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One of the most important rules for any business operating remotely is to treat your referral sources well and keep in touch with them often. Your relationships with these fellow professionals and friends are your lifeline to new business.

Begin with building and strengthening these relationships through referral marketing and start by identifying your top 20 referral sources. Make a list of this high-caliber referral base and call them personally – do not email them and do not ask your staff to call them.

Let everyone know that you are open for business and ask them how they are doing. Ask them also how their business is and find out what they see most challenging during this time. Misery does love company, and we’re all in this together, so the more relationships we foster, and keep, the better.

Discuss your new remote processes with your referral base and share with them your experiences and results so far. They may want to incorporate some of your approaches into their business practices as well. And, lastly, acknowledge your relationship and express gratitude.

For those contacts and referral sources where you have a great relationship: ask for the business. They, too, may turnaround and ask you the same.

Tell them that things are slow, and that you’d appreciate any work they can send your way or any other referrals. Another approach is to see if there’s anything on the back burner that they can move to the front burner that you can help them with. Business is all about relationships, and the more tuned in you are to their needs the more tuned in they’ll be to yours.

And lastly, express your boredom over being quarantined and ask for any type of cases to help keep you busy. They will appreciate your honesty and candor. Make a script, practice, and plan this out.

Once you’ve reached out to your top 20 referral base, it’s time to focus on your top 20 clients. Rank them by revenue and call them personally using the same process.

Be sure to make a list and then ask your staff to call the other 80% and set a program in place. Once you and your team have a clear prospecting process, follow this every day and begin by making at least 2 calls each morning before 10:00 a.m. This will be your cadence and will keep you and your staff on track and motivated.

For personal injury attorneys, choose your most recent top 20 cases by potential damages and call them to check in. It’s a different day and time, and with so many individuals working from home or furloughed, a sincere phone call from you will keep you and your team top of mind.

The third step in your virtual prospecting process is to focus on your past prospects. Don’t make the mistake of losing sight of this rich list of potential clients. Go back at least 3 years and call every one of them. These are the people who didn’t say “no” –they are just on the sidelines and can still become viable “wins.”

Steve Riley

Certified Practice Advisor & Attorney

Steve Riley has coached attorneys for more than 20 years. His one-on-one coaching focuses on a limited number of top producing attorneys committed to taking their practices to new levels of excellence, profit, and personal success. He also presents at group coaching workshops around the country for individual law firms, state bar associations, and other legal organizations.

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