SUMMARY OF THIS ARTICLE:
• 21st century “Thank You” notes – Find out what you need to know.
• Learn how to powerfully connect your referral sources to your website
• Be a social media master in less than 10 minutes a day – we’ll show you how
Tips to Keep you Top of Mind with Your Referral Sources
Hello, and welcome to this teleseminar by Divorce Marketing Group. Today’s seminar is on How to Stay Top of Mind with Your Referral Sources. The idea is to have your business generate as many cases from the network of people that you already know and perhaps build a new circle of people that you do not know.
My name is Martha Chan. I am the Vice President of Marketing of Divorce Marketing Group. I’d like to welcome all of you who are on this teleseminar today. Some of you may have joined us before and some of you may be new. Welcome to each and every one of you.
I want to take 30 seconds to tell you who we are so that you know who is giving this teleseminar. Divorce Marketing Group is the only agency that is dedicated to helping family lawyers and other divorce professionals grow their practice. We’ve been doing this for the last 14 years and I’ve had over 30 years in marketing as my background. We host these teleseminars once a month roughly around the 3rd Thursday of every month. For those of you who do not know, we do provide a transcript after the session. If you’re interested in receiving the transcript please send me an email at email@example.com.
Today’s topic is about how to keep top of mind with your referral sources. We know that a lot of our business comes as a result of referrals. I know that a lot of you on this call are family lawyers, financial advisors, therapists or people who are in the real estate business and you don’t need me to tell you that a lot of your business come from referral sources. Some of you may be very active in networking and some may not be. There are things that you are already doing. If they work please continue to do them.
During this seminar we’re going to add some new twists to things that you are already doing so that you can try them out and at the same time perhaps we could introduce some new way of generating referrals.
First off, let’s discuss how you could generate referrals from all your clients. Some of you may be thinking, if I do a really good job then my clients should be referring people to us. Some of you may think, I do do a good job and clients never send me a referral. So, we’re here to offer you some tips.
Tip No. 1: Trying to gain referrals from your current client base might sound very obvious. To do this you must provide a memorable experience to the clients that you are serving. When we say a memorable experience, we are talking about an experience that goes beyond the call of duty, one where they would talk about you to many people spontaneously.
So, how do you create a memorable experience? It would be fair to say that if you’re in the business of being a divorce lawyer, most clients would expect you to help them finalize their divorce and, of course, many of you try to do as good a job as possible throughout that event. Let’s talk about when they first come and meet with you. We suggest that you create an information package that you could hand over to them. In that package we recommend that you offer them not just information that is related to what they need to know legally, but perhaps also offer general information that would be of help to someone who is going through a divorce, such as what they need to know about managing their emotions, managing their anger; what they need to know about taking care of their financial situation.
There is a lot of information that is already available out there that you could either use to create your own version or if you are working with other professionals who might be financial advisers or accountants. Work with them so that they could write something and you could include it in the information package.
That does two things: First of all, you’re now reaching out to your network and telling them that you would like to include some information from them in a package that you send out to your clients. That will build up a relationship with that network. As well, when your clients receive the information it may be something that they don’t really expect a lawyer to provide them with.
The other thing you can do as far as creating a memorable experience is to give your client a gift, perhaps a CD. There are also a lot of books on CD. Then there are motivational CDs that help someone look forward to the future, which really is ultimately what the people want to do at the end of their divorce. You could provide them with the CD at any time during the engagement or at the end as a thank you to them for having chosen you.
Speaking of the end, I don’t know how many of you do this but when a divorce is finalized we recommend that you send a thank you card to your client. That’s something they don’t necessarily expect from a divorce lawyer or a CDFA who has helped them through their difficulties. So, again at that time you can attach something else that would have them say, “Wow, I am impressed, I thought my case was over and that they would have no reason to invest time or money on me but here they are taking care of my well being even though the case is closed.” So, that’s just some of the things that you can do with respect to creating a memorable experience for your clients.
Now, I’d like to talk about the prospective client who didn’t end up using you. We’ve all have those. Maybe one out of three or four people who contacted your company ended up engaging your services. What we say is send them a thank you card. Send them a card that would have them appreciate that even though you didn’t get their business, you appreciate them having considered you.
Let’s turn to the network that you have. They would be professionals who are in the divorce business. Your network could go beyond the people who are doing divorce business but for now I just want to focus in on those in particular. If you are a lawyer for example, you may know people who are in the mortgage business, realtors. You may know therapist. You may know mediators if you’re not a mediator yourself and you may know judges. The same goes with financial advisers. You may be a CDFA and you know all the other people that I just mentioned. When someone refers a potential client to you, you should consider taking the opportunity to thank them three times. Usually if a client of mine is about to refer someone to me, they let me know so immediately I thank them for thinking about me and for passing my name on. That’s thank you number 1. When I do get in touch with the person that my client has referred to me, at the end of the discussion I thank the referrer by sending a quick email updating them as a follow up and that I did talk to the person that they referred me to and here’s the outcome. Whether I got the business or not, I thank them.
The third time I thank the person who refers a possible client to me is after that person becomes a client and I have delivered and completed my services. I normally ask for a testimonial and if my client gives me a testimonial or a quick email to thank me for a job well done, I would make sure that my referral source gets my thank you again to let them know that the client turned out to be very happy with the services that we provide. So, there are the 3 opportunities to thank your referral source. That’s how you can stay top of mind.
We have a client who probably refers business to us at least once a month and some of their employees may be on this call because we do have a lot of clients on our teleseminars and really it does keep me top of mind with them and so that’s something that I would highly encourage that you do.
The second point about nurturing your referral sources is that when you send them a thank you, you could do it in many ways. I’m sure a lot of you do it by email. Perhaps, some of you do it by a letter. Some of you may do it by way of a card and certainly you could send a basket of fruit.
