Referrals is always one of the topics most mentioned when I meet new solicitors. The question I often hear is “how can we meet new referrers of business and develop mutually beneficial relationships?
1. Who would you like to receive business from?
The first stage of this process, as with most marketing activities, is to define your targets. Which type of businesses could refer work to you? Which type of work do you need more referrals for? Who comes into contact with people or businesses who would be ideal clients for you?
If you are looking for conveyancing referrals an accident Claims Company is unlikely to be able to refer to you, but an IFA or an Estate Agent is better placed. Look at the businesses that already refer clients to you. Are there other businesses out there in the same sector that could also refer work to you? It should not take too long for you to realise which referrers could be most beneficial to your business.
2. Mutual Benefit?
Once you have defined your target referrers you need to think about the benefit they will receive by referring work to you. I often find this is where solicitors can struggle as it involves thinking about the other person’s business and ensuring they will benefit at least as much as you do from a working relationship. One sided business relationships will never last.
The mutual benefit could be any one of or a combination of the following:
- Their clients receiving a special rate;
- Their clients receive a superior level of service;
- Reciprocal referrals (you must be able to deliver on this one. Many reciprocal relationships fail as only one party starts referring. In that case you might need to offer 3 with 4 below to balance the referrals); or
- A referral fee (a commercial reality these days and is widely used in a range of businesses).
3. How to meet your referrers?
Once you have defined your target referrers, you need to contact them. This is in fact the easy part but one that I know often proves the biggest stumbling block, although it really does not need to. If we return to point two we can make life a lot easier. You are offering something to a business which will cost them nothing and earn them potentially a lot (either through referral fees, increased client loyalty or reciprocal business). Therefore, you are offering something which will be of interest to your potential referrer.
All you need to do now is to tell them, it is really the easy part. You can do this by correspondence or on the telephone. Often the most straightforward approach is to pick up the telephone and ask for an appointment. However, this is normally quite an alien approach to solicitors and one that most do not feel comfortable with. Also, to ensure success, you will have to make on average 10 telephone calls to receive one appointment, so it is incredibly time consuming. The answer is to outsource this to a professional services telesales company; I know some if you would like an introduction.
4. The Meeting
This is where solicitors normally excel. All clients that I carry out telemarketing campaigns for have no problem selling themselves once they are in front of potential referrers. This is where you have the opportunity to extol the benefits to the referrer of working with your practice. Once you have been in front of a potential referrer you can safely expect to convert at least one in every three of those meetings into a future referrer of business to your firm. Yes it really is that easy.
5. Would you like more referrers for your legal practice?
Simply download my guide below to find out more.
6 Fastest Ways To Win New Law Firm Clients – Click to download now:>>
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