Have you been working hard to build up your book of business but don’t see results? Do you have a lot of satisfied clients but rarely see that they are referring business to you? If so, the reason might not be what you think.
Most lawyers think they aren’t getting referrals because their clients, contacts, and colleagues simply haven’t had an opportunity to refer them business – or worse, that they’re unsatisfied with the work performed. But in reality, the answer might simply be that it hasn’t been easy for them to do so.
What can you do to make it easier for people to refer business to you or to your law firm?
Here are 5 ways to make it easy to refer business to you:
1) Work your LinkedIn Connections
If you’re connected to clients or colleagues who are in a position to refer business, look at their LinkedIn Profiles and review their lists of connections, and then ask for introductions to those who look like good prospects. Also do a search of your second-level LinkedIn connections for people you’d like an introduction to. Then see which of your first-level connections are connected to those individuals and ask for an introduction (preferably a real-world introduction, rather than an introduction on LinkedIn).
2) Be Specific
When speaking to potential referral sources, be as specific as possible about who a good connection or referral would be for you. Don’t just tell your referral sources what area of the law you practice in or what kinds of cases you handle. Give them a very clear picture of who your ideal client or connection is. Who would you like to meet? What industry are they in? Do they hold a specific position? What is their business size? What specific problems (or symptoms) do they experience?
3) Keep it Short and Simple (KISS)
A long, complicated explanation is unlikely to be remembered – or even understood – by your contacts and connections who might be in a position to refer business to you. Don’t try to tell everyone everything about you at every encounter with them. Stick to one specific area at a time and choose what might be most relevant for that person or for their connections. Spend time creating a short, but memorable statement about what you do and who you do it for.
4) Tell Stories
Stories are easier to remember than telling someone about your practice. Talk about successful matters you’ve handled. What type of case was it? What type of client was it? What did the outcome mean to the client? How did you help the client or their business? Stories have more ‘staying power’ than abstract concepts, and these kinds of illustrations may help your referral sources better understand the kind of work you do for your clients.
5) Make Yourself Accessible
Your contact information should be easily accessible to your clients and referral sources. Make sure to include your complete contact information in email signatures, on your website, and in your online Profiles, including LinkedIn. If your name is a common one, consider using a middle initial or nickname to stand out. Provide referral sources with documentation that they can share with their clients or contacts outlining how you can help them and including all of your contact information.
Finally, keep in mind that one great way to get referrals is to refer business to others within your firm that practice in different areas of law and/or geographic locations than you. Using ioRefer’s platform functionality is one excellent way to connect with such attorneys within your own firm, and it will likely prompt referrals from them to you.