Where do your best new clients come from?
If you are like most of the lawyers I know, your best clients come from referrals. Any time someone says nice things about you and takes the time to make a personal introduction to a prospective client, the relationship is going to be off to a good start.
Do you receive as many referrals as you should?
Most lawyers would say “No.”
But most lawyers would insist that doing a good job and just “being a good lawyer” is enough to get you more referrals.
In fact, even the greatest lawyer in the world will not get his fair share of referrals if he does not make an effort to attract them.
Below are seven ways to get more referrals. How many of them are you currently using?
1). Give Clients Permission to Promote You: Many clients do not blatantly promote your services because they do not know that you want them to. Make sure you let your clients know that you welcome and appreciate their referrals. Explain to them how valuable a referral is to your business and help them learn to identify your ideal client.
2). Develop the Buddy System: Find another professional service provider (accountant, real estate broker, doctor, financial advisor) who shares a similar client base. Offer to connect your clients with those folks when they need their services.
The buddy system also works well among attorneys. You simply explain to your clients that they should call you for ANY legal need and you will help them find the right lawyer. This gives you the opportunity to refer clients to other lawyers in many different practice areas.
3). Target a Center of Influence: There are certain people in the community who have significant influence over others. Members of the clergy and business leaders in particular can influence many decisions. Wise attorneys reach out to these folks several times each year and make sure they stay “top of mind” with them.
4). Be a Leader: People gravitate toward leaders. In fact, people want to be given direction and they want to please a leader. Always take an active role in the leadership of any organization you join. This will not only raise your profile, it will also make you more attractive to referral sources.
5). Be an Expert. Offer educational information in any speech you give or article you write. Use any opportunity for public exposure to educate your community. This will help you attain expert status and it will make you more attractive to potential clients and referral sources.
6). Give to Others and Be Seen Giving: If you give your time, money and/or energy to others you will receive more referrals. People want to work with people they know, like and trust and it is hard not to like a charitable person. Be a giver and be seen giving.
7). Show Appreciation: The best way to get more referrals is to show your appreciation to others when they pass a referral to you. This can be done as simply as sending a handwritten note or it can be done by sending the person an actual gift or gift card. (Check with your state’s lawyer regulation agency before implementing a gifting program). Showing your appreciation will not only reinforce the referral behavior it will also deepen your relationship with the referral source.
These are just seven of the dozens of ways you can increase the amount of referrals you receive. If you have not yet implemented some of these ideas I highly recommend you give them a try.