As you probably know, law firms rely heavily on referrals to generate new leads.
Business relationships with other attorneys and professionals are incredibly valuable lead sources, and you likely spend a lot of time fostering them. In fact, attorneys spend 1.4 hours a day on average networking to meet new clients and build referrals. That’s 2x the .7 hours spent by the average professional.
But what about client referrals? Getting referrals from clients can be the easiest, least time-consuming, and cheapest way to bring in new clients.
Establishing a Law Firm Referral Program will help you maximize your referrals and automate the referral process.
Why Is a Law Firm Referral Program Better Than Traditional Advertising?
There are a few reasons:
- Save time by eliminating the need to keep track of multiple ad campaigns.
- Reduce the stress on your marketing budget.
- Lower risk by spending money as you make it – no upfront marketing expenses that you may or may not see a return on.
The legal industry is the most expensive marketing sector with the highest CPC (Cost Per Click) on Google Ads, making it one of the least cost-effective marketing strategies.
CPC varies rapidly and COVID-19 has seen CPC skyrocket for the Legal Industry.
You can incentivize clients to refer friends and family for a much lower cost than traditional marketing and advertising.
It’s an Easy Sell
- Referrals from clients start off with higher levels of trust and confidence in you than leads from any other source – before they’ve even spoken with you!
- Clio’s 2019 Legal Trends Report found that almost 60% of clients seek a referral when shopping for a lawyer, and only 16% seek a referral AND search on their own. Meaning 73% of clients who sought referrals chose them.
How to Set Up a Law Firm Referral Program
It’s not as complicated as you might think.
Develop an Enticing Offer
Rewarding both the referrer and the referred is ideal.
- For past clients giving referrals, gifts are a good idea – gift cards and donations in their name are great options.
- For current clients giving referrals, there are more options. Both discounts and gifts work.
- For the referred, discounts are ideal.
Disclaimer: Be sure to check with your local Ethics Rules & Opinions before creating your incentive.
Entice Your Clients (Let Them Know)
When it comes to getting the word out, consistency is key. Most people don’t know someone who needs a lawyer at all times. If they haven’t heard about your referral program in months, they’re less likely to remember it when one of their friends or family members finds themselves in need of an attorney.
- Update your website to include a referrals page with information regarding your referral program.
- Blogs are a great way to get information out. You can create original posts or publish the content from your emails. Make sure to include your call to action at the end!
- Emails are likely the most effective method of getting in touch with previous and current clients, and they are super easy to automate.
- If your firm sends out newsletters, add a section to the newsletter with referral information!
Keep Track of Your Referrals
CRMs are absolutely essential for keeping track of client referrals and leads.
Here are a few we recommend:
- Send a handwritten thank you note with your gift or discount. It doesn’t need to be fancy. Make sure you let them know that the referral offer still stands for the future.
How to Increase the Likelihood of Receiving Referrals
Customer Service is KEY and an important part of your Law Firm Referral Program. The number 1 factor in receiving client referrals is a positive experience working with you.
No one wants to risk referring a friend or family member to someone they can’t be sure will take care of them. (This is especially true for something as important as legal issues.)
When it comes to the legal industry, the referral gift or discount alone likely won’t be enough to elicit referrals – they know their friend or family member will be in good hands.
As customer service experts, we’ve put together a few guides to help you really wow your clients –
- End cases with thank you gifts and/or cards to thank your clients for choosing and working with you. Let them know you enjoyed your time together and they were an excellent client, then introduce your referral program.
- Leave your clients feeling like you’ve gone above and beyond for them and they will feel the desire to return that favor to you.
And when your phones start ringing off the hook from all the new referrals you’re receiving, schedule a call with our Growth Solutions Strategist to strategize ways to handle the new traffic.