On February 15th, I wrote a post called, "The secret to becoming a rainmaker." It was one of the highest read posts since I started my Law Firm 4.0 blog.
I plan to add to this from time to time and will, very simply, call them Part 2, Part 3, and so on.
In law firms, we have spoken about "cross-selling" for my entire career in this industry (mid-1980s in case you are wondering). Of all the sweeping changes we have seen with technology that instantly enables cross-border collaboration among lawyers in far-flung areas, in most firms, cross-selling is one area that hasn't developed much beyond conscientious lip service. In spite of this, most lawyers I know are unquestionably well intentioned. They want to do the right thing.
For years, the oft-repeated reasons for it not working in firms are: no trust, compensation systems and firm structures that don't support it, and several others that become sub-sets of these large elephants in the room.
A casual conversation with a friend who is a senior partner at a Big 4 accounting firm led to an epiphany about law firms, cross-selling and rainmaking. He said that there is a mandate in his firm that his partners live the mantra: "Be a student of your clients and a student of the firm."
That's how simple it is. Be a student of your clients. Be a student of the firm.
The most successful lawyers i know instinctively invest in this life-long education. It's unconscious for them. But, a majority of lawyers in firms may not have such instincts, so it must be a conscious, disciplined choice they make. Like eating well and exercising.
Marketing and business development departments at major firms collectively spend years preparing competitive intelligence and other information that paves the road to cross-selling and rainmaking success. Too often, it is under-appreciated initiative. Why? Because some lawyers don't have the mindset that they must be a "student" to succeed. On some level, they feel it is someone else's job.
All truly successful rainmakers know it's not. They know it's their job and that it is a life-long quest.