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Legal Marketing: Take a Referral Source to Lunch

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Legal PR and referral sourcesUse legal PR to reach your clients’ trusted advisors

By Geri L. Dreiling, Esq.

Yesterday I gave presentation to a group of students enrolled in a mediation training course offered by St. Louis attorney and mediator Marta Papa. The topic: how to promote your mediation practice.

In addition to volunteering information, I came away with some new ideas.

One of the PR ideas I highlighted is the importance of promoting one’s mediation practice to referral sources — trusted advisors whose recommendation carries great weight when it comes to the selection of an attorney or mediator.

As I discussed in my YouTube video, traditional marketing involves the attorney using PR efforts to reach the client directly.

But referral marketing is a three-step approach, best exemplified in this diagram.

Attorney referral marketing

Papa took it a step further and shared one of her favorite referral marketing strategies. She makes it her goal to meet three referral sources each week for lunch. A problem that has legal ramifications also often has a financial, medical or emotional component.

A family lawyer, Papa had an extensive list of professionals whose work complemented her practice, including:

  • Certified public accountants
  • Mortgage brokers
  • Physicians
  • Psychiatrists
  • Financial advisors
  • Stockbrokers
  • Insurance agent
  • Real estate agents
  • Clergy
  • Business evaluators

She approached the professionals not from the standpoint of how they could send cases to her but instead in terms of how the professionals could help her clients. Some of her clients needed the services of professionals, and they looked to Papa for recommendations.

Take-Away Tips:

  1. Identify professionals outside the legal community who also help your clients deal with the underlying issues that gave rise to the legal problem.
  2. Meet for coffee or lunch as a way to introduce yourself, learn about a professional’s business and describe your practice.
  3. Remember that referral marketing must be a two-way street. Don’t ask for help without offering assistance.

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