If you could convert your firm to a referral only law firm, many of the problems that other firms have, would either go away or be dramatically reduced
If you consider the new clients that have been referred to you recently, I suspect that you will see some positive commonalities.
These are some of the attributes of these referred clients that I would expect that you might mention:
– They are likely to be nice people to deal with. Your referrers are unlikely to refer someone who they don’t like to deal with themselves.
– They would be likely to already be expecting that they will have to pay a reasonable fee and pay it within your credit terms. Again, your referrers are unlikely to embarrass themselves, by referring one of their own poor payers to you.
– They are likely to already be pre-disposed to listening to and acting upon your advice. The fact that they acted on the referrer’s recommendation indicates that.
– The cost of acquisition of this referred client was most likely Nil. Quality referrers almost never expect payment for a referral.
All of this leads to a practice that is more enjoyable to work in and more profitable as well.
In many other professions, new clients are only accepted if they have been referred, generally by another professional.
Most of the specialist medical professions for example, only accept a client by referral.
There is also some evidence of law firms moving this way as well.
Choy Brown a specialist IP firm in Melbourne, is a high profile firm that has been practicing this way for over seven years. They moved to a strategy of only taking on new clients if they were referred by an existing client or someone in their professional network.
Their experience of this change, is that revenues actually increased because they had more time to spend on their best existing clients. In addition they were able to focus on exclusively dealing with ideal clients.
You can read more about Choy Brown’s move to being a referral only law firm by following this link: Choy Brown a referral only law firm
One of the points raised in this article is that while Choy Brown had always promoted that they were client focused, like everyone else, by moving to referral only, they really proved to everyone that this was absolutely the case.
One of the key issues then for a firm looking to make the shift to a referral only law firm, is that clients have to be absolutely delighted with their experience at the firm.
A point I raise over and over, is that for clients to be delighted with you, requires more than just doing excellent work for them.
It is highly likely that your clients will not even be lawyers, so they are in no position to judge the quality of your work.
But they will judge you.
You will be judged not necessarily on the quality of your work, but instead by the things that the client does understand.
They will almost always be little things.
– Did you return their telephone call or email when you said you would?
– Did your receptionist greet them by name?
– Did you keep them informed on the progress of the matter, particularly if there were unavoidable delays?
– In a return visit to your office, was their coffee made the way they like, without them having to explain that again?
The sum of these things, which by themselves have nothing to do with the documents you may have prepared, have everything to do with client delight.
If you are serious about moving to a referral only law firm, then you need to be serious about client delight
Let me give you a non-law example of a business doing amazing things, many of which have nothing to do with their core business, but which have everything to do with client delight.
My example is a supermarket. Now supermarkets are not very exciting are they?
Would a supermarket that is based in a regional town but has been in the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest individual sales of any store in the world, be doing anything special do you think?
Of course they are.
A supermarket that has trained executives from companies like McDonalds and Exxon on customer service!
If you want to read more of some of the amazing things that happen in that supermarket, you can read the article I wrote following my visit. The link is:
How to Build a Referral Only Law Firm Using Ideas from an Amazing Supermarket
That supermarket is amazingly successful because they do things that are above and beyond what you would expect as a customer.
If you want to have an amazingly successful referral only law firm then I suggest that a focus on client delight will be one of the key planks of your success.
You may be aware that we have developed two programs to help you to move towards being a referral only law firm if you want to make that leap.
Alternatively you may just wish to attract heaps of quality new clients so that your firm can grow and prosper.
Either way we recommend that you watch our new FREE VIDEO that will explain an approach for attracting quality clients to your practice that doesn’t require you to have any marketing skills at all. Instead you simply utilise the existing legal skills and people skills that you already have to get more of the types of clients that you really want to work with. The link is below:
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