|Most Legal Practices get reasonable numbers of referrals.
It’s often the main source of new business - providing more new clients than legal marketing campaigns.
Sign up to my newsletter
Referrals are a credible third party offering you free advertising. And those doing the referring are making a public statement about your value, something that makes them more loyal to you.
Up to 45% of service companies main source of new clients are refererrals.
But most companies do not have a system in place to generate more of the right kind of referred prospects.
Remember a system can be switched on and off light a light switch. It’s not the same as word of mouth advertising, over which you have limited control.
Who are your most profitable legal clients?
Would they refer more clients like themselves to you?
Do you ask them to give you referrals?
Do you make it clear that everyone that you work for is part of your “Referral scheme” and that you expect referrals?
Do you reward those people that refer business to you? With a letter, a gift, a commission?
Do you offer those that refer the opportunity to be heroes to their best clients?
Imagine if you wanted your best client to refer you to his best client. How would you do this?
How about a voucher for £1997 of legal fees redeemable over the next 12 months?
Your client signs it, hands it over to his client and says. “these legal guys have been great for me. They have saved me about fifty grand this year – check them out if you want to, because they have given me this special cheque to give you and it's valid for the next 12 months.”
Many people are shy about asking for referrals. But if you offer a great service, by not asking for referrals, you are actually denying other companies the chance to use that great service.
Remember most people want to share “secrets about this great solicitor I use” so you have nothing to fear by asking.
And if you make referrals part of an automatic client registration process, you have already broached the subject, which makes it easy to bring up again in the future.
Make sure you make it easy to get referrals for your legal firm.
If you are asking for them like this;
“Hey John, is there anyone you know that we could do business for?”
And is the answer, “er.....let me have a think about it.......” Only to be followed by months of silence then don't be surprised.
The important thing when asking for referrals is to give people a frame of reference. You need to make the question more specific.
"John, you’re a member of the Reading Rotary Club. Is there anyone there you’ve known for a few years that could benefit from my services? Maybe someone you sit with on the fundraising committee?”
This is more likely to elicit the names and numbers of specific individuals.
Current clients are not the only people that can refer business to you.
There are certain key influencers within your Legal Practice market.
Grade A influencers are those that are aligned directly with your market. Accountants, Business Advisers, Banks.
They can refer business directly to you as a complementary service.
You should ensure that you cultivate these people so that they refer business to you, even though they may not be a client of theirs.
One great way of doing this is to set yourself up as a legal expert.
How often have you said yourself,
“I haven’t used so and so but I’ve heard they are very good.”
This is where your special reports, newsletters and media comments pay-off so make sure that key influencers are targeted with these communications.
Remember you can be a legal marketing expert if you follow and act on these common sense but incredibly powerful ideas for your law firm.
How about swiping and deploying this idea from BNI?