“I don’t give referring attorneys anything,” she said.

I went to dinner last night with some very dear friends that we see once a year. She’s an attorney. She’s a solo who works out of her home after having worked for many years in a large law firm. Being the marketing student that I am, I asked her where she gets her cases from and what type of marketing she does. She replied that the work she gets is entirely from referrals. That’s a good position to be in.

I then asked what she does to thank those referring attorneys. “Nothing,” she answered.

“Nothing at all?” I asked, stunned that she would not even thank those attorneys beyond a verbal thank you.

“No, nothing.”

I then “If a referring attorney asked you how you distinguish yourself from every other New York lawyer, what would you say? Her answer: “The people who send me cases know me for many years. They know my work. They trust me.”

“Ok, I understand that,” I thought to myself. But she didn’t answer my question. I asked what separates her from all the other attorneys who do the same exact work. Her reply consisted solely of identifying those people who already knew her and trusted her. I couldn’t help but think about all the work and money she was leaving on the table by showing off her expertise in many different ways.

Most attorneys, when asked what makes them different from their competitors, talk about their experience and what they’ve accomplished for their former clients. Some say they’re less expensive than their competitors across town. “We don’t charge for photocopying or phone charges.” “We don’t have fractional billing. We only bill in 10 minute increments.”

What these lawyers are pointing to are features, not benefits of their law practice. They are simply commodities that can be bargained with, negotiated with and encourage client dissatisfaction. What do I mean? If a client is unhappy with an attorney who cannot distinguish himself, the client simply says “I’m discharging you and going to the next attorney who is less expensive and can do a better job…”

It’s like saying “What’s the big deal between supermarkets? They all sell the same food. Waldbaums across town sells the same food as Shop Rite but for less money.” Those clients will view you as simply a commodity. That’s a very bad position to be in.

What does this have to do with video marketing? I’m glad you asked. (I thought you’d never get around to asking that pressing question.)

It has everything to do with it.

Video marketing shows that you’re not a commodity. It allows you to show you’re human and approachable. It allows you to position yourself as an expert, without ever having to say you’re an expert. Video allows you to showcase your knowledge about your area of law. You can’t do that effectively with any other form of advertising media available today. Video allows you to form a bond with your online viewer,  get them to trust you and begin to like you, just from your video.

Let me know what you think about being a commodity and the importance of setting yourself apart.



Unlike my friend mentioned above, if you refer an attorney or small business owner who signs up with my Total Online Video Solution, I will give you an affiliate referral fee. How much is that fee? I’m glad you asked: $1,000 dollars. Just make sure to tell the person you refer to mention your name so we can keep track of it in our records.

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2 Responses to “I don’t give referring attorneys anything,” she said.

  • Larry Newman says:

    I agree with Gerry that gratitude and thankfulness drive any practice. What is not appreciated soon disappears. When I was a Chiropractor we had a referral board (before HIPPA) and patients who referred had a number and a placing on the board. Many patients competed on that board for the top spot.

    Thank you notes, letters, and gifts are not about the money but about recognition to those who help you. This is true in “every” relationship you have, wish to maintain, and desire to grow.

  • You are absolutely right Larry. The relationship is key.

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Gerry-- This is truly one of the BEST videos explaining this little known fact I have EVER seen produced by a personal injury attorney! Well done!

Stephen Fairley
Rainmaker Institute