Cross-selling remains a persistently elusive goal within legal marketing, and for some firms, it may not be a goal at all. In fact, a groundbreaking 2007 survey by BTI Consulting Group found that 77% of law firms admit themselves to be ineffective when it comes to cross-selling their services to existing clients.
Unfortunately, there is little reason to believe much has changed since then, but on the bright side, up to date digital marketing technologies give us good reason to think that this deficiency need not continue.
Why Don’t More Firms Cross-Sell?
Cross-selling online has long been a staple in other industries, such as financial services, real estate, and consumer goods, but it has lagged for the most part when it comes to legal marketing.
Reasons for this are diverse, and include such problems as lack of a firm-wide vision, lack of incentives to cross-sell, and lack of expertise in Internet marketing.
Another hindrance to cross-selling legal services is simply overlooking its many benefits, including:
Financial benefits: Increased overall profits, higher revenues produced per client, and lower marketing costs per sale than with new customer acquisition.
Intra-firm relations: Deeper relationships among colleagues and
Customer relations: Greater customer loyalty, better potential for customer-driven referrals, and the satisfaction of knowing you are doing what is best for your clients.
Some of the best ways to cross-sell in a Internet legal marketing context, along with some underlying guiding principles, include the following:
“Build rapport” with your current clients: This will give you deeper insight into your customers’ needs, desires, and values. Social media networks are a great way to do this online. Invite clients to join a Facebook Group set up by your firm, interact with them on Twitter to learn what’s on their minds and answer their questions, and put out short YouTube educational videos with comments enabled. You are essentially mimicking the kind of conversation you could have with your clients in an office setting, and the results can be equally effective.
Match client needs to specific legal services: With innovative CRM software, you can compile lists of clients and prospects segmented in any number of ways, including based on past services provided. This data can be automatically collected whenever someone visits your website, opens a specific webpage, clicks on an online ad, or pays for a service electronically. It can then be automatically organized based on your settings, and appropriate follow-up emails can be sent to each group. After researching which additional legal needs are typical among clients in each practice area, you can use that data to “program” your segmentations.
Make all Web content relevant and timely: Once you have identified which specific opportunities exist with a specific client or are common among a class of clients, you need to present to them content that speaks to these specific needs. Whether on a webpage, in a blog article, or in an online ad, content should be genuinely helpful, visually engaging, search-engine friendly, optimized for mobile, and presented at a time when a positive response is most likely.
Achieving all of this will require extensive knowledge of Internet marketing, website design, social media presence, data analytics, and more. The promise of cross-selling online is great, but most will need to hire a legal marketing firm for that promise to be realized.
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