Okay, the holidays are over. Time to focus on business. And the best source of new business is from existing clients (either in the form of new matters or referrals), and other referral sources. I have talked about this several times before. But don’t just take my word for it.

Paula Black had a post on her blog In Black & White earlier last month that I thought was too important to get lost in the holidays. So, I made a note to cover it early in the new year. She talks about two marketing strategies relating to referrals that individual lawyers and law firms should consider.

She conducted a survey of her readers, and learned that 65% of referrals came from "existing clients or other attorneys." Actually, if you include referrals from former clients, the percentage jumps to eighty; which matches exactly the number I was able to track at two of my firms when I was an in-house marketer.

Paula’s two strategies are both basic and simple to implement:

  • Work on generating more referrals by building up client relationships by improving listening, responding quickly, communicating more often and effectively, sending information of interest, and making (key) relationships more personal; and
  • Respond appropriately when receiving a referral by making sure to thank the referrer with a telephone call, a card (with handwritten note) and/or a small gift, and remembering to reciprocate.

Pretty basic I’d say — work harder at your client and referral relationships. Remember to thank all who make referrals, and send referrals in return. This will assure your getting more of them in 2010.