A member of our marketing team was discussing with me a problem that I find a lot of our clients have:  asking for referrals without feeling embarrassed.  We know that many attorneys build a good portion of their practices on referrals – yet, why is it so many feel almost ashamed to ask for a referral?

I believe that these attorneys are not looking at referrals in the right way.  They see them as asking for a favor, when in fact you should regard it as extending a favor.  That’s right.  You are not asking to get a favor, you are asking to bestow one.

The secret to getting lots of referrals is to make it about them, not about you.  Think about what benefits you offer your referral sources and what problems you may help them solve.  When you help someone help a friend, family member or colleague, you have done them a favor. 

Think about how referring you can make your client’s life better, and you will never be embarrassed to ask for a referral again. 

Attorneys who rely on referrals for new clients also have to have a referral mindset.  Always look for those moments in your relationships with others to create referrals – when you have won a case for a client, when you have helped someone avoid litigation, when you have provided a referral – all opportunities for you to generate referrals.

You also need to make it as easy as possible for people to refer you.  Provide them with a written document that outlines the characteristics of your ideal client.  Create white papers or give seminars that solve problems their clients may be experiencing and co-brand them, so your referral source benefits. 

The real secret to feeling comfortable about generating referrals is to think give, not take.  And to implement a system that creates a referral mindset throughout your organization.


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