Five best practice referral marketing tips
Referral marketing, as opposed to direct marketing, targets
people with the potential to send you business. Successful firms
rely on a high percentage of referrals to keep their practice
booming. A referral network must be developed and maintained. And
merely going to a networking event and meeting some people won't
cut it. Here are five best practice referral marketing tips:
- Perfect your elevator
pitch. Sit down and draft an elevator
pitch. You will use different variations of the pitch in different
circumstances to let people know who you are, what you do and what
you are looking for. To be memorable, it needs to be brief (30
seconds or less), explain what you do in a clear and concise
fashion (i.e., if you do business litigation, don't say just that;
provide specifics -- breach of contract, business torts, employment
disputes, etc.), indicate what you are looking for (i.e., business,
referrals, introductions) and have an ending (i.e., "What can I do
for you?"). Once you've written it down, practice, practice,
- Engage with other professionals. Clearly, if
you want others to send you business, you need to be seen and known
by those individuals. There is no lack of opportunities to network
with fellow attorneys - many of those you can find via the
Massachusetts Bar Association (both in-person and online).
But, don't merely attend an event. Get involved with a section, join a committee,
plan an event, give a presentation and write for a publication.
Network with ancillary professionals, as well. Those are folks that
have some connection to your work; for example, a financial planner
for a family law attorney. Get involved with their networks, give
presentations and write for their publications.
- Identify your referral sources. Can you list
your top 10 referral sources? If not, sit down right now and make a
list. If you don't know your top 10 referral sources, then you need
to figure out a way to track this. Typically, this can be
accomplished via your intake form with a question, such as, "How
did you hear about our firm?" or "Who can I thank for referring
you?" Make it a regular practice to thank a referral source
immediately after a potential client contacts you, regardless of
whether he/she engages you.
- Be systematic. I argue that this is the most
important aspect of referral marketing. Only with a process can you
effectively build and maintain relationships over time. You need a
system that will capture information and where you can schedule
follow up on a regular basis. Technology is useful here; there are
tools available to help organize and manage
your network. With the use of any system, you need a workflow. A
workflow might look something like this: 1) capture contact
information by asking for a business card, 2) input contact
information into your system (or, even better, merge step 1 and 2
by inputting the information directly into an app via your
smartphone) and 3) create a follow up schedule using tasks with
- Stay top of mind. You want to be the first
person that someone thinks about when they need to refer for a
certain matter. That's the idea behind top of mind awareness. A few
ways in which you can stay top-of-mind include: send your referrals
a note when you hear about them in the news (use Google Alerts to
notify you), send your referrals a birthday and anniversary card,
send an e-newsletter, engage on social media, have a blog, and read
and comment on your referrals' blogs.
Tip courtesy of Heidi Alexander, Law Office
Management Assistance Program.
Published September 18, 2014
To learn more about the Law Practice Management
Section, which is complimentary for all MBA members,
contact LPM Section Chair Cynthia E.
MacCausland or Vice Chair Damian J.