Monday, November 02, 2015
Your Lawyers Are Not Gelling
Law firms (and other professional services businesses) are leaving money on the table. They do great work in one area of the law, but their clients are utilizing the services of their competitors for other problem areas.
The lack of cross-selling has been over discussed and it is so common that many firms have given up on trying to find a solution. There is still a lot of talk internally about "Cross-Selling"... but few expect they will ever capture the revenue they are knowingly ignoring. Instead they put their heads down and just chase more individual billable hours.
In my work with hundreds of lawyers it is clear that the cross-selling problem is a cross-gelling problem. Lawyers to not talk about their firm's services, besides their area of expertise, because they do not have strong relationships outside their practice groups. Often they do not understand the value their partners can bring to their clients, and sometimes they simply do not even like the people who work inside their own firm.
You want your firm to start capturing the cross-selling revenue that seems so illusive? You have to get the whole team together on a regular basis and have real hard conversations. If your partners do not know, like and trust each other then each year's distribution check will not reach its maximum potential.
Working with firms to get them to do this is hard. We cannot just hold hands and sing campfire songs. The whole firm must buy into new acceptable behaviors and be willing to part ways with high performing partners who are jerks. The no-jerk rule is hard for law firms, as the think they cannot replace the revenue, so they let the toxic partners stay put. Year over year the situation stays the same, and without discussion about the elephants in the room there will never be any change.
Networking is not just an external activity that is done when a lawyer is worried about finding their next case. Networking the creation on long-term and mutually beneficial relationships where all those involved find more success than they would alone. This is just as important inside the firm as it is outside.
Is you firm lacking on its cross-selling success? How is your internal gelling? There are ways to get your internal relationships on track, and once people build honest friendships with understanding of their partner's business, promoting them becomes easy.
Have A Great Day