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How Lawyers Can Grow Client Referrals

How to Grow Client Referrals

In some respects, growing client referrals in the legal field is tougher than in other areas of business. Clients don’t usually want it known publically that they had to hire a lawyer to solve a nagging problem. The good news is there are some tried and tested steps you can take to get more quality referrals in the door.

  1. Ask your current clients

While your existing clients might not volunteer referrals, they might be willing to hand them over if you ask them to. In general, people like to be helpful to their friends and family members, especially if you’ve done a great job for them. Remind your clients of your practice through email alerts or regular e-newsletters. Or keep in touch with them from time to time.

  1. Build your network

Building a good referral network takes time. But the larger your network, the more likely you are to see a steady stream of referrals coming your way. Try attending networking events or charitable fundraisers. Pay attention to your social media channels. Host a party or offer a free informational class. Remember that you’re building not just business relationships but personal ones. With each relationship comes the trust and deeper connection that might result in a referral.

  1. Trade referrals with other lawyers

Sometimes lawyers can’t take cases because they involve areas of law the lawyers don’t practice. When you see one of these cases, refer the case to a lawyer you know can handle the job. Those lawyers will be more likely to refer clients your way in return. You might even put in place a formalized referral agreement with other practices you trust. Don’t forget about your law school colleagues either. As long as they’re not your competitors, they may be willing to refer clients your way.

  1. Get on the boards of trade associations

Getting on the boards of trade associations can markedly boost your referrals. You don’t want to focus on bar associations though. You want to seek out trades that complement the legal field, ones that serve prospective clients. To get on a board and become visible in an association, though, you may need to work your way up to it. Directors often start off as volunteers before they’re asked to serve on the board.

  1. Become an expert in your area of practice

One of the best ways to get referrals is be known as the expert in your area of practice. Blog, write articles or op-ed pieces, give interviews, teach classes at the local university. The more people know your name, and the more they see you as an authority in your field, the more likely they are to make referrals to you.

  1. Do a great job

Maybe it goes without saying that lawyers who provide quality legal representation to their clients are more likely to get referrals than lawyers who don’t. But it bears repeating. And it’s not always about winning the case, though that certainly helps. The respect you give your clients, the ethics you demonstrate, the quality of the customer service you provide at every touch point – these can win you more referrals than you might think.