Client referrals are priceless gems of free marketing. When a client refers your services to a friend or relative, thye are giving you a vote of confidence. They’re saying that you did a good job on their matter and appreciates your firm enough to give it free publicity. The referred individual comes to you with a preconceived level of trust in your services, so the battle is already half won.
But, how do you increase your firm’s client referrals? Here are some quick and easy tips:
- Perform – You earn client referrals by providing consistent, quality services. When clients feel that they were given your best effort, they are likely to share their experience with others. Especially within an attorney/client relationship, good service goes beyond the outcome of the case. Adequate customer service is also necessary, which includes returning client calls and regular communication about the status of the case. It also includes fair pricing and transparent billing systems. Implementing these goals into your regular client relationships will open the doors for increased referrals.
- Ask – Sometimes a referral is just a request away. When you provide valuable services to your clients, simply ask them to refer your practice to friends and families. This doesn’t have to be an awkward conversation. Simply say something like, “If you know someone who could use our services, we would appreciate a referral.” The best time to make your request is at the height of your client’s satisfaction. The conclusion of a successful matter or even a small win in the midst of a case offers a perfect opportunity for a referral request.
You can also provide your clients with few extra business cards and casually let them know that referrals are appreciated. Be careful not to go overboard with your requests though. There’s a fine line between a professionally appropriate request and a desperate plea.
- Treat referrals well – The responsibility doesn’t end once a referral walks through the door. If you fail to provide stellar service, it not only looks bad on your practice. It also looks bad on the referring client. You could lose the new client, while also jeopardizing the existing relationship. Also, make sure that your firm is offering a consistent payment structure. If one client learns that another is paying significantly less for your services, it can create distrust in your services.
Client referrals are vital to the success of your law practice. Some attorneys have built highly successful practices solely from client referrals. Follow these tips and you will have referrals calling the office in no time.
About Erika Winston:
Erika Winston is a Virginia based writer with a passion for all things legal. As a former domestic relations attorney, she understands the challenge of determining the best fee structure for your practice. Erika is a regular contributor to TimeSolv and a variety of other publications.