Well, really … why should he? I mean, knowing that people do things for their own reasons and not for yours, what’s in it for your partner to cross-sell you? Why should he introduce you to his client and promote you as someone who could help with a particular issue? Okay, I suppose there are several reasons you might suggest.

  • It’s the right thing to do. Says who? You think it’s the right thing to do because you stand to gain by it. But does he? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe he thinks (or thinks he knows!) that you’re not really very good at what you do. Or that you have a history of acting bad when it comes to clients. Or that you’re a mediocre lawyer. Perhaps none of those things are true, but does he know that they aren’t?
  • It’s the best thing for his client. We’ll assume your partner wants to do the absolute best by this client. If he does, he’ll find the absolute best person to help. Maybe that’s you. Maybe it isn’t. (See above for what he does and does not know.) Regardless, if there is a lawyer in another firm with a stellar national reputation, she would be the safe bet. Right?
  • It’s what you’d do. Is it? Really? Then you must do it all the time already. If you don’t … you should examine why you don’t. (You’ll learn a lot.) If you really do cross-sell, maybe you do have the right to feel that you are owed. But only a jerk would expect to be handed a client just because he’s owed. (See above for what’s best for the client.)
  • That’s what partners do. Not really. Partners share expenses and profits. Good partners provide emotional and intellectual support. They grow their business together. They demand and give the best of each other. They tell the truth. And they’re loyal. But they don’t sacrifice their clients for each other. That would be stupid. (See above for what they do and do not know.)

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