Cross-selling legal services to existing clients is an efficient way for law firms to grow. A firm that, say, provides tax law services to Walmart could significantly boost its revenue and strengthen its relationship with the client if it could successfully market some of its other services to the retail giant’s various decision-makers.
But law firms frequently struggle with cross-selling. Fortunately, new technologies make it easier than ever for law firms to market incremental services to existing clients and gain a larger size of wallet.
Cross-Selling Requires Sharing
Based on my experience both as a former lawyer and now working with lawyers as a digital marketing consultant, one of the primary reason law firms struggle with cross-selling is culture. Many attorneys, particularly those at large firms, feel their contacts and the relationship with them are part of what makes them valuable, and they are opposed to sharing contacts with other lawyers at the firm. They fear that by sharing clients with colleagues, they may lose control over the client or think there will be negative repercussions if the client is not happy with their colleague’s work.
This culture has been slowly evolving at large firms, with attorneys increasingly encouraged to bring colleagues along to client lunches or other networking events so they can talk to clients together about the multiple ways the firm can help their business. However, the pandemic and social distancing have made it more difficult for lawyers and firms to cross-sell their services to existing clients this way.
The advent of new technology, however, is helping some firms become more efficient and effective in cross-selling services at law firms.
One of the best ways to increase cross-selling opportunities is to develop an account-based marketing (ABM) strategy. With ABM, a company identifies key accounts or types of accounts that it would like to target and then directs its marketing campaigns at key decision-makers in those companies. While ABM can be used to target new clients, we will focus here on its use in cross-selling new services to existing clients.
Your goal with ABM is to identify your best clients — the ones that have the greatest potential to bolster your revenue through expansion — and then use technology to research who the client’s decision-makers are for the incremental services you want to provide, and what these company leaders care about.
Next, you can create custom marketing campaigns to these companies and professionals based on what their needs are. For instance, if your firm provides M&A advice to a public accounting firm that is acquiring CPA firms across the country, the client may not realize your firm also has a highly acclaimed employment law practice group that can help the firm with all employee issues after the acquisition is complete. The client may need help with employment contracts, noncompete agreements, and layoffs following a merger. Once you identify key decision-makers, you can create content, such as a blog posts, videos, articles or webinars, that highlight your firm’s knowledge and experience in dealing with employment issues in mergers and acquisitions.
Several online tools make ABM easier, including LinkedIn sponsored content, which allows you to target decision-makers and influencers of key accounts and deliver customized content to these key stakeholders.
Another tool is programmatic advertising, which allows marketers to show ads to targeted users based on various targeting methods. One of these methods is to target by intent. Intent data targeting enables advertisers to target employees of companies that have demonstrated an interest in a particular issue based on their online behavior. They do so by reading articles, registering for webinars, watching videos, conducting searches and downloading white papers on the topic, among other trackable actions. This behavior enables law firms to infer a target’s interest in a particular topic and to show them ads and content that informs them of a law firms’ knowledge and experience in this particular topic.
Another new method that can help a law firms’ cross-selling efforts is influencer targeting. Let’s say your firm is trying to target the in-house counsel at a particular company. How do you get that individual to become aware of your firm, the services you offer, and get them to trust you if they don’t know you?
Influencer targeting allows law firms to not only identify a company’s decision-makers, but also their closest contacts, such as their employees, colleagues, family members and friends. These contacts can be found through the decision-makers digital networks. There’s also technology platforms that specialize in this.
The goal is to create a buzz about your firm and its services by not only putting targeted messages in front of the ultimate decision-maker, but by showing similar content to their trusted advisors and others with whom they regularly communicate. Therefore, if the ultimate decision-makers reveal they are looking for help with a particular legal or business issue or they mention your firm to a confidante, that individual would ideally respond with something like: “Yes, I’m familiar with that firm. I have recently seen an article from that firm, and they seem to have a lot of experience dealing with those issues.”
In today’s competitive world, cross-selling is more important than ever for law firms, but many opportunities to expand services to existing clients go untapped. Fortunately, new technologies can facilitate the process to help law firms incorporate cross-selling into their marketing strategy and expand the work they do for their top clients.
We have the technology, expertise, and team to build a better way for your law firm. If your firm is interested in implementing new marketing technology, but isn’t sure where to start, contact us today for a consultation.
This article was originally published on Forbes.