Madoff/Tom Girardi in LA

NeuwirthLawFor Lawyers, In the News

I am always amazed at how some of the most notorious white collar thieves went astray. Girardi negotiated a $53-million settlement in 2013 for a young burn victim named Ruigomez, but told his parents the agreed amount was only about $7.2 million, according to the indictment.  Bernie Madoff stole billions of dollars running a non-existent trading operation.

Both of these men were highly skilled marketers and salespeople. Why they went astray is hard to fathom, but that is not my focus here. Rather, each of these guys was able to convince people, some educated and some not, to trust them on a scale rarely seen. Madoff did so by convincing people that it was a unique secretive privilege to be a client of his. Girardi preyed on the less educated accepting his word without question.  In another context, both men would have been super successful as large parts of the business world are dependent upon truly great marketers and salespeople.

If you were trying to market a successful business or conduct networking for a law firm, it might be worth it to spend a moment to study what these two were doing before things went awry. Having looked at both their stories, it is apparent that unlike many of us who are working lawyers, meaning working at our lawyer jobs, both of these men were 100% all in on marketing themselves or their operations.

Both were exquisitely focused on exactly who their best sources of revenue were and how to keep that revenue running. At some point, the machine runs on its own, but if you are running a huge ponzi scheme, it seems you better be out beating the bushes all the time for business. And so, that seems to be the takeaway from the thief marketing playbook. Better be closing all the time. Always. And, all the time.