Get More Referrals by Avoiding These Words

Picture this scene. You have done fantastic work for a client. Your delighted client is thinking of referring a fantastic new client to your legal practice, but something stops them.

It’s something you said.

“I am so busy”.

Four little words that may stop your referral flow.

If you indicate that you are incredibly busy, you could well convey an impression that you wouldn’t want to get more referrals.

Conversely if you indicate that you haven’t got much work on, that may indicate that the firm isn’t attracting much work, with the client potentially drawing the conclusion that perhaps something is wrong with you or your firm.

It is a fine line isn’t it.

I have often heard it said that clients want you to be successful but not too successful.

At the heart of the matter is what a client expects when they refer?

In answering that question, firstly, consider who are they likely to refer to you.

Logically this will be someone that they have a good relationship with; perhaps a family member, or a friend or colleague.

Whoever it is, if they refer them to any business they will want to know that they are going to get a good job and be really looked after.

A real concern for any referrer is that they refer a friend to a business and their friend has a poor experience, as it reflects poorly on them.

Those four little words “I am so busy” (or whatever variation you may use), could well convey an impression that if they refer, it is likely that the referee will have to wait and may well get what they perceive as poor service.

Of course in most cases this will not be the case at all, but it is the perception that is important to your potential referrer.

So what should you do?

Here are some suggestions:

  • Ban the use of phrases like “We are so busy” or “We are flat out” at your firm.
  • Develop an alternative that conveys the impression that you are successful, but a new client will get well looked after
  • Replies such as “We are flat out” to the question “I suppose you are busy?” tend to be habits that we all say without giving them much thought. Develop a strategy to change the habit. I have heard it said that it takes 21 days to change a habit, so it may take a while, but it will be worth it.

I have seen examples in my own past firms where fantastic clients have not ever referred, because they perceived that the partner they dealt with was simply too busy.

Think of the cost of this over a lifetime of work.

It’s scary isn’t it?

So, what will you say next time a client or potential referrer asks you if you are busy?

 

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