Solicitors must diversify and cross-sell to boost profits (Law Society Gazette/In business blog)

Click here to see this article on the Law Society Gazette web site.

Having survived the foot and mouth crisis and BSE it was clear that dairy farming as they knew it had changed and they needed to rethink how they took their business forward.

In the same way that the farming sector has had to embrace the concept of diversification, are solicitors considering how else they can service their client base or better utilise their assets profitably?

In November last year, I attended the Law Society/SIFA conference, where a number of speakers highlighted the practical opportunities of offering financial advisory services directly to their clients.  Across all practise areas, do you know how much work are you passing to IFAs regularly and what is the approximate value?

In a previous life, when marketing a firm of chartered accountants, a merger with a practice that already incorporated an IFA opened the door to huge growth through the provision of financial advice.  Given that the lawyer/accountant often generates the need for financial advice it makes good sense to exploit that business opportunity, rather than send it elsewhere. 

In the last two weeks, I have also met and spoken to two firms who have opened their own estate agencies, each creating another income stream and their own profitable referral source for conveyancing work and other related services. 

From the client perspective, integrating your service portfolio means that you can develop the one-stop-shop concept and provide a really seamless service. 

The obvious appeal of vertical integration to the law firm is the scope for cross-selling of the additional services. However, how many law firms would consider themselves real experts at cross-selling?   

In what other ways are law firms diversifying?  Should there be more events exploring opportunities for diversification as a way of meeting competitive challenges in the market?

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