Increasing Referrals for your Law Practice
Many of us rely on the marketing strategy of referrals because it is so much easier to have someone else sell our services than it is to do it ourselves. But, technology has changed the referral game. Technology can take a decent referral marketing strategy for your firm and turn it in to a gold mine.
Most of us realize the amount of time it takes to develop a substantial client network. As you build a law firm, you are doing all the work. The same is true for direct client marketing. You are the one making the pitch to potential clients and selling them on your practice. Gaining new clients on your own means you are spending a lot of time and energy generating new clients and much less time creating work product and building relationships with current clients, whom it turns out, will be your best sources for referrals in the future, if they leave satisfied and with a good impression of your practice.
All of this to say, if we develop our practices in the correct way, a strong referral base will be the after-effect of our initial marketing efforts done at the initial stages when building the law firm. The most successful law firms are 70-90% referral-based. And, this is the closest most lawyers will ever come to generating passive income.
But, to say the income source is passive does not paint an accurate picture of the marketing strategy. Attorneys must take a savvy and engaged role in building referral networks. Here are 3 important pointers:
1. Sell YOUR practice: It is easiest if you have a niche practice or a specific area to sell. You must train your referral sources to see you as the expert in this area of practice. For instance, “Oh, you need a divorce. Go see Julie! That is all she does! She is the best in town!” And, you must train your referral sources to say what you want them to say about you. They must first see you as the expert in this area of practice and the referral sources must be trained with respect to what you’d like them to say about you, and that is easier to do when a baseline exists. By refining down your practice areas, you can help provide that baseline.
2. Set yourself up for referrals by developing an Elevator Speech: Have a great response to the question “What do you do?” As a lawyer, you will want to develop different responses, different elevator speeches, for different business contacts. At the very least, you should have one approach for potential clients, and another for referral sources, because those are essential different conversations to engage.
3. Secure a strong Social Profile and Website: You should endeavor to create and manage an online presence that is in agreement with what you are personally pitching to your referral sources. When you meet someone at an event or gathering you will want to hand out a business card or direct someone to your website making it imperative that your online presence is representative of who you are, which areas you practice, what else you are involved, how to connect with you and stay connected, among other important professional information.
This Practice Pointer was derived from ABACUS NEXT
ON MESSAGE: USING LAW FIRM TECHNOLOGY PLATFORMS TO PROMPT REFERRALS visit ABACUS NEXT at abacusnext.com
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The Abacus Professional Services team offers legal technology solutions that increase revenue, reduce costs and maximize efficiencies by customizing how you use the powerful Abacus products and services to meet your specific needs.
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