Why is it difficult? First, because many corporate clients do not want to put all their eggs on one basket. For political, financial and/or relationship reasons they want to spread the work around. Sure, a number of major corporations are reducing the number of outside law firms. Often doing so to better manage administrative headaches. Rarely will they reduce the number of law firms to one.
Reasons within the law firm itself are just as likely to make cross-selling difficult to pull off. Since I have written on the topic numerous times in the past, I thought I would refer to just four of my posts. Hopefully, they will shed light on why it is so difficult to cross-sell, and offer ideas on how to overcome the difficulties:
After 25-plus years in marketing lawyers, it continues to amaze me that some lawyers do not understand why cross-selling so often doesn’t work. The thinking seems to go, “I’m good at… (fill in the blank), we’re partners, and they should just refer ‘their’ clients to me so I’ll have more work.” The question is “why…Continue Reading
Are you to blame for the failure of your partners to cross-sell you to their client contacts? Not necessarily, but you could be part of the problem. Clients select lawyers they know, like and trust. Referral sources, including your partners, send you clients for the same reason. Since they know, like and trust you, they…Continue Reading
Semantics sometimes get in the way of some good advice. When you try to convince clients (subtly or otherwise) to engage your law firm for additional services not previously rendered, I think it is silly to argue about whether you are cross-selling or cross-marketing clients. I’ve known and admired Bob Denney for many years. He’s…Continue Reading
There are obstacles to cross-selling that explains why law firms are so bad at it. But with the right kind of leadership and incentives, the obstacles can be overcome. It isn’t easy though. When I was an in-house legal marketer, I actually saw cross-selling work – maybe 1% of the time. An article on Law360.com…Continue Reading
Cross-selling can work in law firms, but it isn’t easy. It takes knowing, liking and trusting one another among partners, and… a client’s concurrence, of course.