What’s your referral strategy?
It’s one thing to say that your firm is good, but another for potential clients to hear it from a reliable source. Flashy slogans, billboards, and advertisements alone won’t get clients in the door – it will take more than bells and whistles to establish yourself as a trustworthy lawyer.
Word-of-mouth referrals are a consistently proven way of bringing in new clients – whether virtual or in-person. Think about it, when a prospective client seeks out the help of an attorney, it often revolves around or feels like a personal matter. Positive word-of-mouth from past clients, colleagues, and friends can make the biggest difference in helping new clients feel like they are in the right hands.
Referrals are a type of pull marketing – it’s something that strengthens consumer awareness of your brand (your firm) and generates demand. The best part about this pull marketing strategy is that it’s extremely cost-effective and gives your firm the trust and credibility clients need to move forward.
Despite how it may sound, generating referrals is much more than a game of chance. In fact, you can take matters into your own hands to leverage more opportunities and gather more leads.
Partner with other firms
If your firm is focused on generating referrals from clients only, you may be missing out on lucrative opportunities. Consider partnering with other law firms and attorneys to leverage your connections.
Word-of-mouth referrals don’t have to come solely from former clients. In fact, you could be just the referral another law firm needs, and vice-versa. It’s important to network with and establish potential partnerships with law firms that focus on practice areas outside your own.
Partnering with other firms can create a mutually beneficial relationship. For instance, if your practice typically focuses on estate planning and you have a client who is suddenly in need of a personal injury lawyer, refer them to a firm you partner with that can help. Creating a partnership agreement opens doors to receiving referral fees that can benefit both parties.
Get active with local organizations
See a potential partnership opportunity with a local organization? Give them a call. Getting involved in your community provides some powerful advertisement for your firm and allows for first-hand networking where your services may be most needed.
Look into organizations that have an influence in your practice area. For example, if you’re a family lawyer, look for schools you can help with mock trial teams. Your firm specializes in estate planning? Partner with a senior center. Working with organizations that share common goals and interests is a great way to gain new connections and leverage business opportunities.
Organizations such as shelters, churches, and service companies are always looking to help people and receive donations. In fact, organizations that give back to the community are great places to start creating a referral partnership. Your firm can arrange an agreement where every referral they send you, you give back a donation to help the cause.
Incorporate your client service model
Your firm can have the best marketing referral strategy, but all of that is useless if you don’t level up to your client’s needs. Implementing a platform in your client service model where they can offer feedback to your services shows that you value their input. No one wants to work with a business that doesn’t aim to please their customers, especially when the law is involved.
There are many ways that you can encourage your clients to provide feedback. Consider sending out newsletters and devoting a portion that encourages clients to give input of any kind. You can create an email where the clients can send in confidential responses in areas you can improve on. A lot of potential clients will also research your firm’s website before picking up the phone. Having a testimonial page on your site will give them a better idea of what it’s like to work with you. Also, show your clients appreciation for those that gave you feedback and referrals – send out a thank you note. It may be a small gesture, but it can go a long way.
Don’t solely rely on word-of-mouth alone
Although referrals are an important aspect of marketing, that alone won’t be enough. In this day and age, it’s important to implement different kinds of marketing solutions – both online and offline – to ensure your firm’s success. FindLaw offers solution packages where we can accelerate your digital marketing, help you stand out among the competition, and get potential clients talking.