I have noticed a pattern in how lawyers land clients via referral emails. You know the emails where someone makes an email introduction to another lawyer (i.e. YOU!) with a potential client? Those are the emails that I am referring to here.
I send a lot of these emails out to lawyers. As a result, I see many replies that lawyers send. Here are 3 things that lawyers can successfully do to increase their chances of landing the client.
1. Reply as quickly as you can.
The faster you can reply to the email, the faster you can get the conversation going and win the business. This type of potential client is a very warm lead and you don’t want to leave them hanging. If the client responds to your email and is moving through your intake process, they are less likely to go through this process with another lawyer who replies to them later. People just don’t have time. So don’t delay in replying to the email or you may just lose the business.
Now how do you quickly reply when you are busy with current clients and running your practice? Consider hiring someone to scan your inbox for you (and potentially even reply on your behalf). You could hire a student, virtual assistant or even a family member to do this for you. Remember, the early bird definitely catches the worm here.
2. Draft the content to focus on the client, NOT on you
As tempting as it is to want to tell the client all about the nitty gritty details of working with you or why your firm is the best, don’t!
The client wants to know that you understand their needs, that you have done this before and that you can help them solve their problem. How do you do that? Focus on them but sprinkle in a bit of your expertise as well.
For example, if they need help with a family law matter you could say something like “I’m so sorry to hear about your situation. It certainly is a tough time. Being through a divorce myself and helping many others navigate the legal process is why I do what I do. Let’s get you booked in for a free confidential call so that I can learn more about your needs and how I might be able to help.”
Or if you are a corporate lawyer and the client needs help with a shareholders’ agreement you could say “Wow! So exciting that you are ready to take this step in your business. I have helped many clients with their shareholders’ agreements and would love to learn more about how we can get everything set up for you as seamlessly as possible”.
The key is balancing understanding their situation and subtly highlighting the work that you do. But keep it subtle. The main focus is on the client and helping to solve their needs.
3. Guide them to take the next step
The potential client is looking to you for guidance. Take the lead by telling them what the next step is. If it’s scheduling a call, send them a few dates when you are available. You can also add a link to your online booking calendar if the dates you suggested don’t work for them. If the next step is to complete an intake form, send them a link to the form in your initial email. Don’t leave them guessing.
Tell them what they need to do and make it easy for them to take that next step. This sets you up as the guide who will show them the way and help to solve their issue.
And of course, don’t forget to cc or bcc the person who made the intro and thank them afterwards.
How do you win work through referral emails? Let me know in the comments!
I was trained on Bay Street and worked in Big Law for nearly a decade before going solo. I now help other solo/small firm lawyers launch and build their practices, through 1:1 consulting. I help lawyers implement a marketing strategy, hire help, overcome mindset blocks and build a profitable firm that suits their lifestyle. Interested in learning more? Check out my services page.