Consumer Bankruptcy Journal Winter 2016 - Page 27

8 PROVEN STEPS TO DOUBLE YOUR REFERRALS was a very nice touch and made a big impression on me. Since then I’ve sent them three more referrals. Say ‘thank you’ every single time, regardless of whether you land the client or not. 5. Do not just rely on other attorneys for referrals. Many of an attorney’s best referral sources can be outside of the legal industry. For example, if you are a bankruptcy attorney, develop relationships with psychologists and marriage and family counselors because we know financial stress impacts people on multiple levels, including their mental health. If you have a criminal defense practice, connect with substance abuse therapists. If you are a real estate attorney, seek to build relationships with commercial real estate brokers. If you are a business attorney, attend networking events filled with CPAs. If you are an estate planning attorney, reach out to financial advisors and planners. Be willing to look outside of your existing network to other non-legal professionals. include LinkedIn, Superpages.com, Avvo.com and your local or state trade associations. 3.  Write up a letter of introduction to serve as a template. Here’s an example of a letter you would send to non-competing attorneys:  
 Here is the 8 step system I have taught thousands of attorneys to create a referral network: 1. Identify your best possible referral sources. These will be other attorneys you don’t compete with and non-legal professionals who work with a similar clientele as you do. I’ve mentioned several examples above. Keep in mind that you want to choose those that have a growing business (not at the end of their career, winding things down), maintain close connections with their clients, do excellent work, have a great reputation (both online and offline), that you feel comfortable with, and that describe their best clients in similar terms as you. 
  
 2.  Create a database of 100-200 professionals in your local area. This should include every person who has ever referred someone to you as well as your identified best possible referral sources. Some good resources National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys REFERRAL LETTER TO NONCOMPETING ATTORNEYS WITH A DIVORCE PRACTICE My name is __________of the law firm _____________ in (city, state). I’m writing to see if you would be interested in getting together with me to learn about each other’s services and respective target markets. It is my hope that such a meeting can lead to the creation of a referral relationship that would benefit both of our firms. We have been in business since ______, and we focus our practice on (your area of practice). Many of our clients ask us for referrals to trusted and experienced divorce attorneys who can help them with divorce and post-divorce issues. For our part, we are constantly looking to expand our network of professional advisors in the local area, from whom we can identify potential referrals for our clients. For more information about our firm, we invite you to visit our website at: ________________ In the next week you’ll receive a call from our office to see if you are interested in getting Winter 2016 together in person. I look forward to meeting you soon, face-to-face. Sincerely,
 4.  Have your assistant mail out 10-20 letters per week on your letterhead. Do not send a bunch of letters at once -- pace yourself. Many attorneys ask if it has to be a mailed letter. No, it does not, but in many cases you will get a better response. Most professionals will open a letter from an attorney. There is an overreliance on email and fewer people are sending mail these days so it stands out. Email can get lost. You may also want to try sending an “In mail” using LinkedIn, if you are a proficient user of LinkedIn. 5. For each letter you send out, plan on having your assistant make three to four calls to try and reach the person you sent the letter to. The purpose of your call is two-fold: to see if they are interested in getting toget her and to set a face to face appointment if they are.  This is not direct solicitation or a sales pitch – it is simply a followup call to see if they are interested in meeting with you face-to-face. Call them once per week for three to four weeks before giving up. Prepare a simple phone script for your assistant and make sure he or she has the answers to simple questions about your law firm: · How long have you been in practice / business? · Who is your ideal client? · Where are you located? · What’s your primary practice area? · What’s your website URL? · How did you find my name / contact information? CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY JOURNAL 27