Wednesday, November 4, 2015


On a drive to Atlanta a few weeks ago I was struck by the similarities from farm country to downtown. Both have tall silos that hold valuable resources, tied to measurable market conditions, that stand alone next to each other, and hold perishable material if not used in a timely manner.

Of course silos downtown house people, knowledge, and technical resources that can measure market conditions, and in theory, act. Cultivate your resources, brand it, price it accordingly.

The problem is that within most offices there are several silos on the same floor, perhaps in the office next door. All separate, all different pricing, all different clients, all different need of resources. Protected like a farmer protecting their crop.

When speaking with firms about cross-marketing I either get a chuckle or a plan. The ones that do it effectively get granular in their metrics (but in a way that everyone understands), incentivize, and only hire or retain people that buy into that culture. They train associates to become client developers and communicate constantly.

There are plenty of “eat what you kill” firms. Not many are going to the top of the AM list.

The inverse is the firm mindset that, “If we train associates to develop their own business they will just leave..” So what happens when they become partners and need to have clients? Great attorneys that may have never had a business discussion in their lives are told that their career is on the line to do something that they have never been asked to do before.

Other favorites:

“As a litigation partner, if a corporate matter comes in I have no idea who to go to..”

“I only get paid on my originations that I work, no incentive to bring anyone else in, and if I did they would probably try and poach my clients..”

Getting new clients is hard enough. Why always chase new ones? The firms that take their talents and multiply them start out doing a percentage of work and leveraging other practice areas from their firm or network into that client to help manage their risk.
The price for services becomes a value when risk is reduced. Otherwise it’s just a cost...and there is always someone to do it cheaper and faster.

How can you tear down the silos in your environment and utilize the rich resources that are right around you?

Andrew Wilcox at (850) 629-9073, or

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