How do I get more referrals from other professionals?


Attorneys often ask me, “How do I get more referrals from other professionals?”

Their clients may be willing to refer but not know many people who need their services. Their professional contacts, on the other hand, know lots of prospective clients but may not (yet) be willing to refer.

Here’s what I suggest.

Make a list of every professional you know who has referred at least one client to you in the last three years or has said they are willing to do so.

Let’s say you’ve got 30 names on the first list. Nine professionals sent you one or two clients. One sent you eight clients.

You know from yesterday’s post about how to get more referrals that one of the keys to getting more referrals is to give first. Give them referrals or find other ways to help them. But you have only so many referrals to give and only so much time you can spend helping others.

What do you do?

Do you focus on the 20 who said they would send business but haven’t? If you can get each one to send you just one client, that would be a nice bump.

Do you focus on the nine who sent you one or two clients, to see if you can encourage them to send you more?

What about the one professional who sent you eight referrals? It seems like they don’t need much encouragement. They are a proven source of business and you should probably spend your time finding more like them, right?

The answer is to spend MOST of your time with (and send most of your referrals to) the professional who sent you eight referrals.

When you find a spark, pour gasoline on it and build it into a raging bonfire. Pay attention to this individual. Give them your time and attention. Give them every referral you can.

When someone has demonstrated their willingness and ability to send you business, that’s who you want to focus on. You want to keep their referrals flowing. You want them to introduce you to their counterparts. You want them to promote your seminars and send traffic to your website.

Build your practice by helping them build theirs.

Next, turn your attention to the nine who sent you one or two clients. They have also proven their willingness to refer. Give them some love and see if you can increase their numbers.

How about the 20 who didn’t send you any? Well, don’t ignore them. Stay in touch with them. See what you can do to help them. They may waiting to see if you are serious about helping them before they “spend” their referrals on you. A referral or two from you may turn on the spigot.

Many professionals are able to refer but don’t because they already have another lawyer they are committed to. Others don’t because you have not yet earned their trust. But over time, things change. Nurture this crop of potential referral sources. One day, they may bear fruit.

Allocate your time as follows:

Spend 80% of your time with the professionals who have already sent you business, and twenty percent of your time with the ones who have not. Spend 80% of that 80% on the professional who sent you eight referrals, and twenty percent on the other nine.

If you want to get more referrals, give first. Give more to the ones who give back.

Ask me how I can help you get more referrals. 


How to get more referrals


Every attorney wants to know how to get more referrals. We love ’em, don’t we? They are good for our egos as well as our bank accounts. No matter how many referrals we get we always want more.

So, how do you get more referrals? Mostly, by focusing on three fundamental concepts:

1. Give first

You can get referrals simply because you are good at what you do. Someone needs your help, someone else knows what you do, and the next thing you know, a new client is referred to you. It happens every day.

If you want to get even more referrals, however, you should develop the habit of giving clients more value than they expect or have paid for. Truly serve them. Smother them with attention. Thrill and delight them.

When you do, you invoke the law of reciprocity. Your clients will feel psychologically compelled to reciprocate. That means that not only will they be willing to refer clients, they will often go out of their way to look for them. They owe you. They NEED to reciprocate. And they will.

The same goes for your professional contacts. If you want their referrals, give them referrals first. And look for other ways you can help them. Provide information. Make introductions. Help them solve their problems and achieve their objectives. They too will reciprocate.

But here’s the thing. You cannot give with the expectation of return. You have to give because it is a part of who you are, not the first step in a quid pro quo exchange.

Yes, there will be clients and professional contacts who don’t reciprocate. That’s okay. The more you give, the more you will get, just not necessarily from the people to whom you give.

Call it Karma or The Law of Attraction. When you give, freely and generously, because it makes you feel good to do so, you will attract more referrals. But you will be doubly blessed because you will also experience the joy of giving.

2. Tell people what you want

Make sure your clients and professional contacts know who would be a good referral for you. Educate them about your “ideal client”.

Post articles that describe your ideal client on your website. Link to them in your emails. Print copies and put them in your “new client kit” and in your waiting room.

Be specific about the legal issues and other characteristics of your ideal clients. Describe them by occupation, industry, or background. The more specific you are, the easier it will be for your clients and contacts to recognize a good referral.

Share stories about your ideal clients. Let clients see, in their mind’s eye, what your best clients look like. Every time you share a client success story or case study, not only will people be reminded about the kinds of problems you solve, they will also be reminded to be on the lookout for people like the clients in your stories.

3. Ask for help

Many studies have shown that professionals who ask for referrals, get more referrals.

You can ask directly or indirectly.

Asking directly means speaking to a client or contact and asking, “Who do you know who. . .?” followed by a description of your ideal client. Or, describing your ideal client first and asking people to keep you in mind if they meet someone who fits that description.

Asking indirectly means having someone in your office asking those questions, or, posting that information on your website, in your emails, and in other marketing collateral.

But you don’t have to ask specifically for referrals in order to get referrals. You can ask for other kinds of help.

Ask your clients to refer people to your website, where they can get lots of information about their legal issues and available solutions. Ask them to Like or mention your page, effectively referring that page to their friends and followers. Ask them to forward your report to people they know. Or ask them to invite people to your webinar or seminar.

Ask people to help you, and they will. Especially if you have helped them first.

The Attorney Marketing Formula will help you create a profile of your ideal client. Get the details here.