Consumer Bankruptcy Journal Winter 2016 - Page 28

8 PROVEN STEPS TO DOUBLE YOUR REFERRALS Be sure your assistant asks a few questions of your potential referral source: · · · Who is your ideal client? What kind of client do you enjoy working with the most? Do you currently have a ________ attorney you refer cases / clients to? Are you open to discussing developing a referral relationship with a law firm like ours if there’s a good connection? some tips: 6. The goal is to set three to six face-to-face meetings per month. At the face-to-face meeting you want to spend 80% of the time getting to know them and their practice to determine if it’s a good fit. Ask them LOTS of questions: · How did you first get started in _____? · What do you like best / least about your work? · Do you seek to make referrals to other non-competing professionals? What’s the biggest challenge you are facing? · How do you find most of your clients? · How many clients do you serve in a typical year? · What does your typical client look like? · Where is your office located? · If they are not interested, tell them, “No problem. I’m sorry to have bothered you. We will immediately remove you from our list of referral sources.” Here’s the truth...the vast majority will WELCOME your call! We have made thousands of follow up calls for our clients and scheduled hundreds of face to face meetings for them and only a handful have said ‘No.’ Remember— this is NOT a sales pitch—it’s just lunch! Another option is to set up a brief meeting at first just to see if there’s a good connection. Offer to meet them at their office for 30 minutes (lower risk and very convenient for them plus you get to see their office and meet their team). The first meeting or two needs to be face to face in order to establish rapport and build the relationship. Your assistant will need to call each contact three to four times just to get through. Don’t get discouraged! Remember, they are very busy 28 professionals just like you. CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY JOURNAL And the most important referral question of all: How would I know if someone would be a great referral for you? 7.  Invite them to a second meeting if the first meeting goes well. If your initial meeting goes well, immediately invite them to a second one where you can go into more detail about your practice area and how the two of you could start cross-referring some business. Remember—you cannot promise them referrals, you cannot guarantee referrals, nor can you pay them a referral fee (unless they are an attorney and you meet your state’s guidelines)! However, the vast majority of them don’t want a referral fee and their professional code of ethics doesn’t allow one either. What they want is a referral back from you. 8. Follow up! When it comes to getting more referrals from other professionals, the fortune is in the follow-up! Here are Winter 2016 · Send an email immediately after you meet with them. Send it the same day when possible. · Send a handwritten thank you card or form letter about 2-3 days after your initial meeting. · After your meeting put a “to do” or task item in your Outlook for approximately 6-8 weeks after your initial meeting. · Set up “lunch and learns” where several professionals informally get together over lunch to exchange leads, discuss business, and encourage each other. · Make your next meeting more about the relationship than business. Meet at the golf course, over drinks or a casual place. · Send them a copy of your published articles. · Create and send out a separate monthly newsletter just for Referral Sources · Use social media to stay connected – invite them to connect to you on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. At the Rainmaker Institute, we have taught this easy step-by-step system to thousands of bankruptcy attorneys and they have used this exact process to quickly build networks of 50-60 new referral sources in 90 days. Imagine what would happen to your law practice if you could have 10, 20, 30, or even more new referral sources every single year who consistently send you new clients. You can make it happen if you create a referral system that delivers real – not random – results. National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys