• Referrals V Collaborative Relationships

  • Ever wondered why You don’t get more referrals?

    Referral relationships are fantastic …… we all appreciate the value of a quality referral.

    The flipside of a referral relationship is just that it must be two way.

    We must learn to give before we can get. Like charity ..it starts at home .

    Unfortunately, many of us (or those we deal with) are not great when it comes to referring to others.

    This leads to a conundrum. Whilst the person you refer work to ,may be an excellent source of professional advice  for your client, you may feel the need to look for other relationships that will be more reciprocating  with referral opportunities for your firm. However, this marketing need may be in conflict with your desire to obtain the best possible solution for your clients.

    Whilst we certainly coach  and mentor  individuals how to be better at providing (and receiving )referrals, some are simply more gifted at it than others and it does not necessarily correlate that those  who are gifted in providing referrals may not necessarily be the best ones to handle certain matters for your clients.

    If we take a step back and consider that your greatest  advocates to provide   referrals and testimonials are your existing delighted  clients, then it follows that your best  source of referrals to more ideal clients are your existing ideal clients – not an external party (a referral source).

     Law firm research shows  that  over  80% of  work  comes from internal clients or existing relationships, therefore less than  20% will come from external parties such as referral sources.

    If attracting ideal clients is important, then the best way to control the quality and source of ideal clients is through referral from other ideal clients with whom you have already developed a relationship, that have benefited from your service and are usually more than happy to assist you build your practice. All you do is make yourself referable and make it easy to be referred.  We   can show you  how.

    With the above in mind, we  therefore suggest the following philosophy regarding  establishing  collaborative relationships versus referral relationships:

    1. A Collaborative Relationship

    A collaborative relationship is where you work collaboratively with another professional in achieving the desired client outcome.

    The goal is an excellent client outcome and a delighted client.

    A collaborative relationship may not necessarily be a referral relationships (although referrals do tend to flow as a result albiet it tends to be  adhock).

    2. Referral Relationship

    These are traditionally where work is referred between two practices.

    As discussed above, pursuing a referral relationship may be in conflict to pursing a collaborative relationship which will always produce a better result for your client.

    We therefore suggest that establishing collaborative relationships that assist you in achieving  better client outcomes should be the priority rather than merely a mutual referral relationship.


    A successful outcome for your client will then position you to receive the following benefits from your satisfied clients:

    • testimonials based on your successful outcome. There is no better advertising than what someone else says about you;
    • Receiving referrals to other similar ideal clients;
    • Creating a better and deeper relationship with your clients.

    Rather than spending time developing mutually beneficial referral relationships, we therefore suggest that your energy be invested  in developing collaborative relationships, which will occasionally provide referrals, but more importantly provide the opportunity for your clients to act as your advocates .

     As a result you will attract work rather than having to seek it . You become THE EXPERT … not just an option.

    By focussing your efforts on improving client outcomes , your client engagement , deepening your understanding of each client, and communicating your key message ( benefits and expertise ) your clients become your  advocates and help build your brand within your target market.

    We  would be happy to  meet with you to explore  how to leverage your relationships with your ideal clients and  turn them into your greatest advertsing.


    Contact me today on 0419 222 3 44 or email me at [email protected]