How to be the rainmaker in your organisation

Rainmakers in organisations have a special role: to help the business grow and prosper by attracting and introducing new business through personal contacts, professional networks, and personal reputation, and by adding value for existing clients. They’re supersalespersons and project initiators. But rainmakers can never succeed in isolation - they need to be team players, confident that the new business generated will be supported by everyone involved. Successful rainmaking requires specific actions such as these...

1. Work where rainmakers are appreciated.

Accept that some companies will never be able to make the best use of a rainmaker. Although they may appreciate the added business a rainmaker can encourage, they may not be able to appreciate the energy and expense required to produce that outcome. As a result, you will be spending an inordinate amount of your time dealing with in-house issues instead of focusing your attention on rainmaking activities. Successful rainmaking, for example, requires a budget sufficient to target the people you (and the company) want to attract. You can’t ‘make rain’ for free.

2. Sell your services in-house.

Work colleagues need to know what you actually do, including the sorts of services you provide. In fact, the majority of client-contacts and referrals are likely to come from - or at least emanate from - within the organisation. This will mean that you will need to spend plenty of one-on-one time with people helping them to identify possible referrals. Discuss also how, and to whom, your services will be billed. Remember, it is considerably easier to sell to existing clients than to find new ones. Ensure also that your plans and activities dovetail with those of your marketing group.

3. Identify what you have for offer.

Continuing success for a rainmaker demands that the company being promoted has products or services that customers will want, and be prepared to pay for. A rainmaker without credibility and saleable products or services soon experiences drought conditions. Offerings should also include value-adds to make products or services even more attractive. Your one-on-one meetings with key people within your company will have helped to identify possible value-adds.

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