How is your firm at Cross-selling? Law Firm Cross-selling is proven to increase revenue, service efficiency and loyalty. Our team offer expert advice and coaching for lawyers and law firms of all sizes.
In today’s competitive world, you need to make the most of all opportunities and connections that you have. Law firm owners in an ideal world want their lawyers to be better at cross-selling to the client’s they already have.
While most firms recognise that this is a key route to growing a practice and increasing client ‘stickiness’, few actually practice and promote it with incentives.
It is estimated that it costs 5-15 times more to attract a new client than it does to retain one. Cross-selling is a low cost, highly effective form of marketing.
What is Cross-Selling?
In essence cross-selling is selling additional services either from the same department or other ones to an individual or organisation that is already an existing client.
Cross-selling is a fundamental part of developing their practice by developing existing relationships. While many lawyers understand the importance, few pursue it fully. This can be due to a lack of training or that the personal benefits are unclear.
Cross-selling has also been shown to boost long-term revenue in the form of client retention. It also serves as a powerful anti-poaching mechanism. The more areas being served, the harder it is for an outside firm to replicate service.
Our experienced team can design and implement strategic business plans and marketing programs. We also coach many solo and small-medium firm lawyers in practice and personal development matters.
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Challenges and Hurdles
Cross-selling involves different challenges that have to be overcome in order to be successfully implemented.
Consider the following challenges and hurdles:
- Relationships take an investment of time and must be nurtured on behalf of the parties making the introductions and connections as well as the parties trying to form the new relationship.
- Clients hire lawyers, not law firms.
- Cross-selling requires trust on the part of all parties. Not only between client and lawyers but a high level of trust must exist within the law firm between lawyers of different departments and within the client’s organisation too.
- There is a potential risk of embarrassment (or even their job) for all concerned if there is poor work and the new relationship does not pan out.
- Many law firms work as a “lone ranger” culture rather than being team-based or putting the firm first. Therefore, there is no incentive to invest the time and effort nor take the risk to refer work to others in the firm.
- Lack of knowledge regarding other partners’ practices.
- Lack of an effective CRM system and measurements. If used correctly, it gives access to accurate, up-to-date insight into client and contact activities.
- Fear of losing clients.
- Fear of losing client control.
- Confidence - have you given staff the tools to effectively cross-sell your services through training and do they have knowledge about all the areas of law you offer?
- Lack of incentives – you can tell staff to cross-sell however if you are not measuring and incentivising it financial or otherwise then it will never be top of their agenda.
- There is a sales stigma amongst lawyers either due to lack of training or that they feel they are just a lawyer and not salespeople, which is just not true or right in today’s world.
- The way compensation systems in many law firms work encourage hoarding and discourage the referring of work to others.
This seems like a lot of challenges to overcome, however, picking an area at a time and making simple steps to change ways of working can make a huge difference.
The key to starting any cross-selling is having effective communication systems in place to facilitate relationship-building among lawyers. Effective cross-selling is simply not possible without strong relationships and high levels of trust among lawyers in the law firm.
Cross-selling needs to be a central part of your strategic plan and on every HOD or partners meeting agenda.
It is important to put a system in place to measure the activity and incentivise staff. However, before you start telling lawyers what they must do, make sure you invest in regular training, so they know how to do it.
You should regularly review the process and ensure that appropriate recognition is given to those who are performing well, whilst taking suitable action where people are struggling.
Sales stigma within the law is one of the greatest barriers we see. When we train firms on relationship management and client service, we drop the word ‘selling’ altogether and instead emphasise a form of proactive client care which is part of their professional duty.
A shift in mindset is needed to think about cross-selling as a benefit to all parties. When you strengthen the collaborative culture, the barriers come down and the instructions rise.
How to get in contact
To learn more about how we can help increase your turnover, profitability and secure more clients, then call us today for a free initial discussion about your specific requirements, please call us on 0115 8700443 or email firstname.lastname@example.org