I Should Ask for Referrals and Testimonials? You’re Kidding, Right??
You're kidding...right??? 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, and it provides instant credibility. If a client, former client or even just a contact suggests someone hire you as their lawyer, it’s like gold in the bank. It means 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 the use of 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 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 a lawyers business comes from referrals. It’s simple, why would a stranger hire someone who he/she neither knows, likes or trusts? Especially when someone you do know and trust might be able to refer you.
Ask your clients, friends and other people who you know who you, to recommend you. And again, always to ask for testimonials too.