Who Do You Trust? The Importance of Referrals

Despite the inescapable popularity of Yelp, television commercials, and Facebook advertisements, word-of-mouth, and personal referrals are still the most trusted source of brand information.

According to Nielsen’s “Global Trust in Advertising and Brand Messages” report, 92 percent of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth or recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising – an increase of 18 percent since 2007.

I recently filmed a short video with my Executive Assistant Stephanie Goodly. Before she became a vital member of the Caldwell & Watson team, she found herself in a difficult marriage and wanted to meet with a divorce lawyer to find out her options. Even though Stephanie did extensive online research, she wanted to find a lawyer through a personal friend. In talking about her hunt for the perfect lawyer and receiving my name from a girlfriend, she said:

“I wanted somebody that was going to be exceptional … She spoke of him with such admiration, and she told me that she got through her divorce with Harmon with grace and the confidence that he had gotten her the best settlement that she could have possibly gotten in her situation. He taught me everything I needed to know to come out whole.”

WOMM (Word of mouth marketing) is nearly every brand, company, professional service firm, and lawyer’s number one preferred form of marketing. After a consumer or client has an excellent interaction, that individual is a free, credible form of advertising when they share their experience with others directly with someone or through social media channels.

While online referrals shouldn’t be discounted, take a more personal touch to your hunt for the right attorney. Talk to your friends, coworkers, and neighbors to hear about their experiences with divorce lawyers. Everyone knows someone who has been divorced. Most likely, you’ll hear the good, the bad, and the ugly.

We hope that Caldwell & Watson will come up in your conversations and we would be happy to set up an initial consultation with you free of charge to discuss your divorce or other family disputes.

For other professional services providers that are looking to increase their word-of-mouth referrals:

  • Become more involved in your community through a place of worship, volunteer organization, or service on nonprofit boards, etc.
  • Keep in touch with your clients. Add them on social media channels, send a thoughtful holiday card, and establish an eNewsletter that you send periodically to past and present clients.
  • Publish Thought Leadership pieces on your website, social media channels, and in Op-Eds in local papers to get your name out there and further position yourself as an expert.
  • Speak at public events such as at your local Kiwanis Club, business associations and at professional organizations meetings.