Develop a referral system for lead generation

There’s nothing worse than discovering a potential client and then losing them along a bumpy and disorganized customer experience. That’s why it’s so important to create a smooth workflow for the staff of your firm to identify and refer clients to your team. Less friction in your process means a better chance of closing the deal.

When developing a referral system, it’s important to consider the following:

  • Assign a single point of contact on your team for lead intake—your best ‘sales rep’. At least in the early stages, only one person is needed to accept referrals and make initial contact. This creates efficiency and consistency in how leads are handled and ensures you’re always putting your best foot forward.
  • Determine how leads are submitted for review and contact. The best way to ensure leads make it to you is to create a simple and singular way of passing them. Avoid using a staff member’s email address, as it can disrupt lead flow if a staff member moves on from the firm or their current role. One great way to avoid this is to work with your firm to have a separate email address created for this new offer (i.e. This email address can then be used across all other communications, like your landing page, email communications, blog posts, and more.

Incentivize firm staff to identify leads (optional). Let’s be honest, there really isn’t a direct benefit for the staff of other departments to surface leads for you, other than taking great care of their clients. In fact, we’re creating extra work for them, albeit simple work. Oftentimes staff needs to be motivated in other ways. Some examples of incentives other firms have used include:

  1. Competition: Create a competitive atmosphere by offering prizes or bonus pay to top performers for referrals.
  2. Referral bonus: Decide how much these leads are worth to you and your firm. Create a manageable incentive program and pay staff for every qualified lead.
  3. Set a team goal: Rather than rewarding on an individual level, you can also set the bar for an entire team to hit. How you reward them is up to you, but who doesn’t love a catered lunch or happy hour?
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