Convincing Clients to Mediate

In the 8th Fairly Legal episode Ultravinyl, Kate cannot convince her band member clients to mediate.  She knows that mediation is the best option (the other party is dying and doesn’t have time to go through a lawsuit). So what did she do to get the other party to the table? She convinced the other clients that mediation was not the only option, but the best option. That if they wanted to find the treasure they have been searching for, look on the map and come to the big X marked Mediation.

Here are a couple tips that we can learn from about how exactly she did this:

1) Make it simple: Kate approaches the unwilling client using short sentences with one clear option, “We just need you to come to mediation and sign this agreement.”

2) Make the options clear: Kate explains that they can try mediation or that this will probably result in a lawsuit.

3) Test assumptions: The unwilling clients said, “We just don’t want Paul in our lives anymore.” Kate responded, “I understand you don’t want that Paul. But you might like the new Paul?”

3) Intimidate: “You come to mediation or you face a lawsuit.” or “I won’t work with you if you don’t tell me the truth.”

4) Check-in with the willing clients: If the unwilling clients seem unreasonably stubborn, maybe they have a reason.  Kate checks in with her willing client and asks,” What’s going on? What aren’t you telling me?” If the willing client divulges prior relationship history that explains the unwilling client’s unwillingness, then this will help you know how to approach the situation.  It might even alert you that you should walk away.

4) When all else fails, listen.