Cross-selling

General

Would you like fries with that? This phrase was made famous by McDonalds. But as a result of that simple question at the end of your order, McDonalds added a lot of orders of fries to their sales. The same concept holds true at restaurants. A good waiter should inquire whether you want an appetizer or dessert. When customers order more food, the bill is higher, the restaurant makes money and so should the waiter.

You need to keep the concept of cross-selling in mind with all your clients. This holds true with any kind of specialty. If you do wills, make sure they know you handle probate work as well. If you represent small businesses, there is a whole range of services you can provide to clients.

Don’t be sure clients even know what type of services they may need. Make suggestions as to other legal matters they may need. If they ask for a will, explain they should get a power of attorney as well, or perhaps a living trust. If you incorporate a business, they may need assistance with employment issues. Like the waiter or McDonalds, you will make more money by suggesting legal services to clients even if they come to you for one certain issue.

What value-added services you can provide

Most legal specialties have natural synergies. This is how we developed a practice area in social security disability headed by Roger Hutchison. We had personal injury and workers’ compensation clients who clearly were not going back to work, so we would discuss the idea of applying for disability. From there, we started telling all our clients we were available for social security disability matters and our case load grew. Most practice areas have services which go hand in hand with your specialty. If you handle criminal cases, make sure clients know you handle DUI’s. It may seem obvious to you, but not so obvious to a client.

I didn’t know you handled those type of cases

You never want to hear a client utter that phrase. I had a client who I represented in a workers’ compensation case many years ago. He was in a car accident and went to a different lawyer. I was surprised since I did a good job on his comp case and had a good rapport with him. When I asked why he didn’t call me after the accident, he told me, “I thought you only handled work injuries. I would have come to you but I didn’t know you did car accident cases.” I vowed to never let that happen again. Perhaps a client has never told you that to your face, but I can guarantee you have lost a client because they did not know you handled a specific legal matter.

Become the family lawyer

In addition to stressing what kind of cases you do handle, I always tell clients to call me first any time they need a lawyer. “I may not be able to help you, but I will be able to refer you to someone who will.” You always want a client to call you any time they need a lawyer. This accomplishes two purposes. First, it cements the notion that you are their lawyer. People like to say, “here call my lawyer” or “my lawyer can help you with that.” You become the family lawyer. Second, it allows me the opportunity to refer business to lawyers who send me personal injury, workers’ compensation and disability cases. When a client calls with a divorce or bankruptcy or closing, I can refer them to one of my referring attorneys.

Effective ways of cross-selling

We stress our three practice areas of personal injury, workers’ compensation and disability at every opportunity. When we speak to someone on the phone for the first time, whether they make an appointment or not, we always say, “Thank you for contacting us. The firm handles personal injury, workers compensation and disability cases. If we can ever be of assistance in any of these types of cases, feel free to contact us.” All of our written correspondence with clients emphasizes these practice areas. Most importantly, all of our follow-up marketing such as newsletters, birthday cards and Christmas calendars stress the types of cases we handle. You must take every opportunity to let clients know what other types of cases you want.

Be sure to cross-sell at any every opportunity. It will increase your client base as well as your income.