How to Stimulate More Cross Selling Activity in Your Firm…..

Every firm I know wishes they could encourage more cross-selling  — keeping business inside the firm that might otherwise go elsewhere. I started a thread on LinkedIn to get views from others and here’s a simple idea that will get lawyers talking about the kinds of work they can share within the firm:

  1. Each practice group delegates one partner and an associate to attend each of the other practice group meetings. It helps if the selected lawyers have a good relationship with the group.
  2. These lawyers need to do some homework on clients served by this group and the type of work done.
  3. In a very short one-minute introduction, the ‘outsiders’ share the kinds of clients their group serves and the types of work they do.
  4. Then, in a quick 10 minute presentation, the ‘outsiders’ present a punchy Top Ten List, entitled: “The Top Ten Ways Your Clients Could Use Us.” The list should focus on new legal developments, more obvious “burning platforms” and non-obvious ways that the other practice group’s lawyers could add value to existing relationships.

The presentations can either be done in regular practice group meetings (as a monthly agenda item), or in a series of 5-10 rapid-fire presentations (one for each practice group) that take place at the firm-wide retreat.

Part of the success of these presentations is to consider how you can help make the other team look good in the eyes of their clients by mentioning your services.

I know one firm where this approach was tried by a Pensions team who tailored their presentations to Corporate and Litigation departments and it worked a treat!

Another firm has had success structuring their cross selling so that it was done on a mutual basis. In other words, Team A referred work to Team B and vice versa.

I’ve also been reminded that cross selling works better if you shift your mindset to thinking about cross buying. In other words, what do we need to say and do to make it easier for these clients to buy other services from us.

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