How to Jump-Start Cross-Selling in Your Law Firm

Cross_sell_1 Cross-selling is an elusive goal for law firms. The idea is simple: to interest clients that are using one practice area in using a second or third area. But the devil is in the details and most cross-selling plans fail as soon as they meet one of several common objections.

As a result, to paraphrase Mark Twain, everyone talks about cross-selling, but nobody is doing anything about it.

Yet cross-selling is more important than ever. According to new research by The BTI Consulting Group in Boston, corporations in the Fortune 1000 list are using 20% fewer core law firms than they did a year earlier. This means that fewer law firms will get the available work, and they will likely be the firms that successfully cross-sold their practices.

Knowing this, law firms send out calls to come to cross-selling sessions, but can't get lawyers to attend the meetings. Firms struggle to identify cross-selling targets but falter when it comes to making contact with the client. The keys to success are overcoming the objections that partners raise and focusing on firmwide, rather than individual, goals.

To jump-start a program, attorneys need to keep in mind the firmwide goals of cross-selling:

  • To keep current clients by establishing as many points of contact with the law firm as possible.
  • To expand client relationships by assuring that the client is completely satisfied with the firm's service and inquiring into the additional business problems a client has.
  • To familiarize the lawyers with the client, so that they know the client's business and understand the client's industry.

There are seven common objections that derail most cross-sellng programs, and you'll find them at at

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