Tracking your revenue by referral source, or how to say more “Thank You's”

Hopefully you have a tracking system to record where your clients come from. This can be something as simple as an Excel spreadsheet, or as complex as a database custom made for your firm. You may also be able to use your practice management system for this purpose.

When tracking your referrals, be sure to track the following information:

  1. Where a client came from (referral, blog, Avvo, networking event, seminar);
  2. If there was a secondary referral source (If they were referred by a client, where did that original client come from? If it was a referral from another professional, where did you meet that person?);
  3. The total revenue brought in by the client so you can determine which referral sources are bringing in the most amount of revenue, and not just the highest volume of clients ― you may be surprised at what you find; and
  4. The quality of the client (if a particular source is sending you less-than-ideal clients, figure out how to change this ― educate a person, change the focus of your blog posts, market your seminars to a different audience, etc.).

The reason for tracking the multiple layers of referrals is so that when it comes time to focus your efforts and send thank you's ― you want to go back to the original source, and not just focus on the most recent source. For instance, maybe you don't get any direct clients as a result of a certain networking group and you're thinking of not going any more. But after your analysis of your cases, you realize that the financial planner you see every month at the group has sent you 20 percent of your business for the year. Make sure you keep tending to that relationship even if you do drop the group. Likewise, if there is someone who sends you great referrals, always be sure to thank them. And take the next step to thank the person who introduced you.  It's unexpected and appreciated.

This tip is courtesy of Leanna Hamill, attorney at law, a member of the Law Practice Management Section Council.

Published September 17, 2009


For more helpful tips, join the MBA's Law Practice Management Section. Call MBA Member Services at (617) 338-0530 to join.

To learn more about the Law Practice Management Section, contact Co-Chairs Andrea Goldman or Rodney Dowell.
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