Word of Mouth advertising is the best advertising. When a former client refers a new prospect to you, the prospect is almost predisposed to hire you. So referrals from former clients are golden!
A financial planner’s life blood is the referrals that well-served clients generate for his office. Stock brokers are taught to ask for referrals from their clients. We in the legal business are not taught to ask for referrals from our clients. The trap we fall into is the same trap that other professionals fall into. We lawyers think that the quality of the service we provide will shine through and we do not have to ask for any extra business. We believe the client will “on his own” tell others about what a great job we did.
The sad truth is that most of our clients forget about us once we solve the problem that they had. Their good intentions to tell their friends about us dissolve into the air unless we spur or remind the clients to tell others.
When asking for a referral from your client, be specific. We often say “if you know anybody that I can help, please tell them about me.” This approach is too general.
Try to tailor the request to the person’s situation you are talking to. If your client is a stay-at-home mom and works with the Parent Teachers Association of her son’s school, then say: “It has been a pleasure working with you. I would appreciate it if you can help me out. I know that you are involved in the PTA at your school, please give my name to any parents or teachers that need bankruptcy counseling.”
Or “Thank you for allowing me to help you with your bankruptcy, if you hear of any other Moms at the “Mommy and Me play group” that need bankruptcy guidance, please give them my name and number as I would love to talk to them.”
This approach narrows their focus. Quite possibly a name will pop into their head when you make the connection for them of your bankruptcy service and their group. Your client interacts in that group and she is more likely to refer someone to you from that group if you plant the suggestion.
Then a few weeks later follow up with the client, because “Life Happens” and your clients forget about you as they resume their lives. Contact your former client by email or a short written note. “I am glad I could help you with your bankruptcy and the way we stopped the creditors from calling you every day. Please tell your friends at the PTA about me and the how I helped you and your family. Thank you again.”
While these suggestions may not work in all cases, it is good to get into the habit of asking your clients for referrals. This will develop you referral building muscles to Build your Bankruptcy Business.