How To Get Better Referrals At Your Law Firm

How to Get Better Referrals at Your Law Firm

You’re a good attorney. No, you’re a GREAT attorney. You get amazing results for your clients. People should be standing at your door, desperate for your services because no one does law quite like you.

But you open the door, and the only thing standing there is a mosquito.

You go to all these networking events. You shake hands and have a drink with the accountants, bankers, and other lawyers. You’re introducing yourself to people left and right, keeping in contact with your past clients, and on and on and on. But you’re not getting many referrals, and when you DO get referrals, they’re not qualified. Referrals are the most cost-effective way to obtain new clients. They are almost pure profit, costing next to nothing and typically providing you with considerable revenue.

At least, that’s how it’s supposed to be when you’re getting them. You keep asking yourself “Why when I think I am doing all the right things, am I not getting any referrals?” The answer is that, while you are “networking,” you’re not building a “referral network.” You’re Net-Socializing, Not Net-“Working.”

At CathCap, we have this fantastic client–exactly the type of client that we want–that is an amazing attorney. Easily one of the best in her region. Yet she kept missing her new client goals every month. First, we started talking about her marketing strategy. She didn’t have a great one, which is something to save for another post, but what she did say was that she was prioritizing referrals.

“Great!” we said. Referrals are great. “So, tell me how you’re building referrals?” we asked.

“Well, I do all the things that the experts recommend. For example, I go to almost every networking event!” she said. “For example, last night I went to the Bar Association event.”

“Great! And what did you do there?” we asked her.

“I met up with some of my attorney friends and their friends, and we talked about networking, some of the challenges we have finding new clients, and other similar topics,” she answered.

“Well, that’s your problem.” We told her. “You’re not net-working, you’re net-socializing. You’re meeting people and talking to people, but you’re not specifically addressing what it is you’re looking for with the people that are most likely to find it for you.”

What she was doing was, essentially, making friends with other powerful people. While there’s no denying there’s value in having those friends in a general sense, those people are not looking to send you qualified referrals. They’re there to have a friendly chat and leave.

Building a Referral Network

What you need to do is work on building a referral network. A referral network is people that you meet and maintain that know exactly who you are, what you offer, what kinds of clients you’re looking for, what your strengths are, and more. For example, you can tell anyone that you’re a personal injury attorney. But:

  • Do they know what type of injury you specialize in?

  • Do they know who your ideal client is?

  • Do they know exactly what types of successes you have and what your superpower is?

Do they know that you’re a personal injury attorney that specializes in truck accidents caused by sleepy drivers for those that have experienced at minimum a broken bone or urgent medical need? Or do they just know, loosely, that you’re a personal injury attorney?

Building a referral network is about meeting people, building trust, and clearly explaining who you are, what you do, what you’re great at, what kinds of clients you’re looking for, what dollar values you take on, what your “Super Power” is, what successes you’ve had. Imagine that you’re an attorney that can promise that you’ll be able to file sequestration within 30minutes of receiving a call. That’s a selling point that can convince your network that they should recommend you. Or maybe you’ve extracted outstanding value for stay-at-home wives of college-age kids looking to leave high net worth, abusive husbands. These specifics, and these selling points, are what get people to not only know who you are but genuinely and proudly recommend you to others–and not only to others but to those that are qualified and match your ideal client. That’s how you start the process of building a referral network that brings you these qualified leads.

Taking it a Step Further–Getting People to Want to Refer to You

So now you know how to actually build a referral network, not just net socialize. But if networking was all it takes to get referrals, it would still be too easy. These people do not know you yet. They don’t trust you. Should they just start sending you potential clients for no reason?

Probably not, which is why true networking is also about nourishing those relationships. For example, we love to recommend that you “make someone a hero.”

As an attorney, you can do things like imparting free, valuable wisdom to others. For example, let’s say you’re an attorney that helps teenagers out of DUIs. You can tell these parents, “here’s something you should do right away if your teen is arrested under suspicion of a DUI.” Suddenly, you’re a hero. If they or someone they know has a teen that gets a DUI, they’ll remember what you told them to use that in formation, and immediately send that person to you.

Now, you’re someone they trust. They know who your clients are. They know what you’re looking for. They know you’re looking to get referrals, and they know you’re someone that’s good at what you do.

You have now started the process of creating an effective referral network. You’re no longer net-socializing. You’re creating a network of people that both believe in you and are ready to send you qualified leads. At CathCap, part of our work with attorneys is helping them understand and improve their marketing and sales process. If you’d like to learn more, download our free resources at the link below.

Enjoyed this read? Stay in the loop with our latest insights and updates –
subscribe to our newsletter now!