Airstream – Metaphor for marketing a law practice

Lesson learned: 

1.         People do business with people they like.

2.         Bonds are created among people with like interests.

3.         Loyalty develops from the bonds among people.

4.         Geography, in today’s era of high technology, is no longer a delimiting factor in relationships or in business.

5.         Client retention depends on loyalty, not just meeting expectations.

We went to our first Airstream Rally. A rally is the gathering Airstream owners and in this case we were particularly interested in the vintage Airstream trailers.  These are trailers that are 25 years and older.  Thus, our 1969 trailer qualified as vintage.

We decided to arrive the day before the rally was scheduled in order to give me an opportunity to back the trailer into its assigned space with few observers and certainly fewer obstacles.  It happened that we were the second trailer to arrive.  The driver of the first trailer to arrive was having some difficulty parking his trailer as the space was very narrow.  Fortunately for me, he was an experienced driver and when he finished, he came over to me and helped me finish the parking of my trailer. We both then commiserated over the difficulties.

Instantly, there was a bond created between us. Later, I found out that he was semi-retired and a consultant in his area of expertise, auto and airplane valuation, who acted as an expert witness, among other things.

Other folks then started to arrive and our group grew. The rally was the idea of two separate Airstream clubs. And it was fascinating to see how the social morays of the two groups differed. One was open and welcoming even to new folks. The other, an older group was more cliquish and closed. The second group wondered why its membership was declining and the first group was experiencing a growth curve of some significance.

As the 4 days passed, we found ourselves drawn to the “open” group making friends with others who, also, were open to new people. It occurred to me that this is the way friendships (bonds between people) are created … and this is how new business develops.

At the conclusion of the event, my wife decided that we needed to join the “open” group even though we were members of the other group as a consequence of geography. And with a trailer, traveling from one event to another is not a major factor. We had found a group of folks with whom we resonated and we wanted to join them at other events in the future.

And, perhaps, we’ll even move toward my vision of traveling in the trailer across the United States, stopping in communities along the way to present seminars and Coaching Summits to help lawyers improve effectiveness with clients, enhance efficiency and thereby increase lawyer’s profits.

Stay tuned for calendar information for 2008!


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