How law firms can build referral business without wasting hours

By Haylin Belay

Referrals are a critical part of building a strong and sustainable client base. Time and time again, we see that clients earned through referrals have greater lifetime value than clients gained through other channels. Considering how crucially important this aspect of business development is, why are so many law firms lagging behind in their referral efforts?
 
Simply put, building a referral pipeline takes time, and partners just don’t have any to spare. If your top-level attorneys are narrowly focused on billable hours, identifying potential prospects is the last thing on their minds. So, how can law firms make better use of their partners’ social and professional networks, without sucking up all of their time?
 
Step One: Strategize
 
The first step towards building an efficient referrals system is understanding where your best referrals will come from. Firm’s networks and connections may vary, but generally speaking, current clients, previous clients, firm alumni and firm employees are a good place to start looking for prospects. By focusing on your firm’s strongest connections, you can cut through the chaff and focus on the relationships that are most likely to lead to lucrative partnerships down the line.
 
Step Two: Digitize
 
Of course, even at a small firm, all these connections will inevitably start to pile up. Using a relationship mapping software to manage and visualize your firm’s networks saves your attorneys the time and energy it would take to comb through their contact lists searching for names, and makes it easy for your business development team to target your partners’ most valuable connections for outreach.
 
For more information on using relationship mapping software to improve client prospecting, check out RelSci’s newest white paper, “How to build your firm’s client base using partner relationships.”

RelSci helps create competitive advantage for leading corporate, financial and nonprofit organizations through a crucial yet vastly underutilized asset: relationship capital with influential decision makers. 

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