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June 14, 2004

Five by Five - Kirsten Osolind

First up in the Five by Five this week is Kirsten Osolind, the CEO and "Kinda Cool Chick" of re:invention, inc. re:invention offers marketing services for women-led businesses. Kirsten writes the re:invention blog, "a fun, flippant BLOG with points of interest about women & small business."

Now, for Kirsten's amazing answers to my first Five by Five questions:

What are the five worst mistakes a lawyer can make when marketing to a potential female client?

1. During your first encounter, suggest your inspiration and role model is Arnie on ”L.A. Law” or Reese Witherspooon in “Legally Blonde.”
2. Don’t bother sharing the possible adverse consequences if her case is lost.
3. Be “time stingy” and only allocate 5 minutes for her initial consultation (time IS afterall, money).
4. Forget to market to her in her world (i.e., don’t attend women’s events or write columns for women’s publications). Avoid all “gals only” networking events and media because they make you squeamish. Eeew!
5. Be openly inflexible about your billing or refuse to return any unused portion of her retainer (i.e., Be like Daffy Duck. “It’s mine! Mine! All mine!”)
Alternatively, what are the five best things a lawyer can do to secure a female's LONG-TERM business?
1. Identify a problem, suggest a solution, and show her examples of how it will work.
2. Promise to work hard for her, even if you can’t promise or guarantee you will win.
3. Make her feel comfortable during her first appointment and reserve plenty of time to discuss the details of her case.
4. Be a good teacher and take the time to educate her about the legal environment of her business. She’ll know you have her best interests at heart.
5. Explain your fee arrangements (no hidden fees) and give her a “freebie” every now and then. Heck yes I said a freebie. A freebie every now and again will keep her coming back for more.


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Just one other note, in retrospect. re:invention's attorney -- Angela Washelesky of
Chicago's Sachnoff & Weaver -- "gets it." Angela is an example of an attorney who knows how to build a relationship with women small business clients. We couldn't get by without her! Shh...keep this one a secret (we need her dedicated to re:invention!)

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