Chase Musser: Topic requested – “Referrals from other attorneys and CPAs in the bankruptcy areas.”
Andy Stickel: When I am trying to get other people, I look at it as a valuable thing. If I can provide value to them, that’s great. But, they have to be able to provide value back to me as well. This is an easy thing to see, so the evaluation only takes a few minutes, then we are ready to go.
One of the things that I always make sure to do when I get a referral from anybody is I always send them a physical thank you. For us, a client is worth a decent amount of money. Most law firms’ clients are worth a decent amount of money. So every referral could potentially be worth a few thousand dollars. If you’re an injury law firm, it could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars or it could be worth millions of dollars. Who knows? People put a higher value on a physical item. (So one of the life hacks that I have when I want) It’s almost like reinforcing the behavior. What I do is always send a physical item as a thank you. For example, we had somebody that referred a client to us about a year ago and I know that they are really into fine whiskey. They are really big whiskey drinkers. So, I went somewhere and I found this whiskey lovers’ sampler pack or something like that and I sent that to them. That one, it cost me $250. But the client that they referred was a client that pays several thousand dollars a month. Since then, they have actually sent me more referrals, and I continue to send them physical thank-you items. That is part of the business. It is kind of like training them. If they refer business to Attorney A, that attorney is only going to give them an email that says, “Hey, thanks for the client.” But if they refer to you as a business, then they’re going to get some sort of actual physical thing that they are going to like. Another thing is to be sure to refer to out-business as much as you can. Obviously, if they’re talking about a CPA or a financial planner or something like that and you’re a bankruptcy attorney, then you’re not competing with one another. So, you can kind of form partnerships with people. And really, it’s tough because it’s like: do you have one go-to guy that has a lot of business that you guys can refer a lot of business to? Or are you trying to get referrals from a lot of different people? You have to make a choice. Because if there’s one guy who just has a ton of work and is willing to give you a lot of referrals if you can form a partnership with them and actually do co-promoting and stuff like that and you even do a Facebook group and you co-promote everything where you guys are going to work together to grow both of your businesses, that’s probably the best way to do it. Instead of going to one too many and trying to get a bunch of people to refer to your business, find somebody that’s already successful that works just as hard as you do and form partnerships with them, do co-webinars, do stuff like that. When this whole COVID-19 thing happened, I teamed up with a lot of different people that we’re targeting lawyers – because, obviously, I do marketing and I target lawyers – but we weren’t competitors. For example, we did one with Answering Legal and we had a thousand people on that webinar. And what was cool about that is that they’re targeting lawyers and we’re targeting lawyers but we’re not competing with one another. They do answering phones and I do marketing. So based on that, we both benefitted and we both got a bunch of clients out of that. If you do stuff like that, that’s another way to enhance that relationship and then you’ll start getting more referrals. But if you’re just trying to go one too many and you’re trying to get a bunch of different people, then make sure that you make it work. It’s like everything else. It’s like, “What’s in it for me?” If you can make it more valuable to them, then they’ll give you referrals.