Resources: Our Law Firm Marketing Newsletter

The Rainmaker Institute
Rainmaker Report
Practice Building Tips for Today's Attorneys
  July 2014   

How to Double the Referrals and Repeat Business from Current & Former Clients

Dear Stephen,

The Holy Grail of business development for attorneys is a referral-driven law firm. Every attorney seeks to build a referral based practice.

However, many attorneys seem to spend their entire professional career trying to create a steady stream of referrals with little results to show for it.

There are four primary reasons attorneys don't receive more referrals:
  • Your referral sources are not adequately educated about what you do
  • You are too vague about who your perfect client is
  • You aren't consistently communicating with your clients
  • You are not consistently reminding them to send you a referral
This month I'm going to explain 4 ways to identify your best client referral sources, the top 5 things your referral sources need to know and 4 strategies to get repeat business from your clients.

Sincerely,

 

Stephen Fairley

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Turning Clients Into Referral Sources

So how do you identify your best client referral sources? Listen! When it comes to communicating with clients, listening is often more important than talking. It is by listening that you learn what clients want, and then you can give it to them. Which makes for more referrals and better client retention.

Here are some important methods you can use to actively listen to clients:

1. Open feedback. Always offer clients a way to provide feedback, through your website, an online survey and in your e-newsletter campaign. Simply asking for their thoughts is often enough to garner some important insights.

2. Transactional feedback. If you're a regular Starbucks® customer, you have undoubtedly received a free survey at some point with your receipt. You provide them with some feedback online and you get a free drink for your efforts.

What attorneys can learn from this is the importance of asking clients for their thoughts about their experience with your firm after the case is over or at important points along the way. Keep your finger on the pulse of how satisfied they are with how your firm is treating them, and you'll have a satisfied client who is more likely to refer you to others.

3. Social media interaction. Monitor your social media channels to see what people are saying about you. You can search for your firm name on Twitter and Facebook, and you should be regularly monitoring Avvo, LinkedIn groups, Yelp! and Google for other comments about your firm.

4. Client satisfaction surveys. Using formal client satisfaction surveys is another good way to gauge client experiences with your firm. Send one out after each engagement is closed and respond immediately and personally to any negative feedback.

Once you have gathered a list of good potential client referral sources, you need to educate them on what your ideal client looks like.

Here are the top 5 things your referral sources need to know:

1. What your perfect client looks like. You need to answer this question very specifically - i.e., "My ideal client is a high net worth individual ($1 million or more in assets) in their 40s who owns their own business" not "anyone who has money." The more clear you are on your description the easier people can envision who you want to work with.

2. Why someone should hire you. I have written frequently about your UCA - unique competitive advantage-it answers the question "Why should I hire you?" Be sure your referral sources understand the precise reasons why you are better than your competitors and how you are different from them.

3. What problems you solve. By helping your referral source understand the kinds of problems you solve for clients, they will know what to listen for in daily conversations and be able to recommend you to someone who mentions having a problem you solve.

4. How you follow up. Your referral source needs to feel comfortable that you will follow up promptly and professionally with the people they send your way.

5. Why referrals are important to you. Let your source know that you rely on referrals as a way to build your business and how much you will appreciate their referring people to you.

And finally, always remember to thank them and let them know that their referral is meaningful to you and your firm.

How to Get Repeat Business from Current Clients

One of the most basic marketing strategies for law firm is getting additional business from current clients - yet many fail at doing this effectively. A recent research report from Hinge Marketing - Inside the Buyer's Brain - showed the two main reasons for this failure:
  • Most service providers underestimate the demand from current clients for additional services.
  • Most clients are unaware of all the services provided by their current provider.
Even if you have done a good job educating your clients about all the services you offer, they are human, likely busy, and may forget. Here are four strategies to do a better job of erasing that disconnect:

1. Designate a dedicated relationship manager. Usually the person responsible for managing the relationship is the same one responsible for managing the daily work. What happens is that the long-term relationship management gets lost in the demands of the current workload. Consider designating someone in the firm to be a dedicated relationship manager, working closely with the person who does the day-to-day work so he or she understands the client.

2. Integrate a formal review of potential issues into your client management process.  Provide your clients with a monthly review to determine if there are any issues or opportunities they should be aware of.

3. Look for opportunities where you can help. With the formal review, you are likely to identify a number of issues. Some the client can handle on their own; others may need your attention, whether it is something you can offer to handle for them or give them a referral to another professional they may need on their team.

4. Review issues and your suggested approaches with the client. Rather than waiting for a client to come to you, be proactive in putting potential issues on the table and discuss how you are able to help as a valued partner, not as someone with a sales pitch.

While this approach will not work for every practice, it can be adapted for many clients. It's all part of micromanaging the client experience - if you take the time to really know your clients and the problems they are facing, you greatly increase your chances for repeat business.

If you would like to learn more on getting clients to refer and repeat, I invite you to sign up for a complimentary strategy session with one of our trained Rainmaker Law Marketing Consultants by calling 888-588-5891 or filling out this form.

We have helped over 10,000 attorneys across the nation discover the secrets in building a financially successful and personally satisfying legal practice and we would love to have your law firm be our next success story!
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Stephen's Speaking Engagements
PILMMA Summit

Thursday, July 17-Saturday, July 19, 2014
Chicago, IL

Stephen will be speaking on "30 Ways To Double Your Intake & Conversions in 90 Days or Less."

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The State Bar of California Annual Meeting

Thursday, September 11-Sunday, September 14, 2014
San Diego, CA

Stephen will be speaking to the general assembly on September 13.

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