The two reasons attorneys don’t get more referrals


If you’re not getting as many referrals as you want, there are only two reasons. Either you don’t deserve them or you don’t ask for them.

Lawyers who get referrals are competent, of course, but competency doesn’t make you referral-worthy; you need more. To deserve referrals, you must also

  • Deliver good value,
  • Excel at “customer service”,
  • Give more than is expected, or asked,
  • Show gratitude, and
  • Be likable

Lawyers who do and are these things have clients who are not only willing to refer, they go out of their way to do so. When you give people more than they expect, the “law of reciprocity” compels them to give back. When you deserve referrals, the world responds by delivering them.

If you deserve referrals, you can get more by asking. The best time to do that is at the end of a case or engagement, when you are delivering the check or the final papers, when the client is feeling good about the outcome. But asking is not limited to opening your mouth and “asking”. There are many ways to ask for referrals:

  • You can ask in your newsletter, on your web site, or with a sign in your waiting room
  • You can tell stories that mention clients who were referred to you and how much you appreciate the client who referred them
  • You can ask clients to “Like” your page or forward your email to their friends
  • You can have your employees call and ask for you

Attorneys who ask for referrals get more referrals. But only if they deserve them.


How to think and grow rich


Napoleon Hill’s classic, “Think and Grow Rich,” was based on a twenty-year study of the world’s richest people. Hill concluded that one thing successful people consistently do is set goals.

A long-term study at Yale University also found a correlation between success and goal setting. Researchers surveyed one years’ graduating class and found that only three percent had written goals. Twenty years later, it was learned that the students who had specific, written goals were earning more than the remaining ninety-seven percent of graduates, combined!

3% beat 97%!

Goal setting works, and it’s easy to do. Here are Hill’s six steps for setting goals:

Step 1: Goals must be SPECIFIC. What exactly do you want to achieve? It’s not enough to say you want to make a lot of money, for example. How much do you want to earn per year or per month?

Step 2: You need a specific time WHEN you will achieve your goal. By what month or year or day? What’s the deadline?

Step 3: Your goal must be WRITTEN. Carrying it your head is not good enough.

Step 4: You must develop a PLAN to achieve your goal. A goal without a plan is just a wish.

Step 5: You must decide the PRICE you are willing to pay. What are you willing to do? What will you give up? How much time and other resources will you invest to achieve your goal?

Step 6: READ your goals, out loud, every day. And think about them throughout the day.

Easy to do. Yet most people (97%) don’t.

Many people who “try” setting goals give up in frustration when they don’t achieve them. Often, that’s because they are too focused on results, something they cannot control. If you set a goal to get one new referral source this month and it doesn’t happen, you feel defeated. But you can’t force people to do what you want them to do. You cannot control results. What you can control, and should focus on, are activities. You have complete control over what you do.

Start by figuring out your averages. If you find that one out of every ten professionals you have lunch with actually sends you referrals, and you know you need to make two phone calls to get one solid lunch date, then your activity goal for the month would be to call and invite twenty professionals to lunch. Of course the ultimate objective is the referrals, and they will come. You just don’t know when or from whom, but with enough activity, you will eventually get the results you seek.

“Result” goals are important. They inspire you to achieve great things and provide landmarks for your journey. But also set “activity” goals. By consistently hitting your activity goals, every day of your journey is a success.