How to cross-sell in professional services

One of the best and easiest ways to increase turnover and profitability in a professional services firm is to cross-sell i.e. sell more services to your existing clients. Existing clients are already familiar with your firm and value your services so will require less convincing than a client that has never used your services before.  If they have an additional need that you can address you are well-positioned to sell more.

Clients of professional service firms are often unaware of the full range of services offered by their provider and tend to ‘pigeon hole’ their advisers. Addressing this issue can unlock the potential for an easy additional revenue stream.

Cross-selling additional services

Understand your clients – take time to find out about your client’s business so that you can introduce services that may be of benefit to them.  Do some desk research on their industry and their business but more importantly spend time talking to them. This will help you uncover opportunities for cross-selling and ensure you present the right services.

Take it slowly – if the client is fairly new to your firm make sure that you allow time for the relationship to bed in and establish itself before you start trying to cross-sell.

Internal know-how – ensure that everyone within your firm is familiar with the full range of services offered and can comfortably introduce a service area that they are not involved in delivering.

Client review exercise – at the end of a one-off project or annually for retained clients invite clients to take part in a client review exercise. This provides an opportunity to seek feedback from the client, find out what issues they might have and gently introduce them to services that they might not be aware of. The easiest way to do this is by a quick telephone survey, preferably conducted by someone who is neutral/impartial i.e. not the client’s key contact. The client should appreciate being asked for their feedback.

Closing letters – at the end of a specific project remind your client of the other relevant services you provide in the closing letter. For example if you have just completed the conveyancing on a house purchase you could remind the client that now would be a good time for them to update their will.

Client account manager – assign a client account manager to each key client and give them overall responsibility for managing the relationship. Insist that any cross-selling approaches are made via or in consultation with the client account manager to ensure a coordinated approach and make sure the client isn’t bombarded.

Never assume that your client knows everything about your business and the services you offer. Know your clients as best you can and always be alert to opportunities to cross-sell additional services. If you truly understand your clients and the issues they are facing then cross-selling will simply involve presenting a solution to a problem that your client will thank you for. A win-win all round!

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