Want to earn more income with your shared law office space? Just follow these seven easy steps.
Your suite mates in your shared law office space should be your easiest source for referral revenue. This is true because networking happens by just going about your everyday business. It takes less time than having to make the effort to take a trip to a networking event or meeting that may or may not even work out.
Referral potential is a necessity and often one of the many perks in a shared law office space. This is great for the attorney who may does not have a lot of time to waste and has to take on all of the administrative tasks, marketing, client work, and so forth.
Remember, working in a shared law office space does not guarantee immediate referrals or any referrals from your suite mates at all. The likelihood of trading business is definitely high, but there are still rules to be followed when seeking referrals:
1. Referrals are sent when there is a relationship that includes mutual professional trust, and
2. It helps if you have sent a piece of business before you receive one.
When executed correctly, referral business can be found in your shared law office space to compensate your rent many times over. This same system is implemented at Law Firm Suites, therefore we know over $3,000,000 in suite mate referrals is generated in both of our NYC shared law office spaces.
There is a right and wrong way of seeking out referrals from your shared law office space. When done the right way, these referrals can help you offset the costs of your rent. We know, because we use this same system at Law Firm Suites to generate over $3 million in yearly suite mate referrals in each of our two NYC shared office space.
Here’s how we do it:
1. Do the walk-around.
Walking around the facility is important in establishing your presence in your shared law office space. Staying in your office all day is not going to help because no one will know you are there.
If the suite mate is not busy, it should be your time to interact with them and discuss topics not that might not be relevant to law such as the weather, current events, music, and so forth. Even what you did on the weekend can be a good icebreaker.
Overtime, this allows one to build a connection because the elements of “like” and “trust” is involved, which is necessary for referral relationships.
2. Be a good listener.
Listening is concept that seems easy, but for some it can be very difficult to acquire as a skill. When you are a good listener it opens the door for you being a good conversationalist which can boost your overall image with your suite mates. Especially for someone who is not so outgoing or an introvert, good listening can be used as an alternative tactic and still allow you to take advantage of referral potential.
3. Keep them wanting more.
If you have done a stop-in to a colleague’s office, hit the eject button early in the conversation. If you are a constant presence in your neighbor’s doorway and you regularly overstay your welcome, you’ll start to find that your neighbor’s doors may be closed. Always leave them wanting more. You’ll be able to develop trust that your visits will be fun and/or productive and won’t waste their time.
4. Get out of the office with suite mates.
It may be a good option to leave the office with your suite mates so they can see you in a different light. This can be done every couple of weeks so that a foundation is maintained for a good relationship.
At lunch, keep 90% of the conversation about things other than business. Only about 10% is shop-talk and the rest is something fun like your shared interests and so forth.
5. Market THEIR business too.
For business purposes, introductions to new possibilities are essential because it give you a chance to grow your business. Even the suggestion to grow someone else’s business helps to create a stronger relationship because you are seen as an asset.
This does not mean only mean client referrals. It can mean creating connections that will likely be returned as a favor.
6. Be generous.
If your neighbor is on leave for any reason, offering to cover them for that time or even helping them with a simple problem can do much to solidify your business relationship. Even if the help is not needed, the offer alone makes the person remember your generosity.
Every few months, buy a few pizzas and a bottle of wine and sponsor an informal happy hour for your neighbors after work hours. It will give you all a chance to blow off some steam without being too formal.
7. Seek their advice.
When one asks for advice, it gives the other lawyer a sense of appreciation. Appreciation is a powerful thing in law because it not only give the lawyer a chance to appear knowledgeable, it opens the gate for solidifying a stronger referral relationship.
These tips may seem, well, almost obvious. However, when done consistently, they will lead to business referrals in your office suite. With a little creativity and persistence, you too can turn your office into a revenue-generating machine.