A Lesson From Warren Buffett on Marketing A Law Firm

Gyi Tsakalakis
September 24, 2010

warren-buffett.jpgMy business partner always likes to say that sometimes people have to "touch the stove" in order to learn.  For those who haven't heard the expression, what he means is that you can tell a person a stove is hot and not to touch it.  Some might heed the warning and stay away.  However, a lot of people need to touch the stove and burn their hand in order to make the connection.  In other words, they have to experience the outcome of their actions in order to change their behavior.  

I recently watched a documentary on Warren Buffett.  In one of the segments, his children tell a story about their household growing up.  It's a great example of teaching through experience.  The story resonated for me because in order to effectively market a law firm, you're going to have to get comfortable "touching the stove".

Warren Buffett Sets Up A Slot Machine

When Warren's kids were younger, he setup a brand-new, slot machine in one of the upstairs bedrooms.  He said nothing about it and didn't make its presence any sort of big deal.  Each week, the Buffett kids would get an allowance.  Inevitably, the kids would play the slot machine through the week and lose their money (which would find it's way back to the slot machine owner, Mr. Buffett).

Overtime, they came to realize the value of their allowance and the pitfalls of gambling.  It is a fascinating way to teach a lesson, through experience, while the children were still too young to go to an actual casino.

How This Relates To Your Law Firm Marketing

Finding the right marketing plan requires trial and error.  Since the strategy that works for one firm is not necessarily the right strategy for another, it takes some experience to find out the programs and outlets that will best fit for you.  In order to successfully achieve this, you're going to have to touch the stove to see what works.  It isn't fun to try a marketing avenue and find that it isn't successful.  However, doing nothing or simply following the pack for fear of failure won't allow you to learn from your marketing experiences.

Others will be able to offer advice, guidance, and share past experiences but nothing comes close to learning by getting your hands dirty.

Gyi Tsakalakis
Co-Founder of AttorneySync
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