Referral is my favorite marketing strategy, not just because it’s free, but because it works more effectively than any other marketing strategy I’ve ever used.
When I started my legal nurse consulting business in 1982, my hospital salary was $28,000 and I had a mortgage to pay, so with only $100 in my bank account, I didn’t have a lot of marketing dollars.
Networking led me to my first attorney-client, and referral business from that attorney and subsequent attorney-clients was the marketing strategy I used to grow a multi-million dollar business. Referral, however, is not a gift. Referral business is something you have to earn.
It is the result of providing excellent work product and excellent service. It is the most powerful and most inexpensive marketing strategy you can implement. Attorneys trust the opinions of other attorneys.
Put these referral strategies into action:
- Ask every attorney-client for referrals. Be specific and ask for the names of attorneys they know who handle medical-related cases.
- Request letters of recommendation from your attorney-clients to include in your promotional package. The attorney might even request that you write the letter for his signature, or you can suggest this possibility if you know the attorney is extremely busy. If you do write the letter of recommendation, interview the attorney to capture his glowing comments and have the attorney sign an original document so you can produce copies.
- Take your attorney-clients to lunch and ask for referrals.
- Invite an attorney-client and three to five of his peers to an event.
Ask for referrals when the timing is right, i.e., when the attorney is raving about your work product. Assure your attorney-client of your commitment to future cases. Request names, not just future referrals. Express appreciation for referrals through thank-you cards, lunch or a free case screening.
Follow through on the names provided and contact each referred attorney. When you follow up, mention specifically what the referring attorney suggested you could help the attorney-prospect with – defending or prosecuting a products liability case, for example. Invoke the referring attorney’s name every opportunity you get. Use information learned about the attorney-prospect in all communications.
Focus on setting up an interview with the attorney to educate him about the benefits you offer. Always try to get your foot in the door. The odds of going home with a case in hand are much stronger if you see the attorney-prospect in person. Never try to sell yourself over the telephone – an interview is your goal.
Systemize the referral process and soon you’ll be begging your attorney-clients to keep your name to themselves.
Success Is Inside!
P.S. Comment and share your creative strategies for obtaining more attorney referrals.