The best way to get more referrals


The best way to get more referrals is to ask for referrals.

Hold on, I know you don’t want to do that. I know the idea makes you uncomfortable. Asking for referrals makes you sound needy. Sales-y. Unprofessional. You’ve tried it but your mouth went dry and you stumbled over the words. So you don’t do it or you don’t do it much.

I can help.

I can show you ways to ask for referrals in a way that won’t make you uncomfortable. I can also show you how to ask for referrals without actually asking.

Without asking? Yes. You won’t have to say a word.

How is this possible? As I describe in my two referral marketing courses, Maximum Referrals (about getting referrals from clients and prospects) and Lawyer to Lawyer Referrals (about getting referrals from lawyers and other professional contacts) you do it with a “referral letter”.

Your referral letter spells out how you can help people who might need your services. It shows the reader how to recognize people who would make a good referral for you. And it shows them the best way to make the referral to you.

Have you ever wondered why people who could send you referrals don’t do it? One reason is that they don’t know how.

Do they give the client your card? Do they send them to your website? Do they call you themselves and give you the referral’s information?

Your referral letter solves this problem by spelling out the simplest and easiest way to connect you with referrals. When you make it easier for people to send you referrals, more people will send you referrals.

Once your referral letter is written, most of your work is done. From that point forward, your job is to make sure that every client and former client, every professional contact and potential referral source, receives a copy of your referral letter.

Distributing your referral letter to clients is simple. Just send it. Have extra copies printed to include in your new client welcome kit and to give clients when they are in the office.

Distributing your referral letter to attorneys you know is equally simple, but a little different. You can mail them (or email them) but there are other things you can do to make it more likely that they will not only read your letter, they will act on it.

You can also send your referral letter to attorneys you don’t know. That’s where things get interesting. That’s where you can expand your list of referral sources manifold, for just the price of a stamp.

If you want referrals, get a referral letter written and get it out into the world. There is no simpler way to ask for (and get) referrals than to let a letter do the asking for you.

To get more referrals from clients, get this

To get more referrals from other lawyers, get this


Nobody says, “Call my law firm”


When one of your clients gives your business card to a friend or colleague who might need your services, they don’t say “Call my law firm,” they say, “Call my lawyer”.

They have a relationship with you and it is you they are recommending. They may know and work with other lawyers in your firm, they may think highly of the firm as a whole, but you are their lawyer and you are the person they want their friend or colleague to speak to.

When I see letters or emails signed, “For the firm,” I shake my head in amazement at the lack of personalization. Why put distance between yourself and your client? You wouldn’t call a client and say, “This is Jones and Smith calling,” would you? You’d say your name. You would use theirs. It should be no different in writing.

Professional services are personal. Even if the client is part of a big company, you should nurture your relationship with them as an individual. It’s okay to send out a “Welcome” letter from the firm but that letter should be in addition to a personal letter from you. The client chose you as their lawyer, or if they were assigned to you by a partner, you should conduct yourself as if they did.

A law firm can advertise and build a brand, but when it comes to working with clients, the personal relationship is paramount. Don’t sign letters “for the firm” and don’t have a secretary or assistant sign for you. Personalize everything. Show the client that you are fully invested in your relationship with them. If you do, when someone they know needs a lawyer, your client will hand them your card and say, “Here, call my lawyer”.

Are you getting all of the referrals you want? Here’s how to get more


Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable


I read a quote the other day that said the key to success was getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. This is obviously based on the idea that success lies outside of your comfort zone, which it surely does. Success requires growth and growth means doing things that are unfamiliar and risky and thus uncomfortable.

Our subconscious minds crave familiarity and routine, however, because they keep us safe. Meeting new people, learning new skills, taking on new projects, all involve risk. What if this new person means to do us harm? What if we get lost? What if we fail?

But without risk, there can be no growth. And that’s the challenge we face every day. Do we take the risk or stay comfy in our regular routine?

Some people say that success requires us to live outside our comfort zone but surely that’s going too far. We can live inside our comfort zone most of the time and regularly venture outside of it. Take a few minutes a day to work on your new skill. Meet one or two new people each week. Then, go back to your routine until tomorrow or next week.

By briefly but regularly stepping outside of our comfort zone and then returning to it, we grow not by getting comfortable with being uncomfortable, which we may never do, but by expanding our comfort zone.

Need more clients? Want more referrals? Here you go


Stop it, you’re putting me to sleep


It’s nice hearing from readers who say nice things about my emails. It’s even nicer when they tell me I’m full of it.

