If you are like many lawyers, I know the answer. That isn’t a criticism per se. It’s merely recognizing that busy lawyers sometimes overlook the most basic of business development techiques. We know that the best sources of new business, as I have said many tmes (here, here, here and here), are clients (either in the form of new work or referrals) and other referral sources. So, why are so many remiss at thanking the sources of their business?
It’s baffling actually. I remember hearing many years ago about a firm in New York that had received 10 referrals from (obviously) a fan, and the firm admitted that it had NEVER EVEN thanked the person.
Why? Well, probably the lawyer is so happy to get the new work, the he or she jumps right into serving that new client. That’s a good thing. However, if they forget to thank the source of the new business, that’s a bad thing.
As my friend Thom Singer at Some Assembly Required tells us in a post he calls “Express Your Appreciation” many lawyers “[w]hile they had great intentions to say ‘thank you’ to the person who made the referral, once some time passes the immediacy to properly express gratitude begins to dwindle.”
Please, don’t let time get away from you when you get a referral. Send a handwritten note the VERY same day. Might just lead to more referrals. The alternative doesn’t bode well for the future of your practice.