For many years, we have urged lawyers to base their marketing communications and sales investigations on a Demand Trigger or Door-Opener, which we define as the underlying business problem or condition that begins a reliable causal chain that culminates in demand for service from someone like you.

For a Door-Opener to resonate, though, it cannot be intellectual or abstract. It must be tangible, immediate and personal.

For example, a medical malpractice litigator would get little value out of a demand trigger expressed as “overworked nurses.” Intellectually, most hospital executives recognize that it’s not a good thing to overwork nurses, but it’s too vague for our demand-driving purpose. Those executives would have to fill in important gaps in your logic to experience discomfort.

A more useful driver would be “when more than 20% of a hospital’s nursing positions are vacant.” If this measurable condition exists, nurses must work longer shifts for more consecutive days. Unless this hospital has somehow managed to hire superhuman nurses, over time the nurses’ cumulative physical and mental fatigue virtually guarantees that some will make mistakes, a percentage of which will result in allegations of material harm to patients. A percentage of those will result in medical malpractice claims. It’s a certainty.

Let’s look at the Door-Opener: “More than 20% of a hospital’s nursing positions are vacant.”  The 20% makes it tangible by providing a specific, measurable threshold. The immediacy comes from hospital executives living with the problem daily. It’s personal because these executives are likely co-defendants with their hospital in any med-mal suit.

So, take this TIP to heart and craft a Door-Opener that actually drives demand.

Mike O’Horo

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