Here’s an Easy Way to Start Signing More Cases-
Let’s start with a basic premise- You gotta’ eat lunch, right? (Well, most days you do, unless you are up against a deadline, pounding out a brief, buried in prep for an upcoming trial, or the likes.)
Why not use your lunch time to sign more cases?
Let’s say you are a personal injury law firm-
As a PI law firm, you probably don’t handle wills and estates – or domestic – or criminal – or real estate law.
Gone are the days of the general practice lawyer who handles whatever kind of case walks in the door.
Even if your firm handles several practice areas, the odds are there are loads of other practice areas that you don’t cover.
But there are plenty of other lawyers in your market who do.
Tip#1: Once a week, use your lunch hour to build referral relationships with other lawyers in your market who handle the kinds of cases you don’t- by taking them to lunch.
It’s really that simple, but this marketing strategy will get you more cases.
Start by identifying the 5 top lawyers in your market that handle the kinds of cases you don’t.
Then, reach out to them and let them know you’d like to take them to lunch.
Make it about them, and not about you.
Let them know you’d like to know more about the kinds of cases they take. Explain that your firm receives calls all the time for cases outside your practice area, and you want to be able to route those calls to an experienced law firm that knows what they’re doing. Then, let the lawyer know you’d love to take him or her to lunch to discuss this further.
That’s really all you have to do to get this golden referral strategy ball rolling.
Then, follow through.
Try and set a firm date for lunch while you have them on the phone.
Mark it on your calendar and make this Power Lunch a priority.
When you meet for lunch, reiterate the same idea you shared in the initial phone call. Make it all about you wanting to help them.
Let the lawyer know you want to understand more about their firm, and what they do. Most people like to talk about themselves- and respond well when someone shows genuine interest in them. Lawyers are certainly no exception to this general principle.
Explain that your firm routinely receives calls from potential clients looking for lawyers outside your area of expertise, and you want to be able to point them in the right direction.
Discuss a potentnial referral relationship. Agree on a referral percentage, in accordance with your state’s ethics rules – or decide that you don’t want a referral fee, but just want to help clients out…. That arrangement is up to you.
In the course of the conversation, you will be able to share a bit about your law firm and the cases you handle.
The beauty of reciprocity is that if you show a willingness to help them, they are likely to do the same for you.
Let the lawyer know you’d like to start sending them cases, assuming they are interested. Of course they will be.
Almost as an afterthought, you can let them know that you are happy to talk with clients or callers who need a lawyer in your area of expertise.
And here’s the bottom line: If the conversation goes bust, all you are out is the cost of one lunch.
But if it goes well, you have created a referral relationship that could end up yielding huge results, sending you some of the biggest cases in your law firm career.
Don’t stop with just one of these strategic power lunches: Go through this same process with all the top law firms in your market that handle the kinds of cases you don’t.
Make it your goal to arrange and follow through with at least one of these Power Lunches each month.
Before long, you will likely start seeing a huge ROI from this simple marketing strategy. And you’ve started building positive relationships with other lawyers in your market, to boot. It’s a win-win.
Tip #2: Set up a Referral List of these Lawyers, and make sure your Intake Staff has it posted where they can use it.
Part of building a successful and growing law practice, is being the “Go-To” lawyer in your market.
You should want to be the trusted legal advisor that your existing and prior clients, and new callers know will always point them in the right direction.
So even when a person needs a lawyer and it is outside your practice area, they know they can call your law firm and get some help or direction as to who they should call.
You can even instruct your Intake department to keep the caller on the line, and place the call to the referral law firm directly. In this way, you are making it as easy as possible for the potential client – and it will let your law firm know about potential referral cases, so you can track them with each of the Referring Lawyers you are working with.
Developing Referral Relationships with other lawyers outside your practice area will lead to more cases and help you grow your law firm.
In addition, being able to point callers in the right direction – even when it is outside of your firm’s practice area – builds significant goodwill and trust with your community and market. Then, when they have a case that your firm can handle, you will be the lawyer they call first.
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