“Referrals are my best source of business.” Would you agree with this statement? I’ve heard it for years from many clients. This leads to the next question: Is it true for your practice?
I believe many attorneys, and other small business owners, truly agree with it. Referrals from fans are a great source of business. What’s shocking is that so few professionals effectively put it to use.
Let’s discuss how you can unleash your fans.
Note: The Louisville Bar Association originally published my article in the July edition of Bar Briefs (page 14).
The challenge with referrals is that, at any given time, how can you be sure someone else is actively focused your practice? What is it about you and your firm that would cause someone to take time out of their day to talk about you – on a consistent basis?
If there were only a few alternatives in your market, the numbers might be in your favor. The reality is that many firms are competing for your next several clients, right now.
Ego aside, many of us are very effective at our jobs. The risk is going too far in trying to convince others. If you’re not careful, you risk sounding like legal version of Tony Malito (although he is a dealer for the people).
Believe it or not, hiring an attorney (for any type of issue) is still a daunting task for most consumers. We need to decide which attorney is best for our situation. We want to feel confident that we’re making the right choice.
When a consumer is in this phase of the decision-making process, he/she is trying to imagine “the experience” (not just the outcome).
We want to figure out if the person, product or service is as good as we hope. We often look for someone to reassure and confirm it for us. We’ve all fallen victim to a good sales pitch. I still have some Ginsu knives and a Sobakawa pillow to prove it.
In making a recommendation, people typically talk about how they feel about it. I “like” that she really fought for me. I “didn’t have to worry” because he always kept me informed about my case. I “felt” like we negotiated a good settlement. Again, it’s about what they experienced.
Feelings are closely connected to emotions. Emotions have a powerful impact on our decisions.
I advise clients to look for opportunities to gather client testimonials. That’s not new. We’ve done that for years. What’s new is that we’ve changed the way we now share those positive comments.
Google and other resources have made it very easy for people to describe their experiences. The 5-Star Rating, has been around for years, and is becoming more pervasive. It’s actually impacting how a business shows up online.
As a practitioner, you can increase your new clients by tapping into your previous clients’ feeling and emotions.
Here are 3 easy steps you can take to Unleash Your Fans.
Step One: Earning good ratings or favorable comments is terrific. A step many firms miss is aggregating those comments and listing them on a page of their websites. You may even decide to place a few in the side bar so they’re more easily seen.
“A picture is worth a thousand words.”
Step Two: If the above statement is true, then a video is worth a thousand pictures. Use that to your advantage. Consider inviting a few happy clients (your “fans”) to your office to discuss what they liked about their experience. Have the session recorded on video. It can be a one-on-one or a group discussion. You can easily upload excerpts for display on your website and social media channels. Don’t forget the option of uploading the excerpts to various online profiles.
Step Three: Remember that vanity works. Once a video has been uploaded, especially if it’s to your social media, encourage your client to share his/her video. It’s a great way to generate free exposure about you and your services.
Unleash your fans, regardless of how good you are at generating new cases. Remember, there’s a strong tendency to believe what others say about you, over what you say about you.
A few candid words from previous client, who’s one of your fans, can go a long way in describing the overall experience of working with you. That’s a key part of your next client’s decision-making process.