Referrals have always been the chief source of getting new clients for lawyers and law firms. Though of late many lawyers are investing good amounts of money in marketing their business, especially digital marketing, referrals still remain their main source of getting new business. You might get occasional references from friends and family, and former clients, they are not very frequent. So, the only reliable and consistent way to acquire new business is to build a lawyer referral network that gives you a consistent stream of new clients on a regular basis. Whether it is through the traditional method or through digital marketing, referrals are integral to the legal profession. This article tries to explain five key methods of building referral networks for lawyers.
Strengthen Client Relationships
Existing clients are your best bet to get new clients, and thus new sources of revenue. Therefore, you should look to leverage these relationships to generate leads. So, keep in regular touch with them through emails, newsletters, etc. Keep them informed of the latest developments in the legal industry, especially in your area of practice. Highlight your firm’s latest achievements, its involvement in community service, and other charitable work.
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It’s also a good idea to keep reminding your existing clients of the complete range of services offered with special emphasis on any additional service that your firm might have added to its repertoire. Also, do remind your clients how important their referrals are for you, especially those clients who have had a pleasant experience with your firm. Keeping your clients in good stead would likely mean that they provide positive comments and testimonials. If you specifically ask them for a referral, they would be more than happy to refer you to a friend, family, or colleague who might be in need of some legal help.It is important to note here that you should be a part of some International Lawyers Network to get global exposure.
Refer to Get Referrals
Another great way to build a lawyer referral network is through fellow law firms. There would be many instances when clients would need services in those areas of law which you do not specialize in. Or there could be instances of conflict of interest. In such situations, you should refer the case to some other lawyer with whom you could develop a mutually beneficial relationship. It is almost certain that such lawyers or law firms will refer clients to you whose case is outside their area of expertise.
Organize Systematic Conferences With Your Referral Sources
Identify your top five or six referral sources and make arrangements to meet regularly at your respective offices. It could be an informal meeting where you could discuss your latest cases and their outcomes as well as all possible business opportunities which could be mutually beneficial to all of you. Tell them about all the services that you offer and your core area of expertise. Seek their help in any which way possible to acquire new clients. Since a referral relationship is a two-way process, try to learn about their main business area and ask them how you could be of any help to them in furthering their business interest. It should be a regular phenomenon where you could talk about the latest development in your respective business areas and try to identify new business opportunities.
It is important to build your reputation as an expert in your field of law if you want to attract more referrals. And for that, you need to promote yourself through a well-crafted marketing strategy. This could include publishing articles and blogs on your own website and other prominent legal websites and trade publication, both online and in physical form. Choose your publications carefully as these should be read by lawyers and your target audience and potential clients as well as referral sources. Also, do not forget to leverage the power of social media. Get actively involved in community events in your locality. Don’t miss any opportunity to participate and speak in local trade organizations’ functions as most of your clients come from your geographical area.
Networking the Right Way
Networking is not only about exchanging business cards and greeting each other when you meet occasionally at some events. Whenever you are invited to a networking event, go there with a clear cut goal in your mind- as to what you really want to accomplish in such events. Engage in one-to-one professional conversation and always try to highlight your skills and achievements while at the same time listen to the other person’s achievements and their point of view on subjects of mutual interest.
Explained above were some important ways to build a lawyer referral network. Though there are other ways to build networks, such as through attorney network services, we have only tried to stress the most profitable methods.