Referrals are the strongest and most heavily used marketing tactics used by lawyers. These tips will help you to get more of them.
The goal of networking is to make mutually beneficial connections with others and build referral partnerships. When developing these relationships, approaching them authentically will give you the best chance of success. Being authentic is going to make help you to build a lasting impression and that when your ideal client comes up, you’re the first person that referral gets sent to.
Here are seven ways you can foster genuine and mutually beneficial relationships with other lawyers and potential referral partners.
Approach Networking Opportunities with an Open Mind
Come from a place of openness and trust, if you want to really go make these events successful then you need to be open to everyone that could be a potential referral source. By being open to meeting these people, sharing who your ideal clients are, and listening to how you can send business to them as well will go a long way towards getting more referrals in exchange. Those who come to the table with a closed or pessimistic mindset will not get as much out of it as those who are open to the opportunities.
Don’t Fear Asking For Help
Many lawyers see asking for help as a sign of weakness, that by not knowing something they are behind their peers. When in fact the opposite is true. Asking for help is an authentic expression of need and authentic communication.
I need to know you, your practice, your ideal client, and how I can help you and send you referrals. And you need to know these same things about me, and by asking for help or clarification, you are going to be able to get this process started even faster. Also, by asking for help, you are showing a willingness to learn and grow, and these are all traits of the type of lawyer that is going to leave a good impression and therefore receive more referrals.
Provide Value in Return
Instead of thinking about the potential referrals you can get from others, think about what you can give to provide value to them. You’re probably not going to get new clients on the spot at this networking event, so instead use this time wisely, think of it as an investment. Whether it’s consulting on a case, connecting them with someone they can collaborate with, giving them business or law firm marketing advice opportunity, approach every connection by being helpful. Your reputation will get better, which means more clients.
Instead of always trying to sound perfect, which we all know no one is, show vulnerability in your online marketing. For example, write a LinkedIn Pulse article about a mistake you made in your law practice and how you corrected it.
People relate to you when you show them you are human. This helps them feel like they know you, which will make them more comfortable with reaching out to you.
Know What You Want
If you want people to send high-quality and ideal clients to you then you need to be upfront and tenacious in letting people know what your ideal client looks like. If you beat around the bush and don’t know what kind of referral you want then you are wasting your time and theirs. Plus this also encourages your new referral sources to share their ideal clients with you, building a stranger and more mutually beneficial relationship.
Authenticity works because it gives your law firm identity and makes you relatable to potential clients. Essentially, people respond to people. As a solo, you are your business. Let your personality shine through in your marketing.
Don’t be afraid to share who you are and what drives you in your law practice. Telling people about your passions and your mission will ultimately win you more admiration and respect than self-promotion. People will want to give you their case because they like what you stand for.
Follow Up Quickly
After a business meeting or conference, or even just a quick chat over coffee or even hop on a Zoom call, it’s crucial to follow up quickly. After meeting someone at a networking event put a reminder in your calendar to check back within two days. Getting in touch any later than two days after meeting someone can give the impression that you don’t care about the new relationship or the subject you discussed with your new contact.