How to use your wills database to cross-sell other services

 In Practice Management

Disclaimer: LawSkills provides training for the legal industry and does not provide legal advice to members of the public. For help or guidance please seek the services of a qualified practitioner.

Having bought conveyancing services myself from a local solicitor when my wife and I bought a new house, it was an easy ‘we want to update both our wills too’ decision – after we’d unpacked.

It’s a good bet I’m not alone.

Cross-selling your legal services is easy, quick and repeatable – if you have the right setup.

The easiest way to spot new work opportunities is to have all your data in one spreadsheet with what they bought (and when etc). This immediately shows you:

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  1. Who has bought 1, 2, 3 or 4 services
  2. Who has bought service 1 but not service 3
  3. Who is on the Christmas card list but not golf invite list
  4. Who we can send marketing emails or letters to

I’d like to tell you that setting this up and maintaining it will be free and easy. It’s not. But it’s not deadly hard, either.

Your easiest and quickest option is an Excel spreadsheet. You probably already own the software as part of Microsoft Office.

So, for example, once you’ve got your clients and prospects in one list, you can easily see things like:

  • “Who has a will but has not updated it in 10 years? They’ll need a reminder” or
  • “Who do we refer work to that hasn’t referred back? We’ll have lunch with them” or
  • “Who has done conveyancing two months ago? We’ll send them a new home card” or
  • “Who do we sell tax services to but doesn’t have a will with us? We’ll let them know we do this” or even
  • “Who was our contact on recently finished probate work – do they need a ‘thinking of you’ card or flowers?”

Then you just need regular Outlook reminders to query your spreadsheet. As long as everyone keeps it up-to-date.

All this is all possible with a spreadsheet. But they’re not infallible.

CRM & Email

If you need to start sending your clients marketing emails, the easiest option is Mailchimp. You can add your spreadsheet to it, and then automate things, so you can do things like “three months after the conveyancing work, send a ‘welcome to your new home email, then one month after that send email about our services”.

If you want to send clients a hard copy letter easily and don’t have a good printer in the office, or don’t like the idea of printing, licking envelopes and sticking a 400 stamps on them, do a Google search of ‘hybrid mail’. These businesses print and send your letters for less than the price of a stamp.

The next step up after that is a CRM database. They are your best bet when you start saying things like “who do we know at…”, or “who is doing what and when with whom”.

You’ll still need all your data in one list.

So, where do you start?

  • Step 1) If you only have hard copies of wills, you’ll need to add the contacts, their details, and what they bought (and when) into a spreadsheet
  • Step 2) Identify all your spreadsheets of contacts
  • Step 3) Take the smallest two, format them the same, and combine into one spreadsheet
  • Step 4) Where you see the same contact twice, combine the records and tag the winning record with the losing record’s data (e.g. what they bought and when)
  • Step 5) Repeat.

Yes, I’ve made it sound easier than boiling an egg. You’ll need willpower, spreadsheet skills and time. Or someone will. But when it’s up and running, you’ll thank yourself.

Then, what’s stopping you from sending an email / letter / Christmas card to everyone (or a subset of them) at the click of a finger? Nothing.

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