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February 01, 2011 Practice Points

Keep Up Those Client Referrals

By Virginia Sierra

Law firm branding specialist Ross Fishman said, "Keep your clients so satisfied with the quality of your work and your service that they would feel like they would be doing their friends a favor by having them hire you for their legal matters." Solo and small firm attorneys need to generate business, and potential clients want to be satisfied by their attorney's work product. If you keep your clients happy, they will be happy to help you keep your business afloat.

Do not be afraid to ask your clients if they have anyone they would like to refer to you; this will get their mind heading down that path. They may not immediately think of someone, but the seed of that idea has been planted. When someone asks for a referral or brings up a situation where you might be useful, the hope is that your name will be in the forefront of your referring clients' minds.

Not all of your clients will be able to refer you business. Attorneys should pick their top networked clients—clients that have the most outside contacts and the greatest influence—and speak to or write to them several times a year to keep the attorney fresh in the minds of the clients.

Attorneys may also want to create an email newsletter commenting on legal news and issues that will be informative and helpful to their clients. This again keeps the attorney on the clients' minds and demonstrates a high degree of knowledge.

Finally, working for free gives potential clients the opportunity to become return clients when they are satisfied with an attorney's work. The attorney is initially desirable because he or she is not charging fees. And, when these clients experience the attorney's excellent work, they will not want to seek legal advice from anywhere else.

Virginia Sierra is with Cohen Kennedy Dowd & Quigley, PC in Phoenix, Arizona.

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