Four Minute Fixation 5: How to Have a Conversation That Leads to Referrals

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Happy Lawyer Gets a ReferralEvery lawyer I know wants more referrals.

Most people have no idea how to ask for them.

This episode of The Four Minute Fixation gives you a framework for having a conversation with a client, former client or referral source.

The key is to focus on helping the other person during the bulk of conversation and ask for help at the end.

Here are the five questions you should ask during this conversation:

1). How’s business?

This question is designed to break the ice and help the client feel comfortable.  If you don’t want to ask this question, you can substitute another similarly focused question.

2). Who is your most recent client?

You want to have a clear understanding for the type of clients the person with whom you are meeting is looking to attract.  A story about a recent client experience can demonstrate what type of client you can refer.

3). How has your ideal client changed since we last met?

Typical clients and ideal clients are sometimes different. That’s why you need to draw a distinction between the two.

4). Can I introduce you to…?

This is when you make a referral to the other person. You can offer to introduce your conversation partner to a potential client or you can introduce him/her to a person who may be able to advance his.her business.

5). Will you help me…? 

Note the wording here. This is how you ask for a referral. You start with a request for help.  If you ask for a referral people may be perplexed. But it is human nature to help people.  Don’t say “can you help” because that is inviting a “no” say “will you help” because that implies choice.

If this meeting is one hour long, you should spend 50 minutes on the first four questions and 10 minutes on the last one.  This is part of the external orientation necessary to be a true trusted advisor.  This quality extends beyond your representation of the client to your relationships that will lead to referrals.

Make sure you watch the video but more importantly, give this strategy a try.  It works but it will take practice.

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