I’m not. However, I realize that many lawyers are uncomfortable – actually many people are – asking for referrals.
It gets worse when one suggests that lawyers should ask for testimonials. Both are important for business development however. It’s instant credibility. If a client or former client or even just a contact suggests that someone hire you as their lawyer, it’s like gold in the bank. It means that the person is endorsing your legal abilities, and putting their reputation on the line.
Eric Dewey has written an article on soliciting testimonials. It’s lengthy compared to a post, but you might find it helpful if you have been thinking about asking for testimonials. (Don’t forget to check your bar rules regarding using testimonials.) He covers:
- the reasons people don’t write testimonials;
- make your request personal in nature;
- remind them of the reasons they should;
- remind them also that testimonials can help others in need;
- include suggestions to make it easy; and
- provide a sample of a testimonial (of course, keep it simple and not too verbose).
Back to referrals. The majority of new business comes from referrals, whether they are from satisfied clients or other contacts. In excess of 70% of lawyers business comes that way, if not more. It’s simple really why would a stranger hire someone whom s/he neither knows, likes or trusts. Whether corporate or personal clients, when all else is considered, will ASK someone who they should hire.
So, why not ask your clients, friends and other people who know you, to recommend you. For some of my posts on referrals – check out this compilation for tips on when and how to ask for them. Oh, and don’t forget to ask for testimonials too.