Your clients are your biggest advocates, follow this article to get tips on how to increase referrals from your current clients.
This is a question solos are constantly asking themselves. It is the driving force behind many of the decisions they make for their law practice. A steady flow of referrals means accelerating the growth of your firm and easing your worries regarding getting new clients.
One of the best audiences to exploit when it comes to building referrals comes from the people who already know and love your firm… Your clients!
According to this Neilson survey, 83% of people completely or somewhat trust the recommendations of friends and family, meaning if you’re not trying to cultivate referrals from your existing clients then you missing a huge opportunity.
Many law firms are turning to client referral techniques as a means of increasing revenue and their client base. Your potential clients already trust their friends/peers a heck of a lot more than they’ll ever trust your firm’s advertising, and they’ll be cheaper for your company to acquire. So if you’re ready to take advantage of these super high-quality referrals then you’ll want to pay close attention to these tips.
1. Look for the right time
The best referrals come from happy clients. Especially if that time also comes right after you’ve had an opportunity to show off the incredible legal service that you’re capable of delivering.
You wouldn’t ask for a raise right after you failed to meet some quota or bombed a presentation, which is exactly you can’t ask your clients for referrals after under-delivering or after a less-than-desirable outcome for your client.
To set yourself up for success, keeping your customers up-to-date and happy, because happy clients are going to be your biggest fans and most profitable new business source. If you can be the happy spark that solves their problems then they’ll actually want to spread the word for you. But you have to remember that you’re playing the long game. You can just ask for the referral at the end of the relationship without laying the foundation first. Successfully onboarding the client, set expectations, keep them updated regularly with constant communication and then deliver the great result! Then, only after you’ve checked all those tasks off the list can you consider asking for your happy client to refer your firm.
2. Referral Template
Your clients are just as busy as you are, that’s part of the reason why they hired you to handle their legal matter instead of doing more of the leg work on their own! So even if they are in love with you and your firm, they still might not have the time to refer you out to their peers.
One thing you can do tho help with this is to give them a template where all they have to do is fill in the blanks a share.
To help you with just that, the email marketing pros over at Hubspot have created a template for this exact situation:
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ve been working with [Your Name] for a few months. The other day, I was talking with him about some of the things that he and I have done, and I realized that I should put you two together. So …
[Referral], meet [Your Name, with a LinkedIn profile URL].
[Your Name], meet [Referral, with a LinkedIn profile URL].
Can I leave the rest to you guys?
Talk to you both later.
Take a look and start sending this to your clients. They will appreciate that you are helping them to save time and you will hopefully reap the rewards and get some new business from one simple email.
3. Don’t forget to ask for feedback too
In order to accumulate more referrals, you have to prove yourself referral-worthy. You can’t put the cart before the horse!
To ensure that you’re knocking your client’s expectations out of the park, it’s important that you’re regularly asking for feedback.
That means you should probably be sending out an email with several questions to every client towards the of your relationship. This is another great situation where you can use a template to make this easier for your clients and more productive for yourself. You can use a template to ask consistent questions to each client, help to guiding responses so they are honest but so you are also getting answers to the same questions from each person. Meaning if you get the same response over and over, then it becomes validated and proves to you that you need to work on or improve specific things. And all of this needs to happen before you can then ask the client for a referral!
4. Increase referrals indirectly
If your clients are uncomfortable referring you to their network then don’t pressure them to. Instead back off, give them space and use a different approach. Some people might not feel comfortable referring someone for legal purposes, others might just be busy and now isn’t the best time for them.
Instead, a few weeks later, try reaching out with a different offer to advocate for your firm. This could include writing a review on Google or Facebook, serving as a case study on some of your marketing materials, or sharing a testimonial to display on your website.
These other avenues will also lead to more clients. While at the same time it won’t risk your relationship with your clients who are uncomfortable referring to their network. So when the time comes to ask for referrals, first ask them what they would be comfortable sharing. How they answer this question will determine which path is best.
5. Make it Worth Their Time
This is pretty obvious but I would assume that you don’t enjoy working for free. Well, your clients don’t either!
One thing you can do to increase the number of referrals that you receive from your clients is to sweeten the pot! Your customers are much more likely to network for you if you’re going to offer them something valuable in return. This offer could come in the form of a gift card, a discount on your services, or cold hard cash, give something back to your clients for connecting you with highly qualified leads.