According to a recent ABA survey, 46% of those surveyed say they go to a trusted source like a family member or friend to find an attorney. That certainly comes as news to no one.  Referrals continue to play a huge part in new business for attorneys because they are based on trust, and trust is based on the customer experience.

I’m convinced one of the biggest reasons that attorneys don’t receive more referrals is because they don’t take the time to inform and remind their clients of the various services they offer.  Most clients immediately put their attorney in a box and believe the only service the lawyer offers is the one they used.

I remember a conversation I had with an attorney who practices business law. He was upset because a former client, whom he’d helped set up an LLC three months earlier, referred a competing law firm to a friend looking for representation in a multi-million dollar lawsuit.

When the lawyer explained that this was precisely his specialty, the client was shocked and said, "I’m sorry, but you really need to do a better job informing me of what you do and what kind of cases you want because I don’t know."

How much business have you lost because your clients simply aren’t aware of the various services your firm can provide?

Another way to increase client referrals is to make certain that your clients can accurately explain your ideal target market:

Your ideal target market is the person or company most likely to hire you initially, repeatedly and at the highest profit margin. With so many attorneys struggling to define their ideal client, it’s no wonder if your clients don’t know whom they should refer to you.

Remember that memory is elusive and just because you wowed them once and they sent you a referral – doesn’t mean they will ALWAYS remember.  So don’t take referral relationships for granted.  Finding a high-quality lawyer is easy and it takes more than quality to make an impression – it takes a relationship.  

Just like any relationship, you need to be connecting with your current and former referral sources every four to six weeks to ensure the health and longevity of the affiliation.  In my E-newsletter last month, I wrote about keeping in touch with referral sources – it is full of great suggestions.
Rainmakers don’t wait for the door to knock or the phone to ring or the referral to come in. They take the initiative, stay in touch, and focus on serving their referral sources.  


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