Hey there, legal eagles! As a wise old owl once said, “referrals are the bee’s knees” for any law firm. But hold on to your briefcases, because here’s the kicker: most law firms only focus on referrals from other professionals and not from their very own clients! Word of mouth from satisfied clients is like a unicorn in a field of horses – rare, magical and powerful!
So, what makes your top clients so special? Is it their charming personalities? Their hilarious dad jokes? Or maybe it’s the fact that they trust and value your firm’s services? If you want more of these amazing clients, it’s time to step up your referral game! Imagine each ideal client referring at least one other person to your firm – that’s a game-changer!
Your workflow and marketing just need to incorporate various touch points and processes to systematize your referral system. Here are five steps to create your own referral generation process:
- Create a Client Experience to Remember. Want zealous fans and word-of-mouth referrals? Then you need to create a client experience worth talking about! I’m not talking about breaking the bank with something completely over the top, but rather just doing what you say. Tell your clients what to expect and then deliver against those expectations. It’s that simple! Flawless and timely execution goes a long way these days. Clients who put their name on their line to recommend you want to know that you’ll be able to deliver to whomever they refer your way. Once you’ve mastered the basics, then look at how you can level up. This is a great time to transform your final signing meeting to a final signing ceremony! Here’s a few ways to make that signing a little bit more special:
- Give the client a final signing video that explains their plan
- Present their plan in a nice portfolio binder
- Snap a polaroid photo of your happy client(s) and slip it in a thank you card or the front pocket of their binder
- Create a fun swag bag full of branded items for them to share
- Just Ask. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with attorneys who tell me “Oh no, I can’t ask then, that would be too forward.” That’s head trash! After creating an extraordinary client experience, most people would be delighted to help. Online reviews are arguably one of the best if not the best way to enhance your online reputation and organically grow new leads. Ask for an online review right after your clients sign their papers to give them something to do while they wait for you to scan their signature pages. You can also use an online review collection system like Birdeye to follow-up with clients that weren’t up to doing this for you in office or may have been overlooked. Another great time to ask is after you’ve done your free 3-year plan review and the client’s plan is still in tip top shape.
- Collect Testimonials. Testimonials are fantastic marketing arsenal every savvy marketer should have on hand. They provide an unparalleled level of social proof that can be used in numerous settings. You don’t need a studio to do this, a simple mic and camera will do. You can even use a nice phone camera with an attachable lapel microphone to record these. Just make sure the background is inviting, it’s quiet, and most importantly, you get your client’s consent. You can collect testimonials at client events or when they come to your office. In addition to just posting them online, you can use them at the front of your seminars and webinars, share them on social media, and add them to your eNewsletters.
- Get curious. Don’t be a wallflower – be proactive! Bring up the value they received from your firm and ask who they know and love that has similar issues. The focus of that conversation needs to be about how their friends and family could benefit from getting their plan done, just like them. It’s not about driving more business to your firm. Make it easy for them to refer. Give your clients extra business cards, referral certificates, or other takeaways to hand out.
- Don’t underestimate the value of a thank you. Most people thrive on words of affirmation or appreciation. A short heart-felt thank you goes along way for many and you need to make sure you not only have a process to track clients that refer others to you, but also a process to get them a timely thank you. Send a handwritten note or other tokens of appreciation if your state bar allows this. Remember to send a thank you, even if their referral doesn’t end up retaining you.
Once you have your referral generation process in place, make sure to track your progress and results. We have this built in to CounselPro™8 for you and if you need extra guidance, our support team and coaches are standing by.
So there you have it, folks! Get out there and start generating those client referrals – the legal world is your referral oyster!
Director of Member Services
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 453-2128
- 5 Steps to Generate More Client Referrals - March 9, 2023
- Why You Should Be Asking What’s In It For Them And Not What’s In It For Me - October 20, 2022
- Walk This Way - June 9, 2022