It’s the first Wednesday of March (when did THAT happen?), so you know what that means! It’s time for a rainmaking recommendation from expert and coach, Jaimie Field. Jaimie is continuing her discussions on one of my favorite subjects, referrals, so this is a recommendation not to miss!

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In the last Rainmaking Recommendation, I mentioned that there is one sure fire, free way to grow your book of business – referrals.

I also said that I would continue this conversation so that you create a systematized way to get the best referrals from clients, prospects and referral sources.

However, in order to move to that level, first I think it’s important for you to understand why people give, or don’t give, referrals.

Referrals represent a measure of the value that the person who is offering the referral puts on the service or product.  And giving referrals represent a risk to the person who is furnishing it of creating a rift in a relationship they value or are trying to build.  If the risk is small, they will not hesitate to give the referral.  However, if the risk is greater, then they will pause and think about.

When a person gives a referral they are, in essence, saying this is a service or product that I wholly endorse. Yet, this could be a scary proposition to many referral sources.  The bigger the stakes in the outcome of the referral, the less likely they are going to make that referral unless they are absolutely sure that the end result will be good for the person to whom they are referring.

For example, giving you a referral to a restaurant that I truly loved is less risky than giving a referral to an attorney who can make or break a case or project.  If you have a bad meal at the restaurant that I enjoyed, no real skin off my back – it may have been the night, a different chef, etc.  You may mention to me that you didn’t enjoy your experience, but our relationship will continue – you just might not want to accept any more restaurant referrals from me.

However, if I send you to an attorney and things do not go well or expectations that I, as the referrer had promised, were not met, there is more skin in the game here.  Lots of money could be spent; cases could be lost, etc.   This could create problems for our relationship.

Each referral that is made is a reflection on the person who is offering the referral.

In order to mitigate the risk, you – the attorney – have to live up to the expectations and promises that the person who referred you has made about you to the other person to whom you were referred.  (However, how to do this is a topic for future blog; keep your eyes peeled for that.)

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Photo of Lindsay Griffiths Lindsay Griffiths

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. She is a dynamic, influential international executive and marketing thought leader with a passion for relationship development and authoring impactful content. Griffiths is a driven, strategic leader who implements creative initiatives to achieve the…

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. She is a dynamic, influential international executive and marketing thought leader with a passion for relationship development and authoring impactful content. Griffiths is a driven, strategic leader who implements creative initiatives to achieve the goals of a global professional services network. She manages all major aspects of the Network, including recruitment, member retention, and providing exceptional client service to an international membership base.

In her role as Executive Director, Griffiths manages a mix of international programs, engages a diverse global community, and develops an international membership base. She leads the development and successful implementation of major organizational initiatives, manages interpersonal relationships, and possesses executive presence with audiences of internal and external stakeholders. Griffiths excels at project management, organization, and planning, writes and speaks with influence and authority, and works independently while demonstrating flexibility in thinking, especially in challenging situations. She also adapts to diverse and dynamic environments with constant assessment and recalibration.

JD Supra Readers Choice Top Author 2019

In 2021, the ILN was honored as Global Law Firm Network of the Year by The Lawyer European Awards, and in 2016 and 2017, they were shortlisted as Global Law Firm Network of the Year. Since 2011, the Network has been listed as a Chambers & Partners Leading Law Firm Network, recently increasing this ranking to be included in the top two percent of law firm networks globally, as well as adding two regional rankings. She was awarded “Thought Leader of the Year” by the Legal Marketing Association’s New York chapter in 2014 for her substantive contributions to the industry and was included in Clio’s list of “34 People in Legal You Should Follow on Twitter.” She was also chosen for the American Bar Association Journal’s inaugural Web 100‘s Best Law Blogs, where judge Ivy Grey said “This blog is outstanding, thoughtful, and useful.” Ms. Griffiths was recently chosen as a Top Author by JD Supra in their 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards, for the level of engagement and visibility she attained with readers on the topic of marketing & business development. She has been the author of Zen & the Art of Legal Networking since February of 2009.