Building a great referral network begins by identifying the people who already have a relationship with the people you want as clients.
For example, if you target small business owners, you would look for those who already have a relationship with small business owners. These could be accountants, financial planners, local bankers, CPA’s, commercial real estate agents, etc.
So how do you build a referral network with them?
One of our clients developed his referral network by sending out a letter to 75-80 targeted professionals that basically said:
“Hello, I’m Jack Smith with XYZ Law Firm. We know that competition for professional service advisors is getting more and more intense with more people entering the field. We are building a cross referral network with other trusted advisors who are experts in their field.
Over the last 15 years we’ve been practicing law, we have really focused our practice on working with small business owners and high net worth individuals on estate planning, wills and trusts and asset protection.
Through a series of breakfast meetings and private meetings at our office, we’re going to build a cross referral network with a limited number of other professionals who are committed to growing their practice and sending cross referrals.
We’re not looking for any kind of a fee for facilitating this network, but we would like to officially invite you to check it out and see if this is something you’d like to support.
For more information, give us a call at this number or visit our website to learn more about our practice.”
From this mailing, our client got a group of about 25 going. They get together about once a month and send referrals to each other on a regular basis.
Existing clients are also a good source for you and your referral partners. If you partner with a CPA or financial planner, each of you would send a letter out to your respective client databases offering a free consultation on behalf of the other as an added benefit of being a valued client.
Co-sponsoring an event or a seminar series is another excellent way to build relationships with strategic referral partners. Technology makes it easy and inexpensive for an attorney and another professional to host a webinar or teleseminar on topics of interest to small business owners.
Your local bank branch is another source waiting to be tapped. Offer your services as an expert speaker for a small business seminar that the bank could host – they do all the work in setting it up and getting an audience. You now have a room full of prospective clients and all you had to spend was some time preparing your remarks.
Professionals are always looking for good strategic referral partners. You can ensure that you’re a good partner by educating them about who you are, what you do, the kind of clients you target and the great service you provide. Reciprocity is the key: to get referrals, you have to give them, too.
Free Report: 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys From Building A Referral-Based Practice
Referrals are the lifeblood of many law practices, and building a good referral program takes a proven process. Stephen Fairley unveils the 4 Myths That Keep Attorneys from Building a Referral-Based Practice in his new free report. Read and discover:
- How to determine the best source for your referrals
- How to explain your ideal target market to a referral source
- How to get referrals from other attorneys
- Whether online directories are a good referral source
- How to network effectively
- And much, much more!