Most lawyers realize that a referral-based practice is a major goal because referred clients are better clients.
Here are some suggestions for increasing the number of referrals you get each month:
- Referrals are based upon relationships. If you don't actually have a relationship with other people you can expect little or no referrals.
- Relationships can be created and enhanced with a variety of tools. You do not actually have to have a personal, one-on-one, relationship with everyone who may be referring you cases in the future.
- Stop thinking just about past clients. Everyone who contacts you should be in the universe of those from whom you should expect a referral in the future. This requires a system for handling all new case inquiries that will automatically capture contact information and put the information into a tool that can be used to develop a relationship. We have helped Infusionsoft create marketing and referral software just for solo and small firm attorneys. Check it out here.
- An essential relationship tool is a mailed monthly newsletter. Most lawyer newsletters are extraordinarily boring either because they are all about the lawyer or they are all about the lawyer's cases. You need to think more about what makes people buy People Magazine than about whether someone is actually interested in your views on tort reform. Shocking as it may seem, most people think that topic is boring. A recommendation for a terrific mailed, monthly newsletter is The Newsletter Pro
- By the way, if you think that emailing a "newsletter" takes the place of a mailed monthly newsletter then you aren't really serious about getting more referrals.
- Finally, the most critical mindset to have about referrals is to always be asking yourself "what can I do for you first?" You should make it a habit to mail at least one handwritten note to someone in your database each day. An even better practice is to have a stack of books in various topic areas that you can mail along with a "thought you would find this interesting" note. Make this a habit and you will never worry about referrals again.