Law firms love in-person referral marketing for the same two reasons lawyers love most things: (1) it’s always been done that way, and (2) it’s comfortable for them. Generally, lawyers rely on tradition and ease as explanatory for just about everything they do. In many ways, these two things have come to define the practice of law. And, the proposition holds for in-person referral marketing, which is still (far and away) the method by which most law firms are built and maintained.
But, there’s another, more subtle reason that lawyers should love referral marketing — and, that’s because it’s not directed at prospective clients. So, it serves as a great way to market a law firm with gloves off, as it were. As soon as an attorney attempts to directly engage a client, burdensome solicitation rules come into play. But, if you’re getting most of your business from referral sources, you need not engage those referral sources via the same rules. You can directly approach a referral source and say pretty much anything you want to them, in the interests of accessing a client pipeline. Under a regime that discourages direct client solicitation in a number of ways, this is the next best thing: to acquire a reliable mouthpiece. And, that’s the main reason why clearly elucidating your business proposition to your referral sources, nailing down calls to actions and referral patterns and continually educating your referral sources on what you do is so essential to any thoroughgoing lawyer marketer.
Such it is that, for most lawyers, the most direct path to new clients is around them.