Using LinkedIn to double your business through cross-selling!
Cross-selling –the problem
People in multidisciplinary firms and companies, generally the larger ones, tend to work in deep, dark silos with little or no contact between them. In accountancy companies, law firms, property consultancies and major financial institutions there are many service lines departments and experts. When people don’t communicate, the wasted knowledge and the lost opportunities slows down the growth of business dramatically. Even when management encourage and use resources educating everybody about what services are provided, there is often a reluctance to recommend other departments. The interdepartmental culture, generally, is zero and the reason for this is simple; it’s to do with relationships. When we build relationships we need to go through 3 key steps – knowing, liking, and trusting.
Where people are physically apart, whether it’s in the same building or a different town, colleagues often don’t know each other.
Let’s look at an example. Suppose you’re a lawyer in the corporate finance department and your friend Janice has an employment law issue. Your firm has a department handling these issues but you’ve never actually met anybody from that section.
Proposal for integrated marketing (i.e. cross- selling) using LinkedIn
If you’re on LinkedIn, start to link in with others within your company; this should start with people in your department then moving to others in other disciplines. I generally discourage linking in with people you
don’t know but on this occasion I think it is acceptable. After all, you all work under one banner, they may be a stranger to you but at some stage someone has employed them or made them your fellow partner or director!
So what next? You notice Sam works in your company in a different department; you invite him into your network then start checking his contacts. Within his contacts there’s the CEO of a company you’d like to meet.
Then I want you to do something quaint and old-fashioned- pick up the phone and start talking (yes I know it’s going out of fashion but worth a try) and get to know Sam. Meet for a beer or a glass of wine and at the same time ask him to check your contacts to see if there’s anyone he’d like you to introduce him to. This is called networking offline and is what we used to do and in fact still do to get more business by being proactive. Networking i.e. building relationships has a first principle – give first, be generous. ‘What can I do for you?’; ‘Who would you like me to introduce you to?’ is the key to long term solid relationships When you start to build your relationship with Sam and you get to know and like each other it’s a sure-fire way you’re going to want to help each other grow your respective client bases all for the common good of your business.