Making Referrals a Cornerstone of Your Firm's Marketing Strategy

Word-of-mouth is critical for attorneys. It elevates happy clients and it serves as a proof point to a job well done. This leads to referrals and the cycle starts again. However, making referrals a cornerstone of your business isn't just about face-to-face interactions. It's also about the way you diversify your marketing as an attorney.

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Potential consumers, and referring attorneys, are looking in more places to find solutions to legal problems. But they still need to know about you to refer cases your way.

That's why it's important to master the art of referrals by cultivating your referral network.

Yes, your current clients and former clients are a great source of referrals, but practicing law has connected you to an extensive network of professionals. From high school, college and law school classmates, to attorneys in other practice areas and co-members of community groups, the list is long to expand your contacts.

And when it comes to fellow Super Lawyers selectees, the referral source is a strong one. In fact, 46 percent of Super Lawyers selectees have referred a client to a fellow selected attorney four or more times in the past year, according to the Super Lawyers Attorney Referral Survey.

Rob Sullivan, a nine-time listee and personal injury lawyer at Sullivan Law in Kansas City, Missouri, takes the referral process a step further. He created a method for using the Super Lawyers online magazine and directory as a referral tool locally and nationally. He vets fellow selectees from each region on the Super Lawyers list and then picks a handful as potential sources to refer out cases he won't be able to handle.

"If a case is in Seattle, it's not going to be cost effective for me," he said. "I've done cases in 25 states, but I want a local person and the top one in the area. And in the future, hopefully they'll think of us."

Sullivan said he knows that over time, the act of passing out business to others will make its way back to him. The process expands his connections and when he provides a good referral experience with the other attorney, it increases satisfaction in his firm within the minds of potential clients.

It's a give-and-take for Sullivan and something he's taken the time to cultivate. How are you building your referral network?

Download our playbook, Master the Art of Referrals, to learn more about how you can make referrals a cornerstone of your marketing strategy.