Cross Selling Legal Services Really Easily
To ensure the future of your law firm it is absolutely vital that all fee earners start to take a real interest in generating new instructions for their firm. If you are a partner in a practice, you should be establishing systems to ensure that your fee earning team are also generating new business for you. The good news is that I am here to help you, to make it easy for you, and to make it happen – here’s how:
Why Cross Sell?
I answer this with another question – why make your life any harder than it needs to be? I am guessing that all of you accept that you need more business, or you would not be on my website. I also expect that you know if you stand still in the current market you are likely to disappear. If you are not moving forward, you are going backwards. Cross selling is the easiest, cheapest and most effective way of bringing more profits to your practice. Of this I am sure. I have been running my business for four years and marketing law firms since 1991. All I do is win more business for solicitors – cross-selling is always the easiest way of getting results for my clients, so why do so few solicitors do it well?
“You Have To Have A Goal To Score”
This is one of Alan Sugar’s pearls of wisdom with which I fully agree (having watched the Apprentice there are many others I am not so sure of). Now as a Reading football club fan I think we could sometimes do with two goals for us to score at the moment, but I digress. Most of you reading this will set or have monthly or annual costs target. Whilst from my experience sometimes there is no scientific reasoning behind these targets (often based on how much you think a fee earner can generate), don’t you find it odd that more often than not they are achieved?
So how many of you reading this have set cross-selling targets for your fee earners and support staff?
“John, your costs target is £12,000 this month and you need to generate 5 new instructions for the firm this month from your existing clients..”
Target Setting – How Much
This is completely up to you. At the moment I know from my experience that the vast majority of law firms do not set hard targets for fee earners to generate new instructions. I am also confident that they will in years to come as they will have to in order to ensure continued profitability. You can start wherever you like, but you will be amazed that even if you only set a target of one per week, just by focusing on this target your team can quickly exceed it. My advice would be to start at one a week and work up from there. You don’t want to scare your team at this stage.
By setting your team goals you now have a chance of scoring which was not previously there. You are already a step closer to being infinitely more profitable with very little effort!
Record Your Success!
This is another problem I regularly experience – the inability to accurately record where new instructions actually come from. This is one area that is absolutely vital for you and your team if they are to be rewarded for their new found cross-selling prowess. They must be able to show full details of all new client instructions generated by them so that you can financially reward them for going above and beyond the remit of their role (and yes of course they should be rewarded). If you cannot think of a way of recording this, ask your fee earners to keep their own record of the new instructions they have generated – if it is in their financial interests to do so I am sure they will find a way.
I hope I have persuaded you that if you are not already doing this, it is vital that you do so. If I have, then I would also like to provide you with some proven methods to generate these new instructions. I say “proven” because I have spent the last 17 years trying them all out and they do work. Some will work better than others for you as you will find your natural skills shine with some and struggle with others. This is normal and with practice you can make improvements.
This method I am sharing with you is a proven method in all areas of business, whether selling products or professional services, it just works. Not only does it work, it is mind blowingly simple. AFR stands for “Ask For Referral” and it works, regularly. The best time to ask this is without doubt when you complete a matter for a client and they are singing your praises telling you what an excellent job you have done for them. At that precise moment your response should be:
“Thank you Mrs Jones, I really appreciate your comments. Is there anything else I can help you with or anyone else you know that you think would benefit from my firm’s legal services?”
Then pause and say nothing. If you are feeling slightly nervous or embarrassed that you have asked such a “salesy” type question the temptation is often to then start rambling. Avoid this temptation and your clients response will usually be one of the following:
- I did not know you offered other legal services, what else can you help me with?; or
- Well it’s funny you should mention that, my friend is moving home and needs a solicitor.; or
- Not that I can think of at the moment.
Each of these responses then provides you with an invitation to sell your firm’s expertise. In example one, your client is asking you to list all of your services. Have a list prepared for all of your staff by their desks or on the intranet, and rather than read out the list, emphasise particular success stories or expertise in each area.
