How many times have you heard “Cross-selling is the easiest way to increase your book of business and the Firm’s profits”?
Your partners want you to cross-sell their services to your clients. You want them to cross-sell you to their clients. Management wants everyone to cross-sell.
It’s a great idea! And yet, most lawyers don't do it very effectively.
Cross-selling is a simple concept, but it isn’t easy. To be able to cross-sell your partners and your firm, you have to know more than the immediate issues you are managing for your client. You need to understand their business, the challenges the company is facing, and their strategic goals. You have to know your partners’, and your firm’s, relevant skills and experience that will help your client overcome industry challenges and achieve their goals. And you have to have earned your client’s trust. You cannot ask that they meet with another member of your firm until you know that your client values your advice, and understands you are completely committed to their success, security, and prosperity.
How do you earn the right to cross-sell?
- Study your client’s business and their place within their industry.
- Listen to your client; and ask questions that will reveal needs beyond the services you are providing.
- Get to know what your partners and firm do that is relevant and of value to your client – especially in areas where your partners are subject matter experts.
- Ask your partners to tell you why their clients hired them and what they are doing for their clients.
- Share what you have learned from your client about their business needs with your partners and firm; discuss how they could help your client.
- Understand the value proposition of the people and services you are offering. Be honest about the opportunity and the real value that your partners can deliver.
Trust is precious, fragile, and earned constantly. Only when you have developed that trust have you earned your right to cross-sell.
Authored by Kim Stuart and Martin Gold