Your virtual office NYC should be a huge source of referral income. These 7 steps will turn your virtual office into a money maker.
Attorneys who have chosen a virtual office NYC, as opposed to a physical office, should expect to derive the same substantial economic benefit from their office rental with respect to referrals. In fact, if you are not using your virtual office strategically, you are likely leaving tens of thousands of dollars of easy-to-find client referrals on the table each year.
The biggest challenge for the virtual office NYC lawyer is getting known by your peers. No one can send you referrals if they don’t know who you are.
Virtual office clients do not have the luxury of being around the office every day mingling with suitemates. Sometimes geographical distance is a hurdle to overcome. There is a little bit of extra effort required, but the results are well worth it.
1. Get on the office directory
Many virtual office NYC providers have client directories they sometimes post around the office or online. If there is a place for you to describe what you do, make sure you include your practice area expertise in lieu of describing yourself simply as an attorney. If you are given a little more room, use the profile to communicate your “elevator pitch”. Make it short, to the point, and memorable.
If your provider doesn’t have a directory, ask if they would consider putting one together, or would allow you to do so.
2. Attend community events
Office centers typically hold community events every so often. Make a point to go to these, especially when you first join. Bring your list of potential referral partners and have an office center employee introduce you to some of the people on your list.
3. Maximize your visits to the office
The more often people see your face in the office center, the more likely you are to strike up conversations with the other attorneys. Every time you are in the office, whether for a client meeting or to pick up your mail, do a “walk-around” to make yourself known.
Say hello to the people you know, and introduce yourself to the people you don’t. Make a point to try to meet one person on your preferred client list every time you come to the office. If possible, ask a staff member to introduce you and schedule a time to meet with this person before or after your meeting.
4. Get to know the office staff, they are your easiest access to referral opportunities
The office staff is going to be your best resource in shared office space. The staff deals with every client, and is frequently in the middle of a potential opportunity when it comes up. You would be surprised just how often clients come to us to ask us for an introduction to a lawyer to whom they can send a referral (or even ask a question). Make sure every member of the office staff knows who you are, what your practice area is, and why types of clients you service. The more specific you can make this description, the more likely they will remember what you do.
Remember to be kind to the staff. They are there to help you, and sometimes when your practice gets busy and things go wrong (because something always does), it’s easy to take out your frustrations on the office staff. But they are human, and if you do this too often you will quickly get a bad reputation. It’s the quickest way to find yourself outside the office referral loop.
5. Be a good listener
Nobody likes a blowhard, but everyone loves to talk about themselves (especially our brethren). Be a good listener and you’ll get the reputation for being a gracious conversationalist without having to say much. It’s a great technique for those of us who are not particularly outgoing. What your officemates tell you about themselves will be topics for future conversations and will help accelerate the development of your referral relationship.
6. Market THEIR business too
While you are out marketing, don’t just look for business opportunities for yourself, also keep your ears open for business opportunities for your fellow coworkers. We’re not only talking about client referrals, but introductions to potential referral partners are good too. The favor will always be returned.
7. Seek advice of your coworkers
Ask a fellow coworker a question about a legal issue you are grappling with. People love to be helpful, and lawyers in particular like to appear knowledgeable. Be appreciative of the advice and see your relationship grow.
These tips may seem, well, almost obvious. However, when done consistently, they will lead to business referrals. With a little creativity and persistence, you too can turn your virtual office into a revenue-generating machine.