The second one is an invitation to ask your client to provide your personal contact details direct to their friend, even if it is not your area of law. The reason that they must call you is two fold: you cannot cold call prospects, but more important the person on the phone needs to record the referral to ensure they hit their target. Make a diary note for a few days later to call your own client if you have heard nothing from their friend. Do not be afraid to do this, often people simply forget and if the friend of the client does not come to your firm, they might end up at that really bad one around the corner from you… it is your duty to save them!
The third option allows you again to run through your list of services as in option one.
In each case you should follow up the telephone call with another letter thanking the client for their kind feedback and again selling your other legal services.
If you follow only this method at first you will start to reap immediate results and if you follow it consistently for several months you will gain even more benefits.
The “AFR” method for referrals should also be used:
- At your first meeting with a new client (giving you the opportunity of introducing the firm to them and showing that you do not only cover your area of law)
- At each subsequent meeting with a client
Rather than seeing this as sales, consider it your professional duty. You know that you can provide the best service to your clients. However, if you do not keep reminding them you can help them with all other areas of law they may go elsewhere and receive a terrible service. That means lost fee income for your practice and an unhappy client. I am sure that most of you, as I did as a solicitor for my clients and now do for solicitors, entered the law to provide an excellent service. This is part of your role to look after your client.
I have spent more time on this method as I know that if you spend time practising and perfecting this approach you will be very well rewarded. I will now run through other straightforward options.
Include a PS or footnote in letters to your clients (free and effective) e.g.
“I want to make sure you and your family are properly protected, do you have a will?”
“This year we have recovered over £3 million compensation for victims of medical negligence, is there anyone you know that would benefit from our expertise in this complicated area of law?”
“We complete house purchases on average 30 days quicker than the national average”
If you have a little more time, draft a letter to your old clients promoting your services and asking for referrals. This can be in the form of a success story from a completed transaction of litigation matter that is of local public interest, or a case which made the local press. Remember always to make it relevant to your clients, never be arrogant.
For example if your firm gained Lexcel accreditation do not send the letter I have often seen to clients along the lines of:
“ABC and Co Have Gained Another Quality Kite Mark”
This is far too much about your firm, but needs to be about the client, how about:
“Our Constant Effort To Improve Our Service To You Has Received External Endorsement”
Some of your clients you will know better than others. You will know the area of town they live in. What if you saw a planning application in the local paper that was relevant to them and you sent a personal letter pointing it out to them in case they had missed it. Do you think your clients would be bowled over by your concern about them? I do!
I have not included other obvious ones that I expect you already do such as “end of client letters” thanking the client for instructions and promoting other services or a reception full of brochures for every single area of law (yes separate for each).
If you are not already doing these things, you need to be. The tax man tells us that “Tax doesn’t have to be taxing”, on the same note Marketing doesn’t have to be difficult. The simple things can make all the difference.
What is your goal?
Need A Proven Cross Selling Blueprint To Follow?
Are you making use of these opportunities to generate new client instructions:
- The easiest way to generate new instructions from your existing clients (and the exact time in the transaction to do it)?;
- Recruiting referrers that send new clients to you month after month (and how to ensure that they continue to do so);
- How you can use simple, cheap videos to generate new instructions;
- How one simple piece of business stationery could be transformed into a lead generation tool (with no extra cost);
- How to quickly and simply up-sell your clients by offering different levels of service and different packages of services (which your competition do not have);
- Great and reasonably priced software to do your cross selling job for you;
- The simple changes you can make to your premises to convert them into a constant source of new leads.
All you need to do to find out these and 119 methods to cross sell your legal services is to click the book below (no cost or obligation).
Ready To Take Action And See Results Now?
Please call 0117 290 8555 to arrange a mutually convenient time for a telephone discussion, Email me or complete a Free Online Enquiry. There is no cost or obligation. We will have a chat about where you are and where you would like to be and I will suggest some things you can do to get there quickly.