Obstacles to cross-marketing

Obstacles to cross-marketing

"We all know that we should be cross-marketing and cross-selling, but we're just so bad at actually doing it." I frequently hear comments like this from law firm partners.

There are a number of reasons why a law firm can be so bad at cross-marketing.

  • Lack of available, shared information about the best cross-marketing opportunities
  • A partnership culture that produces a "my client" mentality rather than "our client"
  • A partner compensation systems that do not reward - and in some cases discourage - cross-marketing
  • Lack of adequate marketing support
  • A misdirected marketing strategy that focuses on opportunities with relatively low return on investment

All of these are important factors; but, in our experience, the most important obstacle of all is simply that the partners lack the basic skills to work together as a high-performing business team. Unless and until partners can learn to organize themselves for the achievement of specific goals, manage internal disagreements productively, and build genuine trust based on the free flow of information and ideas, they will never - repeat never - achieve their full potential, whether at cross-marketing or any other worthwhile goal.

This sounds like a dogmatic statement, but there is simply too much overwhelming evidence - both in law firms and in other businesses - that supports the importance of group development as the make-or-break factor in the ability of a business group - like a group of partners or a practice group - to achieve its goals.

To quote the American comic strip character, Pogo, "We have met the enemy and he is us."

The good news is that business groups develop their achievement potential through specific behaviors and skills that can be learned and improved with practice.

To learn more about how to do this, contact Lisa Walker Johnson by e-mail or through the walkerclark.com website.