Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Don't Be Afraid To Ask For Referrals

New business does not magically appear.  You have to go out and get it.  I wish I had a new business wizard like my little friend to the right who would zap an endless stream of new cases to my office.  Apparently my little imaginary friend is working for someone else, because I cannot find him in my office.  That means I have to have other resources to utilize. The referral is my best source of new business.  How we lawyers get referrals is subject to debate.

Usually when I strike up a conversation with a fellow lawyer, as part of my customary greeting I ask how business is?  I would guesstimate that 99% of the time the response I get is along the lines of:  Business is wonderful.  Have more work than I can handle.  Wish people would quite calling...

This leads me to conclude that I am, apparently, the only family law lawyer that is always looking for new clients.  Am I busy?  Yes I am.  Am I too busy to become complacent with respect to generating new business?  Never!  I suspect people are telling me how great their practices are because they believe that to do otherwise would suggest that they are failing?  Nonsense.  We all have highs and lows in our practice volume.  My personal mantra is that I would rather be too busy than not busy enough.  When people ask me how my business is going, I usually respond by saying that "it's going good, but I can always use some more referrals.  If you need to send your overflow to someone please keep me in mind."

Do I get looks of indignation when I say that?  No.  Do people question my ability?  I think not.  Almost always I get an acknowledgment of my request, and an offer to keep me in mind.  You know what else happens?  With amazing frequency the phone rings with a referral from the colleague that I had that conversation with.

How else will people know to send business my way unless I ask them to?  There is no shame in asking for referrals.  Everyone wants them.  Every lawyer needs them.  New business is how we survive.  It is good business to ask for referrals.  Pretending that you don't need them can dry up your referral stream, and that is not a drought you want to experience.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law

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