This is a hard truth to accept, but your referral network is in fact, broken!
Like many attorneys, you probably get a good amount of referrals. Even in today’s digital marketing world, a lot of business still comes from word of mouth; from past clients, other attorneys, or strategic relationships in specific industries.
No matter how many referrals you are currently getting, however, the data says that you are leaving more on the table! According to a study produced by the business school at Texas Tech, 83% of your clients are willing to refer to you. But only 29% actually are.
In other words, you are only getting about one-third of the referrals that you should be getting, from people you already know!
This is a big issue that often gets overlooked. With more and more marketing companies reaching out to you every day selling you advertising, pay-per-click, or promises of a high Google ranking, it is easy to lose sight of all the referrals you are missing out on.
Furthermore, referrals are often better clients than those who find you online. This only compounds the issue. Not only are most law firms receiving fewer referrals than they should be, but when they do spend time, money, and other resources on their marketing, it is often focused on attracting more clients from advertising than it is focused on generating referrals.
Referrals make better clients. They are cheaper to get. And, they are more likely to refer to you because they were referred themselves.
Here is the good news! It’s not complicated to close the “referral gap.” The biggest culprit in this issue is a lack of staying top-of-mind. The days of an annual holiday or birthday card to your clients being enough have passed. We all have too much going through our minds every day. It is simply too easy to forget about you and what you do.
When the moment arises to make a referral, people just don’t think of it. They don’t make the connection. However, the more you stay connected with your network, and the more you remind them what you do, the more likely they are to think of you at the moment it matters.
Remember, the internet is a tool that you can use to stay better connected with your clients, keeping your brand and what you do front-and-center in their minds.
By nurturing your existing audience with marketing strategies such as an email newsletter, a consistent social media presence, and blog content that focuses on people, not search engine robots, you’ll remain well connected with your network and ultimately close any current referral gaps.
So, your referral network is broken. But starting to fix it is one of the best decisions you will make for your law firm. Ultimately, marketing to your past clients and your existing network always produces an ROI.