Think about it—referrals are awesome because they come to you already more likely to hire you. They’ve probably already heard great things about you. They’ve probably heard those great things from someone they already trust. That means referrals are far more likely to convert because half of the “work” is already done for you—before you even meet or talk on the phone.
When done well, referral marketing can be a consistent, lucrative way to grow your law practice. Nothing is going to pay more dividends over time than your referral marketing strategy. Although prioritizing referrals is half the battle, in order to grow your practice, you want to cultivate your referral relationships. Here are some ways you can invest in and strengthen your referral marketing processes:
1. Ask other lawyers or professionals for referrals:
This might seem evident, but simply asking for business can increase your referral marketing network. So many lawyers don’t ask for business because they don’t know how to ask for business or don’t know where to start. When asking for business, you will want to focus on other lawyers, clients, and even non-lawyers.
In our free webinar on June 1st, “Referral Marketing – How to Cultivate New Business,” you will focus on developing your ask and doing so in a way that is authentic and genuine. You will find ways to strengthen your referral base, learn how to refer to other lawyers outside of your practice area, and find ways to connect with prospects.
2. Provide an exceptional experience:
To be established as a referable lawyer, providing an exceptional experience is key. If your clients are satisfied with the work that you do, the more likely they will refer their friends, family, and colleagues to you. Our webinar on June 1st will focus on your ideal client and what to look for in a referral, while our 90-minute referral workshop on June 20th, “Strategic Referrals – Marketing for Lawyers” will narrow down who you can help and how you can help – triggering emotion and focusing on the needs of your client. Providing an exceptional experience is a huge part of the type of referral you will attract.
3. Use social proof:
Social proof can be defined as sharing reviews and recommendations of referrals or top-quality clients and creating a space that people like, enjoy, and “fit in” with. It’s using data such as reviews and recommendations, to make a purchase decision based on what others think and what others like and see in your service. In this case, we want to use social proof to help people feel like they belong. The feeling of belonging is what establishes trust.
In order to use social proof to your advantage, you want to share information that is up-to-date, relevant to your audience, post and share regularly and all of this combined provides a safe space for your referral network.
4. Thank your referrals:
This seems so simple, yet it’s so important. Thanking your referral can take a few seconds, some postage stamps, and maybe a few dollars, but it can go a long way. The best way to continue bringing in referrals is by taking care of those who currently send you business. Write them a thank you note, offer a small gift, and let them know that you appreciate them.
Be sure to follow-up with referrals every few months, or every quarter, and continue to ask for business and build the relationship that you have created with them. Make sure this referral process is a two-way street and send referrals to those who have entrusted you as well.
5. Increase Your Visibility:
By being visible as a lawyer, you are able to build up a lawyer referral network. Whether you join your local community, attend conferences or workshops, or stay in front of your audience, sometimes you just need to be visible to get referrals.
For example, Jim Dodson in Florida is a cyclist who handles many cycling personal injury cases. He speaks about bike safety in front of cycling organizations and regularly participates in cycling events. The important part is to make sure your legal service is known in whatever community you choose.
It may seem counterintuitive to ask lawyers for referrals, but by creating a lawyer referral network full of lawyers that are not in your practice area, you are deeming them as a go-to referral source and vice versa. Just like you provide great customer service, look for other lawyers who do the same.
Referrals are a higher-quality lead source for your law firm. We hope that you are able to develop and practice your “ask” so you can ask other lawyers and professionals for business, provide and offer an exceptional experience, use social proof to share testimonials and referrals, thank your referral sources, and increase your visibility.