Networks are the lifeblood that drives a law firm’s growth. In this article we will cover how to use a marketing fund to create opportunities to meet new clients, using contact relationship management software to keep you on top of your current network, and ways you can really add value to your current network by spending very little time and money.
Let’s discuss three ways you can use networking to drive your firm’s business growth.
Review your Marketing Budget
This is the first step to building a foundation for networking opportunities.
Referrals come from a range of sources. The highest number of referrals come from current and past clients, so retaining your sources is key. This is followed by non-legal professionals, past clients, colleagues and other firms.
To improve your networking and increase opportunities with key referral sources, you can try dipping into your marketing fund to get creative. This can include:
- Hosting an end-of-year party,
- Running an exclusive event
- Joining an exclusive networking group
- Digital networking
Take the opportunity to try different strategies for building new potential referral relationships. You’ll see the value develop over time, and you can find what works and doesn’t for your firm.
Stay on top of your network with Contact Relationships management (CRM) tools
Maintaining and nurturing relationships with your clients and referral sources is crucial to ongoing business growth.
Traditionally, CRM’s have been a Rolodex and complex spreadsheets that are often managed by secretaries. However modern software offers advanced features such as tracking automation and nurturing relationships.
Contact Management software like NEXL provide lawyers with capabilities such as:
- Grouping and labelling contacts
- Searching contacts based on expertise and location
- Automating reminders to reach out regularly at set time periods
- Tracking interactions across emails, messages, Twitter, LinkedIn and more
- Global map views of your contact distribution
- Adding to your contacts list based on ‘gaps’ in your network
Add value to your network
It’s important to recognise the value of your existing network, and add value back to each of those in your network. Thoughtfulness goes a long way. Each time you receive a referral from a client or associate, it is essential to acknowledge the value they have added to you. A handwritten thank-you card will go a long way in keeping these relationships alive.
Another way to acknowledge such referral sources in your network is to mention them in a newsletter, blog or LinkedIn post. These actions take little effort and are effectively free, making the individual feel valued and their services acknowledged.
Using a contact relationship management tool, you can actually keep track of these interactions, and build on detailed data about your contact. This helps you build on your relationship each time you engage.
There are plenty of ways to network as a lawyer for more referrals. Ranging from traditional in-person events such as cocktail events, to innovative digital ways of data aggregation and automated reminders, there are many ways you can use networking to help your firm grow. At the core of these methods is the concept of adding value to your clients.
If you are ready to start using a simple and automated way to manage your contacts and easily build better relationships, try NEXL’s CRM and networking tools for free today.