Trustee Blog

Refer Away Legal Clients Not in Your Target Area.

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In order to build a  Bankruptcy client base, refer away those not in your target area.

On Monday, we talked about “how the get more bankruptcy clients”. Today we explore sending potential clients to other attorneys. This referral idea seems counter productive. If you want clients, why would you send clients away from your office? The answer is that not all potential clients are created equal. There are some clients that it would benefit you to refer to other attorneys.

Below are three thoughts on referring clients to other attorneys that do not fit your target audience. These referrals help to build your reputation in your chosen field.

1. You and your service may not be a good fit for the potential client.

If a client approaches you about a family law situation and you do not do family law on a regular basis, I suggest you refer that person to others that do family law. Yes, you could do the family issue, but at what cost?

Do you want to spend all the time and learning and energy when you may never have such a client or a family issue again? Besides, the client is better served by you when you are up front with him and know your limitations. The client wants an answer to his problem. The client does not want to spend time and money on teaching you about the law you have no idea about.

2. You build up goodwill by referring clients to other attorneys.

If someone calls me and says he was referred by attorney Jones, I appreciate that referral and think highly of attorney Jones. Perhaps when I have a client that does what attorney Jones does, then I will refer him the client. This is not an ironclad reciprocal arrangement, but it tends to work out in the long run. As Keith Ferrazzi from “Never Eat Alone” says “it is not a score keeping contest”. It is an informal arrangement. Hopefully the other side will remember, but if she does not then no big deal as the Client has his problem solved.

3. You build up goodwill with the client as well by referring him away.

You provide an answer to the potential client’s problem by showing him people that can potentially help him. Many clients appreciate the help and a few will remember you and what you did for them by this service. You could not help them this time around, but perhaps there will be something you can help them with in the future. Or a relative of their’s may need your services and the referred client has a positive feeling from you. You may get the nod next time.

The moral of the story is that to increase your client base, you have to know what you provide and not be afraid to say goodbye to people that you cannot help. We cannot be all things to all people. Potential clients will appreciate and remember you when you are honest about you skills and capabilities.

When was a time your referred away a client?

Did the gesture come back to help you?


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