By Tom Kane (Reprinted from Tom’s LegalMarketingBlog.com dated March 12, 2017)
Okay, okay. I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t marketing by definition proactive? Well, I’m thinking about a slightly different twist. It involves anticipating future problems that a client may encounter and discussing them in advance before the client asks somebody else.
A couple of days ago, the BTI Consulting Group published the results of a survey pointing out how the time is right for cross-selling. The survey involved interviews with 330 “independent, individual interviews with CLO’s and general counsel at Fortune 1000 companies and large organizations,” and 200 law firm leaders. According to BTI, the top 3 reasons the interviewee’s have insomnia are actually cross-selling opportunities for law firms.
While they may have been too polite to say so, I am not. In my opinion, the reasons given relate to the absolutely chaotic political world we find ourselves in currently. Although the survey was completed two months prior to our national election last fall, the results are no less valid today. They are:
1. The Potential Breakdown of the Regulatory World. Any changes (additions or deletions) are
likely to have a profound impact on clients. And heaven knows the threat of change is greater than ever. Starting discussions with clients about changes that could impact their business or industry in the regulatory arena will be marketing time well spent;
2. Cybersecurity. This “was not even on the list of concerns prior to 2014.” Staying current on federal and state legislative and regulatory changes that impact security requirements will put you ahead of the pact;
3. Managing Risk. Assessing the unknown is the most difficult task, whether for a firm or a client. Pulling together a risk management database to use “for each specific client by practice, industry,
and type of company” will come in handy when discussing potential risks with specific clients.
It is suggested that partners start a dialogue with clients about possible changes, even if you don’t have all the answers. I am not sure I agree that there is a limited window for cross-selling, but there is no reason to delay. By raising the possibilities early on, clients will more likely turn to you in a time of need.