Solo and small firm attorneys get a large portion of their clients as referrals from other attorneys.

Other attorneys, however, will only refer cases to you if they actually know what you do. Here are some tips to generate referrals from other attorneys.

Give them a solid target to aim for

I recently had lunch with a personal injury attorney who also handles workers compensation and disability claims. Generally, I know what those terms mean. But I have no clue what those cases actually entail, or what you look for in potential cases. So, I asked what he looks for. Fortunately, he was able to succinctly explain to me what to look for in potential cases.

When other attorneys ask me what I do, I tell them I sue debt collectors. Then I explain to them what that means. I always start with big picture concepts “if they have been contacted by a debt collector, I can probably help.” If the other attorney works in a complementary practice area and knows the lay of the land, I will get more specific—“it cannot be a business debt and it cannot be an original creditor.”

If you can find a memorable concept, that makes it much easier for them to remember what you do, and send people your way.

Tell them how you help

Explain how your retainer works. Do you bring cases on contingency? What do clients typically recover? Those details will allow other attorneys to explain why a potential client should call you. If you can solve an issue on contingency, that is good information. If you require a fee up front, but can recover big damages, tell them.

If your clients always walk away satisfied, be sure to explain that too. Attorneys want their clients to be happy. If they know that you do good work and make clients happy, that will make them even more likely to send referrals your way.

(photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/meddygarnet/2907641419/)