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LMA Session: Law Firm CRM as a Referral Engine

Law Firm CRM as a Referral Engine

Following an LMA Conference session titled, Relevant, Essential and Cool … Surprising Ways to Describe CRM at Today’s Progressive Firms, LXBN’s Colin O’Keefe caught up with Darryl Cross, vice president of Client Profitability and Performance Development LexisNexis for a short video interview.

The interview lasts a little more than two minutes, is embedded nearby and quick summary of the discussion is provided below.


1. Referral networks tend to be small.  Each lawyer at a firm has 15 contacts that are really important:  5 clients, 5 prospects and 5 sources of referrals – be those alumni clients or law school acquaintances.

2.  CRM is all about those 15 people.  Instead of thinking about law firm CRM as a mere collection of names and email addresses, CRM is about those 15 important people – multiplied by how many lawyers employed in a firm.

3. Putting a face on law firm CRM. Beyond the attorneys passing information about legal matters back and forth – CRM programs should aim to include information from the firm’s partners:  accountants, banks and other businesses the firm engages.  The key is to have a name and familiar face from the magic 15.

4.  Not just who but why. CRM isn’t just about tracking that referrals occurred, but also understanding why they occurred.  For example, does a firm tend to get bigger deals from one bank it works with versus another – or is there a certain type of conflict work that is passed over from a specific firm?  The secret to law firm business development means understanding why those referrals are coming and analyze that in the context of long term relationship management.

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5 Takeaways from a Law Firm CRM Survey


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About Frank Strong

Frank Strong
Frank Strong is the communications director with the LexisNexis software division located on NC State’s Centennial Campus in Raleigh. In this capacity he leads communications efforts in support of software products for law practice and law department management and also litigation tools – across large law, small law and corporate counsel segments. With more than 15 years of experience in the high-tech sector, Strong previously served as director of public relations for Vocus, which developed marketing, PR and media monitoring software. He has held multiple roles both in-house with corporations, ranging from startups to global organizations, and has also endured the rigors of billable hours, having completed gigs at PR firms including the top 10 global firm Hill & Knowlton. A veteran of two year-long deployments, Strong has concurrently served in uniform in reserve components of the military for more than 20 years, initially as an enlisted Marine and currently as an infantry officer in the Army National Guard. Strong holds a BA in Film and TV production from Worcester State University, an M.A. in Public Communication from American University, and an M.B.A. from Marymount University.