This blog about legal referrals was originally published last year. In the world of COVID-19, we decided to update it. With social distancing and remote work, it may seem like a reduction in referral building opportunities. So, here is a tip. Research on-line opportunities – there are plenty of them. Bar associations, independent groups, trade organizations, etc. have all adapted and offer opportunities. Also, use other tools such as LinkedIn. There are plenty of other options and opportunities that did not exist before.
Legal referrals are the life blood to any successful law practice. Where does your business come from? Do you know? Do you track it? If not, start immediately. A strong network of referral sources can create an endless line of new business. It is essential that you know who can send you business. Build your network around these people.
Sources of New Business
We put referral sources into several categories:
- Other lawyers
- Business professionals – accountants, consultants, bankers, etc.
- Alumni – undergraduate, law school, etc.
- Clients – both existing and former
If you are smart enough and fortunate enough to get business from a referral source, now what? You are not entitled. Remember, that the person sending you business has other options. Treat the source of the business with humility and…
Say Thank You
Here are some ideas to properly thank a referral source:
- Call and say thanks.
- Send a handwritten note.
- Send a gift if the referrer does not have a policy against it.
- Refer business back.
- Treat client right to make referrer proud.
- Do small favor such as giving some free legal advice.
- Take them out for a drink or a meal.
- Take an interest in them and keep them top of mind.
Our experience tells us that a legal referral network of 600-1200 people will give you a $1 million book of business. So, if I know 60,000 people, I can expect to make $1 bazillion? We don’t know, but go for it! That will cost you a lot of thanking. Seriously, the people in your network need to know what you do and how to find you. Be strategic in your networking. The estate planner should know accountants and financial planners, the environmental lawyer needs to know engineers, and the litigator needs to know a whole bunch of other lawyers. Get it?
We can help you analyze your current network of legal referrals. We can also help you create a strategy to reach the magic number of 600-1200. At least get to know us, so you add two more to your network. Ping us at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.