I am sure you have you been inundated with news about the healthcare debate. If you turn on your television or radio or pick up a newspaper or magazine it would be hard to miss reporting of what is in the various House bills, questions on how the efforts will affect senior citizens and the now very interesting town hall meetings.
I believe lawyers can learn from the healthcare debate. In his book “All Marketers Are Liars,” Seth Godin states: “Most marketing fails.” He then explains that marketing that works goes through five steps. “Step 1: Their Worldview and Frames Got There Before You Did.”
In his discussion of worldview, Godin says: “Their worldview is the lens they use to determine whether or not they’re going to believe a story.” He also states: “a frame…is a way you hang a story on a consumer’s existing worldview.” Finally in that section, Godin says: “Don’t try to change someone’s worldview is a strategy smart marketers follow.”
The world view of healthcare held by most Americans is shaping the debate. A few weeks ago it seemed that some politicians were trying to change that worldview. That approach was not working because a very high percentage of Americans appreciate their doctors and are generally satisfied with their healthcare. Very few, if any, Americans believe their doctors make decisions based on how much they will be paid. In addition, most senior citizens do not want their chances to receive healthcare diminished because of their age.
In response to these concerns in the last week or so politicians have quit calling their proposal “health care reform” and are now calling it “health insurance reform.” This is an attempt to persuade based on what they perceive to be the worldview. The media has picked up on the subtle word change.
Your clients have their own worldview, including their view of lawyers. Their worldview impacts the way they interpret what you say and do. As you can tell from the healthcare debate, you are not likely to change the worldview of your clients.
Your clients will also be able to tell if you are trying to manipulate them. Your goal should be to sincerely get to know your clients so well that you are able to figure out their worldview and figure out how they will interpret what you say and do. This exercise will help you figure out ways to become more valuable for your clients.