find the latest legal job
Part Time Risk & Compliance Officer
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Brisbane City · Flexible Part Time Hours
View details
Infrastructure Lawyer/SA
Category: Construction Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Global elite law firm · Dedicated Infrastructure team
View details
In-House Legal Counsel (Mid to Senior)| Regulated Markets (Energy and Gas)
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Full PD on Request · Exciting High Impact Role
View details
Family Lawyer
Category: Family Law | Location: Eastern Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Boutique Firm · Great Reputation
View details
Infrastructure Lawyers
Category: Construction Law | Location: All Perth WA
· We'd be particularly interested to hear from you if you were a lawyer who knows your way around the infrastructure and energy sectors.
View details
Firms failing to capitalise on referrals

Firms failing to capitalise on referrals

New research from the ALPMA has revealed that firms are missing out on significant revenue due to their ad hoc approach to referrals and cross-selling.

The Australasian Legal Practice Management Association (ALPMA) and Julian Midwinter & Associates (JMA) have produced a report titled Referrals & Cross-Selling in Practice, which reveals that firms aren’t maximising the revenue they could generate from referrals and cross-selling.

“Few firms have adopted a structured, strategic approach to their referrals and cross-selling programs,” said ALPMA president Andrew Barnes.

“Those firms tracking revenue from referrals and cross-selling are generating strong revenue of more than half a million dollars per year, so it is well worth the effort and investment required to put together a comprehensive program.”

Referral programs are designed to encourage clients, other law firms and non-legal professionals, like accountants, psychologists and financial planners, to refer new clients to a law firm.

“Like anything worth doing, it’s not necessarily easy to increase the effectiveness of your referral program, but if you want it to happen in your firm you need to intend it, plan it, measure it, resource it and lead it,” JMA partner Amy Burton-Bradley said.

According to the research, the most popular activities and techniques to drive referrals include target lists, active networking and the hosting of events, direct marketing and social media, as well as providing resources and training opportunities to upskill lawyers in referrals.

“We were surprised to find that 50 per cent of firms do not bother to recognise or reward their external referral sources,” Ms Burton-Bradley said.

Cross-selling programs are designed to encourage clients who engage with one of the firm’s practice areas to use services from other areas as well.

“Unresolved questions around who ‘owns’ the client relationship – the lawyer or the firm – and traditional practice group models create barriers to effective cross-selling. Such barriers hold too many firms back,” Mr Barnes said.

“To maximise firm growth opportunities, law firm partners and leaders need to embrace a culture where the firm owns the client, respects the source but does not permit silos to form and work against internal referrals.”

The report revealed that only 28 per cent of firms are incentivising this behaviour and making internal referrals the norm.

“Given the known difficulties with finding the right incentive program, this low number will not surprise. Equally, it ought not close off future consideration of such a program,” Mr Barnes said.

The report made several recommendations for firms wanting to improve their referrals and cross-selling.

Firstly, it suggested creating standard procedures at the end of each matter to systematically support cross-selling, which 20 per cent of respondent firms currently do.

Secondly, firms should develop a pursuit plan to reach target clients through referral sources, which 75 per cent of firms don’t currently have.

Thirdly, it suggested maintaining a target prospective client list, which 64 per cent of firms don’t currently have.

Lastly, firms should define revenue targets for referred work, which 96 per cent of firms don’t currently do. 

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Firms failing to capitalise on referrals
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Law Council of Australia
Nov 21 2017
LCA calls for urgent adoption of ‘game-changing’ recommendation
The Law Council of Australia has urged for the immediate adoption of a key recommendation put forwar...
Sally Wheeler
Nov 20 2017
ANU College of Law appoints new dean
A distinguished legal academic and the former head of law of a higher education institution in Irela...
Nov 17 2017
It's time for politicians to commit to eradicating domestic violence
The national shame of domestic violence cannot be left unaddressed, writes Christine Smyth. ...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...