If your readers don’t at least occasionally tell you that you missed something or you said something they strongly disagree with, you’re missing the boat.

You’ve want to be edgy. Controversial. Provocative. You want your readers to feel something, even if that something makes them want to take a swing at you. If you never lose subscribers over something you said that offended them, you may be guilty of the cardinal sin of being boring.

If you’re boring, readers won’t read you. If they don’t read you, they may forget you. If they forget you, they’re not going to hire or recommend you.

Now, someone is reading this and thinking they would never go that far. They cherish their subscribers and would never do anything that might get a complaint or, hell-to-the-no, cause someone to unsubscribe.

Too bad. So sad.

If you never take risks with your writing or marketing, if you don’t do anything to stand out and be remembered, you run the even greater risk of living a life of mediocrity.

Because boring is one step away from irrelevance.

Besides, do you really want subscribers who can’t stand a little heat and never get the joke? Who are easily triggered and need to hide in their safe space?

I don’t. I want them to go away and make room for people who get me and support me and buy from me.

You should, too.

You want fans. You want champions. You want people who look forward to reading you, and who might sometimes disagree with you, or get perturbed with you, stick with you, no matter what. Because they love you and know you love them.

<Group hug>

One of the best tools for building your practice: email


Do you make this mistake when replying to email?


I don’t reply to every email I get and neither should you. Vendors and people pitching you something don’t expect a reply and you aren’t obligated to give one.

Prospective clients are another story.

Respond to prospects, even when they ask dumb questions or annoy you. Say ‘thank you’ for the inquiry, answer their question, and tell them what to do next.

You can use a (mostly) canned response. You can have an assistant respond on your behalf. You can point to a page on your site where they can get the information. But always reply and do it as soon as possible. They might be your next client. Or send traffic to your website. Or promote and share your content. Or send you referrals.


Of course, that goes double for clients and former clients.

When a client emails, you should do everything possible to reply within 24 hours (or the following weekday if it is a weekend or holiday). Actually, try to reply within two hours, even if it is to say you’re not able to respond fully just yet but will do so as soon as possible.

People who have paid you money (or sent you referrals) deserve as much respect and attention as you can give them.

Now, for an example of what not to do.

I recently bought somewhat expensive video course. After I went through everything, I had questions. I emailed the guy who produced the course seeking to clarify some points and to ask about a few things he didn’t address.

What happened? Nothing happened. Several days went by with no reply. I emailed again to ask if he had received my first email. Crickets.

I had asked several questions that could have been answered with a yes or no. He should have replied, if only to refer me to the section of the course where the issue was explained.

There is some good material in the course but I’m not inclined to recommend it to anyone, provide a testimonial, or purchase anything else from him. Too bad.

It takes a lot of effort to create a new client or customer. It takes but a simple error in judgment to lose them.

How to use email to get more clients


More conversations equals more clients


Yesterday, I urged you to take steps to weed out non-buyers, price shoppers, and problem clients before you speak with them. Clearly, some will slip through.

That’s okay. You want to talk to them, even if ultimately they don’t hire you, because the more conversations you have with prospective clients, the more clients you’ll get.

True, you’ll talk to people you don’t want to work with. You’ll also talk to people who are harder to land. But math is math.

More conversations equals more clients.

In fact, daily or weekly conversations should be a metric you focus on increasing. Talk to more prospective clients this week than last week and your practice will grow.

You want to talk to people so you can ask questions, diagnose their problem, and propose a solution.

You want to find out their pain so you can show them how you can alleviate it.

You want to build rapport and show them that you care about helping them.

And you want to help them to focus on making the decision to hire you (or come in to see you) if that’s what’s best for them, or if they’re not ready to do that, to feel good about you and remember you when they are ready.

Some of this can be done via email and filling out forms. But nothing beats a conversation.

I’m guessing you’re pretty good at having these conversations, that is, you have a high sign-up ratio. If not, you’ve got some work to do to get better at weeding out prospects who aren’t a good fit for you or closing the ones who are.

If you already sign up a high percentage of the people you talk to, your weekly task is to ask yourself what you can do to have more conversations. Because more conversations equals more clients.

Marketing by the book


Lay down and let me make both of us happy


Retail car salespeople call them “laydowns” because they come into the showroom ready to buy. They don’t ask a lot of questions. They don’t haggle on price. They say yes to many of the “ups and extras”.

They show up, lay down, and make car dealers very happy. They’re happy, too because they get what they want and don’t have to fight to get it.

Lawyers love laydowns too. Clients who don’t shop around, “interview” you, or try to negotiate fees.

Admit it, that’s the kind of clients you want.

