Law Firm Suites surveyed 100 attorneys in our executive suite for law firms and learned that experienced attorneys lose thousands in referral income by overlooking key referral sources.
As we enter into the infancy of a new year, many law firms are beginning to roll out new, often expensive, marketing campaigns designed to increase client retention.
Yet making a simple shift in the networking attorneys are already doing may result in a meaningful increase in referrals, without an additional spend.
Your best referral partners may not be as obvious as you think.
At Law Firm Suites, our attorney clients exchange a healthy number of referrals in our executive suite for law firms.
Because our clients routinely ask us to introduce them to a suitable referral recipient, we often find ourselves in the middle of referral exchanges.
After years of playing matchmaker, we started to notice something strange: referrals are consistently being exchanged between practice areas that you normally wouldn’t expect.
It occurred to us that, if we found some of these synergies odd, so might our clients. The result, law firms may be missing out on easy referrals simply by not fully understanding all of their potential referral sources.
You may have already be losing out on referral income. We can help you fix that!
We wanted to dig a little deeper, so we surveyed 100 self-employed lawyers in 34 different practice areas to find out which practice areas they routinely send business to. The results didn’t disappoint.
Here were two interesting examples:
Sure, it is commonplace for commercial litigators to refer cases to corporate transactional attorneys, and vice-versa. But you probably wouldn’t expect a transactional attorney to refer a significant amount of repeat business to divorce lawyers? Yet it happens frequently. It seems that successful entrepreneurs pay more attention to their businesses than their spouses, possibly resulting in a high volume of marital strife.
Immigration attorneys consistently refer trademark cases to intellectual property lawyers.
By expanding your networking circle to include these other practice areas, your law firm can increase profits by thousands of dollars.
For example, take the corporate attorney/divorce attorney synergy.
The corporate attorney is most likely networking with other B-to-B attorneys, like, M&A, IP, tax or patent lawyers. Contrast with this the matrimonial attorney, who is probably networking with B-to-C attorneys such as immigration, consumer bankruptcy, T&E and PI lawyers.
Yet, the corporate attorney is sending, on average, three to five cases to the divorce attorney every year. Not enough to make a practice for the divorce attorney, but if they can expand their networking slightly to add 5 to 10 corporate attorneys to their referral arsenal, it could represent a meaningful increase in revenues for the year.
Develop referral relationships without much competition.
By taking a closer look at all the potential avenues for new client referrals, you can strategically expand your networking activities to include these other professionals, thus expanding your base of referral partners.
And the best part is, when it comes to these “unorthodox” referral partners, you’ll likely find very little competition. Few attorneys in your practice area thinking “outside the box” when it comes to different sources of new business.
So if you are that divorce lawyer, chances are there will be few, if any, other divorce lawyers actively courting transactional attorneys. All that business should be yours.
Lawyers can easily test this theory in their NYC shared office space.
Lawyers who sublet office space with attorneys from a variety of different practice areas can easily test this theory with little extra effort. First, find out all the different practice areas that could potentially send business to your firm. As you socialize around the office, make a point to get to know your attorneys in these practice areas. If you see results, you can expand your networking efforts to attorneys outside the office.
An easy starting place it to check out the results of our survey. In less than 10 minutes, all that extra business could be yours.