Referrals account for a large part of the new business in a lawyer's practice. Generating referrals should be a key focus of your business development strategy, whether they originate from external sources or from other lawyers at your firm. Referral sources can help you build your book of business efficiently and organically. Watch the video below to learn more about leveraging referrals as part of your business development practices.How do I generate referrals?
Many lawyers tend to be passive when it comes to growing their practice. A common train of thought is, "If I do a good job, the business will come on its own." While certainly used to be true, a more proactive approach will ultimately generate far more business than simply waiting for the opportunities to come to you. You must turn to your referral network for assistance.
To generate referrals from your network, you must demonstrate your value in two ways. The first is competence. Give everyone with whom you work the confidence in knowing that you are excellent at the work you do. Your referrer's name is also on the line when they refer possible clients to you, and so their confidence in you is key to winning their recommendation.
Here are some specific ways that you can demonstrate competence to your referral sources:
- Send an article or presentation to demonstrate your expertise in a specific area that could be relevant to potental referrals. Ask them to share these with their friends, colleagues, and other parties that may be interested in your expertise.
- Describe the cases you've won. This is self-explanatory, but showing that you have a track record of successfully closed cases is key to demonstrating that you can provide the services that are important to potential referrals.
- Provide testimonials. A track record of satisfied clients is a powerful way to win potential referrals.
- Ask for the referrals. This can be as simple as asking your clients and referral sources if they know of anyone that could make use of your services. Even if you have maintained good relationships with these people, you may be surprised at just how many of them haven't thought about referring anyone to you. Sometimes, it's as simple as asking.
By keeping your key referral sources in the loop about your expertise and high value, you will stay at the top of their minds. Then, when a potential referral comes to mind, they will think of you.
The second way you can encourage referrals is to demonstrate reciprocity. It's a simple, but easily-overlooked act that is crucial in today's competitive environment. It's not enough that you simply do good work – you also need to send business back to your referral source. Doing so will create a mutually beneficial relationship between you and your referral source, keeping those referrals coming to you.
A great way to track your relationships with your referral sources is to use Practice Pipeline. This simple tool helps you stay focused on the relationships that are the most important to building your book of business.
Watch the video below to learn how to leverage your referral network.
Looking for more info on business development referrals? Check out these posts:
- How to Get More from Your Referral Network
- How to Repair a Broken Referral Source
- How to Ask for Referrals