How Lawyers Get More Referrals

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This Way For More ReferralsThere’s a lot of information on the Internet related to marketing for lawyers.  Some of that information is high quality strategic advice.  Some of it is crap.  Most of it falls somewhere in between.

One thing missing from all that advice is a simple tutorial on how lawyers get more referrals.

So here it is.  The quick and dirty version of a process I have shared with hundreds of lawyers during the past five years:

Step One:  Be Easy To Work With

Say “please” and “thank you”.  Return telephone calls within one business day.  Listen before you speak.  Think before you send an email or text message.  Respect everyone and fear no one.

Step Two:  Be Loyal

Don’t steal people’s clients.  When another attorney sends you a matter, handle it and then send the client back to the original referring party if the client has work in an unrelated area.

Defend people who are not in the room.  If everyone is gossiping about someone, shut it down,  regardless of your personal feelings about the subject of the gossip.

Step Three: Be Generous

Share your valuable relationships with people in your network.  Make introductions that will lead to business.  When you refer clients to other lawyers, set the other party up to succeed.  Actually bring the client to the other lawyer’s office, or to lunch if possible.  Otherwise introduce the parties live on a conference call.

Step Four:  Be Different

If you want to be the “go to” person for a particular type of matter, you must give people a reason to select you rather than one of the other hundred lawyers they know.  Differentiate yourself and your practice and let people know about that difference.

Step Five:  Follow-up

Send a weekly email newsletter. Send people holiday cards and birthday cards.  Invent ways to keep your name in front of them with low labor intensity for you.  People may want to send you business but they have simply forgotten about you.  Don’t let them forget about you.

Step Six:  Ask for Referrals

Let people know that you value relationships and, you practice relationship marketing.  This means your law firm grows based upon the business sent to you by people who know you, like you and trust you.  Ask them if they will keep you in mind when they are presented with a case in your area.  Then after you ask, go through all of the five preceding steps.

Step Seven:  Educate Your Target Audience

The final step is one of the most important.  Each month you should get in front of at least 50 new people and provide them with educational information that will entice them to find out more about you.

The best ways to reach people en mass are through writing articles and getting them published (trade magazines are terrific for this purpose) or speaking to large groups of people.

People will rise up from the ranks of the audience and ask you for additional information.  When they do, follow the steps listed above.

That’s it.  That’s my simple seven step referral process which helps with marketing for lawyers.  Give it a try in your law firm and let me know how it works by posting a comment on Google+ (link below)