7 Tips to Giving More Referrals…and Why You Should Care

Yes, you read that right. This post is about giving referrals. The best way to get referrals is to give them, particularly if you belong to a networking group. Here is why:

• When you give a referral, the recipient feels a sense of obligation to return the favor. Most people will try to reciprocate if they can. The more referrals you give to the recipient, the greater the sense of obligation…to the point where they will apologize for not giving you referrals!

• In networking groups, giving referrals is best way to achieve notoriety quickly. The people who give the most referrals invariably become the most popular and influential people in the group. This notoriety enables them to attract referrals.

So, the challenge becomes: “How to give more referrals?”

Giving a referral is easier said than done. Giving a high quality referral is even more difficult. Below are some of the ideas that were shared at two of my networking groups recently. Many thanks to everyone who contributed to our brainstorming:

1. Put it out there. Talk to your clients about your network. It’s a valuable asset to your clients, and they should understand and appreciate it. While you’re on the subject, ask them if they need any trusted professionals.

2. Think / Concern / Help. A financial planner gave me this outstanding script for talking to your clients about a referral. It works for him, and it works for me. It will work for you as well, because it’s sincere. Here it is: “I’ve been thinking about you since we last met. I’m concerned about (issue). I have a trusted colleague who I think could really help. I haven’t talked to them yet, but I know they would be happy to speak with you.”

3. Add it to your discovery/engagement process. List the trusted professional roles, and ask if the clients are satisfied with their work.

a. Alternative #1: Ask if the client “would like a second opinion?”
b. Alternative #2: Ask if the client “would enthusiastically re-hire all of them?”

4. Don’t Expect Reciprocity. The people you refer to your clients may not be in a position to refer clients to you. Reciprocal relationships are ideal, but not always possible. Make the referral anyway, because it benefits your clients. Then have them read this post! In addition, you can ask the recipient for something else in return: a speaking opportunity, a discount on their services, or perhaps an introduction to a V.I.P.

5. Power partners. Carefully vet power partners so you can refer with confidence. Then collaborate with them on events and other marketing activities. This enables you to generate more business collectively than you could on your own.

6. Referral as a Service. Treat the referral as if it was an extension of your services to your client (because it is). This means that you must trust the provider. Arrange and participate in meetings between the client and the provider as needed.

7. Know Thy Client. The more you get to know your client or customer, the more they will recognize you as a trusted resource in their lives, not just your professional relationship. If you know them on a personal level, learn about them as a professional. If you know them as a professional, get to know them as a person. When clients see that you are genuinely interested in them, the trust factor goes through the roof and you are in a stronger position to connect them with the right professionals.

Please note that this only applies when referrals are done in the client’s best interests, and you are connecting them with other professionals whom you trust. Be sincere, be authentic, and always put clients first.

If you’re interested growing your law firm via referrals, take a look at the Attorney Referral Formula™. It’s a 5 step guide to getting more referrals naturally and ethically. You can find it here.

To your success,
Alay

CASE STUDY: LAWYER ADDS $220K TO REVENUE, TAKES FOUR WEEKS OFF

 

In this post, I want to tell you about Rebecca, one of my clients, who grew her revenue by $220k while taking four weeks off.

 

Rebecca is one of my clients. And though her name is not really Rebecca, we really have been working together for about a year. She is an excellent lawyer and she owns her own firm. When we started working together, she was grossing $45k per month and she wanted to grow aggressively to a million dollar law firm. Unfortunately, she spent a lot of time in court and with clients, so she didn’t have the time to manage the firm, much less grow it. She was stressed out: working during the day, “rainmaking” at night. She was trying to be a great owner, lawyer, wife, and mother, but she felt like she wasn’t doing any of them as well as she should.

 

Over the past several months, Rebecca has had some remarkable success. Her firm’s revenue grew by $220k in six months. She took four weeks off, including a two week vacation to Hawaii. She hired a second paralegal and is bringing on a second associate. And her firm is on pace to be a million dollar practice this year.

 

Rebecca is a gifted lawyer and a natural entrepreneur. The truth is, she has implemented just three strategies with me:
1. She re-defined her target market to focus on the clients whom her firm serves best.
2. she developed a network that consistently provides her with a steady stream of high quality referrals.
3. She went through our unique approach to creating an annual business plan for her firm, and she discovered how to structure and grow her firm so that she can work fewer hours while simultaneously growing the firm’s revenue and profit.

 

I’ll go through the “How” with you in a moment. But before we get into that I want to ask you one question: is your law firm stuck? Or do you feel like it’s growing smoothly and easily? If it’s growing like Rebecca’s, I’m so happy to hear that and if you want some ideas on how to take it to yet another level, ping me. If your firm is stuck, or it’s just crawling along, or its growing but growth is really painful, then you should check out my free upcoming webinar Building Your Perfect Practice. It’s a one hour live, interactive webinar where I will give you my framework and some powerful ideas for getting unstuck and accelerating your firm’s results. Click here for the details.
Anyway let’s get back to Rebecca’s story.

