Most lawyers understand the referral adage "give to get." It's pretty simple really. If you refer potential business to others, most will refer work in return, if for no other reason than they'll feel an obligation to do so. Not everyone does, but most will.
Unfortunately, many of us are regularly guilty of not proactively seeking opportunities to refer clients/customers to others. Often times it's because we don't listen to the needs of people we encounter, and thus don't uncover opportunities to make referrals. Stephen Seckler tells just such a story on his CounseltoCounsel blog involving a lawyer and a financial planner. The story goes that the financial planner found that when it comes to referrals "lawyers are the worst." Seckler was sure the planner was wrong, so he stopped an estate planning lawyer he knew and asked him about that. The lawyer's response was that he didn't have opportunities to make such referrals because, as Seckler reports, "his T&E clients never ask for a referral to a financial planner." And, it seems pretty obvious that he never asked them either.
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