Referral Network

Are you ready to go for partnership?

Referral Network is one out of 12 key indicators for making it to Partner. What are the key indicators we hear you ask? Well, they are a list of criteria that we have come up with to test whether you are ready to go for partnership. Based on our experiences of working with hundreds of lawyers, accountants and consultants, we found that only the candidates who performed strongly in these 12 key areas, were successful in being made up to Partner.

You can only know what you need to work on when you assess yourself, so take our Partnership Readiness Assessment now. This will tell you how you score in the 12 key areas, highlighting which of the indicators you need to work on. The results of this assessment will be invaluable to you as it will help you to prioritise and take purposeful steps to progress your career to Partner. 

Why is Referral Network so important to your future career progression?

Being blunt, the relationships in your network are what will be the deciding factor for whether you win work. Referrals are the lifeblood of any senior lawyer, accountant or consultant who wants to be able to win their own work. Sadly, referrals don't happen without a consistent focus on keeping your key relationships warm and strong.

Depending on the size of your firm and your service line you will need a strong network across your firm, other offices and its international network plus your key client accounts, trade bodies and sector interests. Given how COVID-19 has accelerated a trend towards far more working from home, you also need to be able to sustain your network by both online and offline networking tools.

You know that if your life were a little bit easier, your partners would make sure that there was time in your working day to create these relationships. Sadly, when your billable time targets are 6+ hours a day, this means that this relationship building activity often needs to happen in your own time. This means your networking and relationship building activity needs to be focused on those people who really matter to you (and definitely not left to chance or luck!).

Why build your network and community?

Ask anyone who is considered the rainmaker in their firm and they will mention the value of their network in helping them build their reputation, extend their reach and get them recommended. Get your networking right and others will do the job of selling for you, spreading the word about your services, products or skills.

How to use your network to generate referrals

The SERVICE framework will help you use your networking activities to maximise the number of referrals you get through your network.

SERVICE stands for:

  • Referral network

    Specific

    Choose a specific niche and be specific with your requests about who you want to be introduced to.

  • Referral network

    Extraordinary Client Service

    Deliver extraordinary client service to generate word-of-mouth referrals.

  • Referral network

    Relationships

    Nurture your A-listers to generate a large proportion of your referrals. 

  • Referral network

    Visibility

    Be seen in all the right places, whether online or offline.

  • Referral network

    Initiative

    Proactively ask for referrals as well as introductions which may lead to business. 

  • Referral network

    Collaborate

    Work together with contacts who have a similar type of client base to you, but offer a different service. 

  • Referral network

    Educate

    Educate your network about how to spot a potential client for you, how much you value them doing this for you, and what to do next.

If you need more help with building your Referral Network, read Chapter 7 of Poised for Partnership here.

A selection of the resources in Progress To Partner to help you with Referral Network

On demand courses

Recorded Virtual Events

Workbooks, books and guides

Short videos

The Go-To Expert
How to keep up (or start) your business development when on “lockdown”
Creating your linkedin profile
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How to win work in 30 minutes without leaving your house
Guide to creating a marketing plan
How to get the referral not the partner
Guide to content planning
How to make the best out of a secondment opportunity
Guide to building your networking plan
How to use LinkedIn to get noticed
Poised for partnership 3rd edition book
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