There is a unique service that we discovered a little while ago that I’m going to share this with you. I don’t get commission from them. I just want to share this because it’s very unique and you should check them out. They’re called Send Out Cards and if you go to their website, sendoutcards.com, you can find out more information. What they offer is the ability for you to create cards with a design of your choosing with the message that you choose. It can be one card at a time, individually different and what they do is even mail it out for you! All you do is to go online, create the card by choosing the images that you would like, attaching a firm logo if you wish, your signature, add the message that you want and then this company will send it out for you. It’s very economical (something like $1.50 I’m going to say) and they take care of everything. You don’t even have to stuff the envelope or lick the stamp. It will just go out from there. These days, we are so busy we end up having contacts electronically more so than face to face. This sending out of cards is definitely somewhere in between and it’s a lot more unusual. When you do something that stands out then your name would stand out when it comes time for making a referral.
Now, let’s look at social media as a way of networking. We have had three sessions prior to this one on social media so if anyone is interested in getting the transcript on those teleseminars, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
With respect to social media, if you’re wondering where to start, which social network should you start with, I highly recommend LinkedIn. A lot of you may actually come to this teleseminar because of the networking that I have done on LinkedIn. Why do I recommend it? It is by far the most professional networking system online where you have the benefit of being found and as well finding people who are strictly in particular professional circles by joining groups.
For example, if you are a collaborative practitioner, you will find groups that contain collaborative practitioners within LinkedIn or you may choose to join American Divorce Lawyers or you may choose to join a group for therapists. I encourage you to post interesting discussions because when you do, it will elicit a lot of comments from members of these groups. Every time someone responds to the particular discussion that you initiated, your name appears right on the top of the page.
I’m going to point to an example of a discussion that I have started in the last couple of months. I posted a very interesting question, which was whether child custody should start at the point of 50/50 between parents as the presumption. I have, from that discussion received about 120 comments. For those of you who know LinkedIn, that is a high level of interaction on one topic. Out of that, I have had so many people wanting to connect with me through LinkedIn, and of course I accept the invitations to connect. The reason I want to emphasize this is that not only should you join LinkedIn, you really need to be active in the discussions and post interesting comments. That way you are front and centre with a lot of the professionals that you want to generate business from.
The next point about generating referrals is for you to host events. There are many kinds of events that you can host. One that I would ask you to consider is to host an event where you would invite another professional who might be outside of your industry to come and speak. For example, if you are a lawyer and, your office is big enough, invite an accountant to come and talk about what to do if you are going through a divorce and you own a small business with your spouse (because that’s important to divorcing people) or you could invite a realtor who could come in and speak about what to do if you are buying and selling your home. When you do this, you have practically created a circle of referrals that you could work with one another and do reciprocal speaking engagements.
The realtor may host an event so, if you’re a family lawyer could go in and talk about divorce from a legal standpoint. That kind of event is going to have you been seen as the thought leader and build your network so that you can reach potential clients that these professionals are working with. Another idea of a potential speaker would be authors of those divorce books that I talked about. These authors want nothing more than an opportunity to give a presentation because everything they do will help them sell their books. So, consider hosting an event and having a network of people who would reciprocate.
The last thing to discuss is if you own a website, and I’m going to assume that most of you do, create a page on your website called “Resources”. On that page you could have resources that refer people to other divorce professionals that you work with and that you feel comfortable with. On the page you could say for a financial advisor or an accountant or a therapist visit… and give a link to their website. Again, I would also suggest that you do link reciprocation and you ask that they create the same thing and list your company and your website on their website so that you could also get a link back to your company.
I think I have time to squeeze in a couple more discussion points. If you are someone who can write articles within your own fields of specialty, I highly encourage that you do that. When you write an article, email it to your network of professionals. Let them know that they can make copies of the article and they can include it as a part of the package that they give out to their clients. Make sure to end the article with your contact information. Keep in mind that the subject matter of the article should be appropriate, that your article is not all about you and that it actually gives useful information. At the end there should be an author’s file with contact information and website details.
If you are someone who sends out newsletters, congratulations. If you’re not, create one. When you send a newsletter to your network (every month or other month), and you write articles, then it’s a perfect opportunity for you to include your articles within the newsletter. You could have two newsletters. One could be targeted to your professional referral sources, the other for divorcing people. How you speak to them and the content of the articles would be the difference between the two.
I have about five minutes left. I’m going to switch over to talking a little bit more about social media. We have said in our invitation that we want you to learn how to be a social media master in less than ten minutes a day. If you are not on social media, I highly encourage you to go sign up for LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and you could also create a blog. When you are on Twitter, it can take about 30 seconds to post. When on Twitter, as often as appropriate, provide a link back to you website where there is useful information to people who could refer business to you or to people who could use your services.
There is also a function on Twitter that allows people to re-tweet. What that means is that if you have posted something, you can also seek to connect with somebody else who is on Twitter and ask if they would re-tweet your post to their base. I know some of our clients who are on Twitter don’t have a big follower base (they may have 50 followers, 100 followers) what we do is re-tweet what they post to our base which is much larger than theirs. That’s something to consider as far as tweeting goes.
This concludes today’s session on How to be Top of Mind with Your Referral Sources. As I’ve said before, a transcript of this is available. If you would like to read it, send an email to email@example.com.
I want to thank you for attending and also remind you that our next teleseminar is on Thursday, May 27 and the topic for that seminar would be How to Make Your Website Work Harder for You. Again it will be at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Hopefully, all of you who are on the call have a website and know that you could have the best website that can speak for you and represent you appropriately when you’re not there to speak for yourself. Hopefully we’ll all get together again on the May 27 teleseminar. Thank you for now. Have a good day!