A referral network does not just happen. Like everything else in legal marketing, it takes work. William Melater, the Dis-Associate contributing author on Attorney at Work, tells us that it doesn’t matter where you went to school or your class rank. What does matter, if you are to “be successful as a lawyer,” is that you are able to bring in business. How true when it comes to the real world of law.
Since most business (in my experience at least 80%) comes from referrals, every lawyer needs to develop a referral network. Okay, I agree that that is easier said than done. But, it doesn’t have to be difficult. Melater suggests three simple things to do in his article "Building a Referral Network from the Ground Up." His tips can be helpful:
- Try it. By getting out and about. And get over your fear. Look at networking as an opportunity to meet new interesting people and making friends (not initially to get business);
- Associate with older guys. Like me for instance — or better still, with "the more experienced attorneys." Not only can they be mentors, but by getting seasoned lawyers in your network, you could send them work you do not handle. It’s also a good way to connect with those who already have an established network you may be able to hook into. (See my post entitled “Top 10 Marketing Tips: No. 9 – Networking With Super-Connectors.”); and
- Be patient. Aah, patience. One of my strong suits I’d tell ya (if I wanted a longer nose). In any event a good referral network doesn’t happen overnight.
That is all the more reason to get working harder today at building your network.