How Lawyers Get More Clients By Referral

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Good Habits Bad Habits Referral HabitsOne of the questions I am asked most often is: “How can lawyers get more clients?”

The best way for lawyers to get more clients is by referral.  But referrals must be earned.  Here are five ways you can BEGIN to earn more referrals from your clients, centers of influence in the community and other lawyers.

Do Great Work

This is the minimum standard for positioning yourself to receive more referrals.  There are lots of lawyers out there.  Many of them do what you do.  Lots of them went to great schools.  Lots of them have terrific experience.  If you want a referral, you have to do outstanding work.

That’s the least you can do to earn a referral.

Be Polite

I’m sick of lawyers who think that being “aggressive” means being a jerk.  That’s just not the case.  You can be aggressive and be a professional.  You can be aggressive and be a gentleman or gentlewoman.

Say “please”.  Say ‘thank you”.  Admit when you screw up.

Be the kind of person people respect.

Keep Your Commitments

Do what you say you are going to do.  Tell the truth, even when it’s tough.  Return telephone calls.  Meet deadlines.

Stay In Touch

People may want to send you business but they don’t remember you.  Stay in touch with your past clients and your referral sources by writing a newsletter and sending it out monthly (at minimum).  Send birthday cards.  Send holiday cards.  Call your past clients and referral sources occasionally.

Give Selflessly

If you want to get referrals, start by giving them to others.  Send people business.  Generously recommend people who meet the above criteria.  Go out of your way to help peers and colleagues.  Provide guidance when asked and support when things go wrong.

These five ways will not earn you referrals from everyone but they are a great way for lawyers to get more clients. How do you measure up to these criteria?