Referrals are the largest source of leads for most law firms. Recent studies show that the majority of people are more likely to do business with a company if they personally know someone who had a good experience with that company. One of your greatest marketing tools as a law firm is your current client base. Yet, many law firms struggle when it comes to “the big R”: Referrals.
When done creatively and strategically, utilizing the assets you have in your current clients and in the community around you is an incredibly useful strategy for boosting your referred cases and your reputation.
Below are 17 ideas for increasing the number of referrals your firm receives:
- First, provide such great service to your clients that they will want to refer you to others! Make sure you provide excellent care for clients at all times. Keep communicating with your clients. Remember their birthdays and special occasions. Find ways to remind them you are still around and they are important to you.
- Print and provide free Christmas or holiday cards with ‘Sponsored by ABC Law Firm’ on the back. Give them away to clients and prospective clients when they come into your office and help get your name in front of thousands.
- Establish a formal partnership with other law firms in which you agree to refer certain cases to each other. Invest in that relationship by sending baskets and cards for various occasions throughout the year.
- Print business cards for all of the mechanics and other applicable service companies in your area and include an advertisement on the back for a free consultation with your firm. When the mechanic hands them out, you both get publicity.
- Secure speaking engagements at local clubs, organizations, or groups and offer a free 15 to 30 minute legal consultation to all attendees, either to use themselves or give to a friend.
- Build relationships with other non-competing businesses that have a similar client base so you can refer clients to each other. For example if you specialize in motor-vehicle accidents, connect with a doctor or chiropractor.
- Connect with local trade groups and organizations in your community. You can sponsor local events and charities. Not only are you contributing to the community, but you are also creating contacts with the people and staff involved in these organizations and trade groups.
- Hair salons are often a hub for conversation and community. By providing them information about product recalls, dangerous drugs and other hot topics in the legal profession, you can promote awareness and connect with potential clients at the same time.
- Develop a business and marketing mind-share group in your city that encourages discussions and making connections with other local businesses.
- Host business networking lunches and invite connections from your community to bring a friend. Building these mutual referral networks where you send your friends to them and vice versa is a great way to make your community stronger as a whole.
- If local businesses have websites, contribute to their online content by reposting interesting articles and commenting when appropriate.
- Send a personal thank you note or gift when a current client refers a new client to you. This lets your clients know their opinion is important to you, and that it means a lot when they recommend your firm to others.
- In your email signature, invite clients to introduce your firm to others who may be in need of a lawyer (please consider your state’s Bar rules first).
- Send out a monthly or bi-monthly newsletter to your clients keeping them updated on any news within the firm. This will consistently keep your law firm’s name in front of your past and present clients.
- Encourage clients who receive your email newsletter to forward it to friends who may be in need of legal assistance.
- Supply printed resources for various organizations to hand out in their offices or post on bulletin boards.
- Utilize LinkedIn and Google+ to network with other lawyers. Ask for introductions, and offer to do the same in return. Making yourself an active participant online will encourage others to engage with you knowing you will respond.
Positive referrals can provide your firm with new leads and clients. The key to garnering referrals through these ideas is to create a mutually beneficial atmosphere for both you and your clients and referral partners. As you expand your reach into the community, your firm’s visibility and credibility increase.
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