 

So I mentioned that she re-defined her target market to focus on the clients whom her firm serves best. This is one of the strategies that we teach called Aligned Marketing, where we identify three things:
1. the firm’s unique value (i.e. what it does best)
2. The firm’s greater purpose beyond making money
3. The client who prizes #1 and really appreciates #2.
Using the Aligned Marketing technique, she was able to focus her networking efforts to attract those clients for whom her firm did their best work. Focusing in this way freed up her time because she stopped doing the marketing activities that weren’t producing. In addition, she was able to raise her rate due to the huge value she was delivering to these clients.

 

The second thing Rebecca did was to utlilize the Client Acquisition System. It’s an easy to follow process that builds you a network of referral partners from three sources: clients, power partners, and key influencers. This really got her referral engine running, and provided the steady stream of referrals needed for growth.

 

The third thing she implemented incredibly well was the One Page Practice Plan. It’s a tool my clients use to create a simple but effective business plan for the year. As she went through this process, she discovered that her primary role should be Rainmaker for the firm: that is, fill her firm’s book of business, not just hers. In addition, she needed to delegate many of her law firm admin tasks to her office manager and her bookkeeper.

 

As a result of these shifts, she had three major insights:
1. She realized that effective delegation is the most impactful way to leverage her time.
2. She focused on filling her associate’s book of clients.
3. She realized that running a law firm can be fun…if you run it like a business!

 

So I want to less about Rebecca right now and more about you. How are you doing? How long have you had your practice, and on a scale of 1 to 10 how happy are you with your progress right now? If you’re doing well, I’m really happy for you. I love working with the best of the best. If you’re doing OK, but you know there’s that next level of income, success, and freedom…and it’s calling out to you, you should sign up for my free live webinar How To Build Your Perfect Practice webinar. We’ll talk about the three areas that we focus on to take lawyers from being:

 

From Stressed out, to happy
From Unhappy with their income, to Delighted with their financial return
From Working lots of hours, to taking lots of time off
From Trapped in their law firm, to having Freedom

 

So here’s the thing, this is your call and I invite you to take the next step.
If you’re ready to take your law firm to the next level I want you to click here and sign up for the “How to build Your Perfect Practice” webinar. I look forward to having you on the webinar. Until then, take good care, thanks for reading this post, and I’ll see you soon.

 

SHOULD YOU RAISE YOUR RATE?

0:26  – Should I raise my rate?

 

1:30 – Two-Step Process

 

Hi there! Alay Yajnik from lawyerbusinessadvantage.com. Today, I want to answer a question for you that I get from virtually all of my clients and a question is this: “Should I raise my rate?” There’s a lot that goes into answering this question, so let’s go and get into it.

 

Should I raise my rate?

 

I was just on a Revenue Accelerator™ call with a new client, and that client  asked me a question that I get from so many of my clients which is, “Should I raise my rate?” There’s three steps that I want to show you right now to help you answer this question for yourself. Step 1: If you’re asking the question, “Should i raise my rate?” the answer is probably “Yes.”

 

But there is a caveat. If you raise your rate by $50 an hour that may seem like a lot to you, right? Going from $250 to $300, or $350 to $400, or $400 to $450 it can feel like a big step. But if you do the math, it doesn’t actually result in a lot of income to you at the end of the year. It’s a little bit of a bump, but it’s not going to make a huge difference. Now, what if you kept your rate the same but you max’ed out the hours? So that every hour that you could be billing was billed out, whether it’s 20 hours a week, 30 hours a week, or 40 hours a week. You’re billing out those hours. In most cases, that’s going to have a far larger effect on your income than raising your rate by 50 bucks.

 

Two-Step Process

 

So it’s a two step process. Step 1, make sure that you’re billing out your hours and that you’re max’ing out your hours. Then you can do Step 2, which is raising your rate.

 

Now, I have a question for you: What impact would it have on your life if you could grow your book of clients, fill up those billable hours, and then increase your rate?

 

The Attorney Referral Formula

 

If it have a significant impact on your life, then you should download my free e-book, The Attorney Referral Formula™. It’s a 5-step guide to significantly increasing your income faster than you could on your own. I’ve used it with my clients. It contains a proven approach. Using the techniques in this book, my clients have grown their income faster than they thought possible. I’m making it available to you for free. So click on this link to download “The Attorney Referral Formula.” My name is Alay Yajnik with lawyerbusinessadvantage.com. Thank you.

 

Summary

 

In this video, Alay Yajnik answers a frequently asked question by his clients. That question is “Should I raise my rate?”. Alay shares his insights about keeping the same rate but max’ing out the available time before raising your rate. He also shares his e-book that will guide lawyers to significantly increase their income.

 

The Attorney Referral Formula™