If you’re smart, most of your clients can be that way.


The first thing you should do is to provide lots of information about you and your services so that prospective clients can do their homework before they contact you. On your website, in your presentations, in your handouts, explain what you do and why someone should hire you.

In addition, explain your terms. Spell out what you expect of your clients and what they can expect of you.

If clients see that you work on retainer only, for example, they’ll be much less likely to expect you to do the work before they have to pay.

Let this information weed out the hagglers, price shoppers, and trouble makers.

The second thing you should do is help prospective clients get to know, like, and trust you, again, before they talk to you. Invite them to sign up for your newsletter, for example, where you can build a relationship with them. When they’re ready to move forward, they’ll already know most of what they need to know and be all but ready to sign up.

The third thing you should do is to make referrals the foundation of your practice. Referred clients come to you pre-sold by the referral-giver, whether that’s one of your clients or another professional. Referred clients ask fewer questions and are less price sensitive. As a bonus, they are themselves more likely to refer.

If you do these three things, you’ll not only get more clients, most of those clients will be easier to sign up, easier to work with, and much more profitable.

There’s nothing better than referrals


Silence is golden, especially during election season


If I’ve blocked or unfollowed you on social media lately, as I have done with hundreds of people, it’s probably because you talked about who you planned to vote for or which issue you supported. You probably did it a lot.

Why did you do that? You could have kept mum and we’d still be friends.

How many clients have you turned off by sharing your views? How many prospects won’t hire you now because you couldn’t resist flapping your gums? How many professional contacts will no longer send you referrals?

And for what? What did you gain by talking politics?

I know this election is important. But so is paying your rent and feeding your kids.

Let the talking heads talk about politics. That’s their job. Your job is to get and keep clients.

Keep your head down and do your work. Keep your mouth shut and stop chasing away business.


If you know what to do to reach your goal, it’s not a big enough goal


A friend of mine, a successful lawyer, business owner, and speaker, frequently tells his audiences, “You’re not thinking big enough”. He says most people set goals that are too small and quit when they hit the first obstacle.

Small goals may be achievable but they’re not exciting. They don’t motivate us to overcome our fears or to keep going in the face of defeat. Only big, seemingly unachievable goals have that power.

Bob Proctor says, “If you know what to do to reach your goal, it’s not a big enough goal”. He says,

“Set a goal to achieve something that is so big, so exhilarating that it excites you and scares you at the same time. It must be a goal that is so appealing, so much in line with your spiritual core that you can’t get it out of your mind. If you do not get chills when you set a goal, you’re not setting big enough goals.”

Grant Cardone, author of “The 10x Rule,” makes the same assertion. He says that the biggest mistake people make in life is not setting big enough goals. We should set goals that are 10X greater than what we believe we can achieve, he says.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that this is a dream, not a goal. A goal is something we have some basis for believing we can achieve.

Dream? Goal? I’m not sure it matters what you call it. All I know is that if we’re not excited about it, we’re not going to give it much energy. And we need a lot of energy to achieve anything great. Cardone says that we should take action that is 10X greater than what we believe is necessary to achieve our goal.

I don’t know about you but if I’m going to work that hard, it better be worth it.

A marketing plan gives you a place to start. Here’s the one I recommend


A hundred opportunities a day to grow your practice


I’m not the only one to point out that everything you do in your practice is marketing.

From the way you answer the phone to the invoices you send your clients. From the way you speak to prospects about how you can help them to the sincerity of your “thank you” notes. Even the way you conduct yourself with opposing counsel who might someday speak kindly about you or send you a referral.

It’s all marketing.

And because it’s all marketing, your day is filled with opportunities to build and develop your relationships and your reputation and grow your practice.

Every time you speak to someone or write something someone else will read, you have an opportunity to help people get to know, like, and trust you. Be aware of these opportunities and don’t squander them. Consistently give people a little more value or a little more insight into how you are different or better.

In the beginning, you may need to make a conscious effort to do this. You may have to ask yourself what you can do to go beyond the core elements of your job. You may have to remind yourself to take a few extra seconds to ask about a client’s children or to re-read your email before you send it to find a way to make it more personal.

Eventually, you will do these things automatically. They will be baked into your persona and your methods of operation. And eventually, you’ll begin to notice that good things are happening in your practice.

Most of your marketing can be done this way. The little things you do, in the moment, if done consistently and with sincerity and heart, will attract more clients, more referral sources, and more opportunities to get the word out about what you do.

This is how marketing used to be done. This is how most of your marketing can be done still.

Learn more ways to grow your practice here