Law firms are HEAVILY reliant on referrals—statistics show that 60-70% of a law firm’s business and overall revenue is dependent on referrals. It’s therefore imperative that law firms not only implement a Referral Acceleration Project, but that they do it both efficiently and effectively. In this article, we’re going to discuss Referral Acceleration Projects (and how Nexl can support these projects), by answering the following questions:
1 – What is a Referral Acceleration Project?
2 – What are the main goals of a Referral Acceleration Project?
3 – How can Nexl help your law firm run your Referral Acceleration Project?
What is a Referral Acceleration Project?
A Referral Acceleration Project is essentially a growth initiative focused on increasing inbound legal work from other law firms, or from other stakeholders in the business community that have sway over the decision as to which law firm is appointed as legal counsel.
In the legal industry, law firms are bound by the jurisdiction(s) in which they operate, which can be limiting because business transactions often occur cross-border in today’s global economy. This creates a need for international referrals, which frequently “crystalize” in the form of international referral networks such as Lex Mundi or Terralex. However, local referrals are possible and should not be discounted—they can materialize from private equity funds, investment banks, accountants, or other local law firms who don’t offer the same legal services.
Since referrals are generally based on some degree of reciprocity, relationship management is the core of any referral program. Forming longer-term relationships with trusted advisors overseas, or with domestic players both inside and outside the legal industry, is key to maintaining a constant flow of referrals.
However, firms tend to focus on where the work is coming from and how they can optimize that flow of inbound referrals—without proportionate efforts given to outbound referrals and relationship management. Unfortunately, we often see an imbalance between inbound and outbound referrals, which creates a deficit within key referral relationships. Having a strong Referral Acceleration Project in place can help restore balance, optimize referral relationships, and maximize inbound referral business.
What are the main goals of a Referral Acceleration Project?
There are a few main goals that law firms should expect to achieve when implementing a Referral Acceleration Project. The first goal is an increased inflow of legal matters referred from abroad. Law firms should aim to develop institutional relationships with “best friend” firms overseas, so that the firm can not only gain referrals, but also build a network of trusted advisors across key jurisdictions. By doing this, firms will develop stronger inbound and outbound client relationships on an individual and institutional level.
Another crucial goal that firms aim to achieve is the alignment of their international referral strategy with their domestic referral strategy. Overall, law firms want a sound commercial, proactive approach to client development by always aiming for better internal alignment and cross-practice collaboration when it comes to referrals.
How can Nexl help your law firm run your Referral Acceleration Project?
Nexl’s Projects module is the ideal tool for organizing your Referral Acceleration Project, with features specifically designed to manage both inbound and outbound referrals, whether through optimizing personal networks or navigating the inner-workings of international referral networks.
Here’s how law firms can run their Referral Acceleration Project with Nexl
Step 1: Name Your Project & Link it to MS Teams
Here you’re able to name and describe your project, and link the project to Microsoft Teams for seamless integration. The description field reviews how this project was developed by giving an overall economic rationale for the firm’s specific focus on Referral Management.
Step 2: Build your International Committee
Nexl allows you to create firm-wide projects or to build a custom team to manage your referral project. By adding individuals to the project, it creates ownership and transparency, clearly establishing who will be involved. Once the team is added, your project space is ready for collaboration.
Step 3: Set SMART Objectives & Actionable Tasks
An important step for any project is setting SMART objectives. A SMART objective is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. These objectives break down the larger referral acceleration project’s goals into measurable outcomes that will demonstrate success.
Tasks break the referral acceleration project down even further by defining each step necessary to achieve each objective. Tasks keep your team on track and focused by ensuring each person knows what they have been assigned, providing an additional level of transparency and accountability.
Step 4: Track Inbound & Outbound Referrals
Nexl is purpose-built for law firms, which means you can track both inbound and outbound referrals. Tracking referrals is crucial to understanding where your referrals are going and where work is coming from. The team should strive for 100% completion in terms of logging all inbound and outbound referrals, so that the firm can proactively nurture key relationships. The goal is to ensure that the number of outbound referrals matches (or exceeds) the number of inbound referrals.
Step 5: Manage your ‘Best Friends’ & Referral Network
In Projects on Nexl, it becomes easy to keep tabs on your priority referral sources. You can track all underlying relationship information and easily see when someone was last in touch with the various firms you work with. You are also able to create all kinds of lists for each project. These can be contact lists, company lists, and any other type of list that you want to track.
Step 6: Grow Your Revenues
With Nexl’s add-in for Outlook, your attorneys can work on the referral acceleration project directly from their inbox. Once you have the power to set tasks, track objectives, and view relationship insights for every email, it’s never been easier to turn those relationships into opportunities, wins, and revenue.
To understand exactly how Referral Acceleration Projects work and how you can use Nexl to manage/run your Referral Acceleration Project, click here to read the Project Use Case and click on the “Request Demo” button below.