). To make your reservations please call 1-800-237-7600 and mention that you are with SEAK, Inc. or click here. These rates are available for a limited time and on a limited number of rooms and expire on October 12, 2012, so you are strongly encouraged to make your reservations as soon as possible. Most major domestic carriers and several international airlines provide frequent service into Southwest Florida International Airport, just 40 minutes from the resort. Naples is located approximately 100 miles west of Miami and Ft. Lauderdale and 150 miles south of Tampa and is easily reached by automobile.
SPECIAL EARLY REGISTRATION BONUS: All persons registering prior to September 15, 2012 will receive a complimentary copy of SEAK’s National Guide to Expert Witness Fees and Billing Procedures (a $135 value).
CANCELLATIONS: Conference cancellations received in writing prior to October 15, 2012 will receive a full refund.