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.