Unit 1 | Rainmaker
Mindset of a Rainmaker
Ralph Kison talks about the mindset of a Rainmaker. Your determination will make it rain!
Rainmakers talk to the right people and develop themselves
Rainmakers have a mindset and determination to succeed that is above the average employee. They realize that their survival, and by extension that of their firm, depends on their actions and behaviors. They do not make excuses and blame others for mistakes or setbacks rather they learn from them, and position themselves and their organization to take advantage or grow from challenging situations.
Rainmaking becomes an integrated strategy of marketing, sales, networking, personal promotion and wise use of social media. When all these components are executed effectively and done consistently significant results are achieved. Objections, coming in second place on a pursuit or even facing rejection are all seen as part of the growth and learning process.
Common challenges or negative mindsets demonstrated by management that view business development and selling as barriers or distractions to doing “real work” are seen for what they are and Rainmakers continues undaunted.
Common objections to Rainmaking are:
- Project work is real work, selling isn’t
- Only billable time counts
- When we’re profitable and have a backlog of projects we’ll start doing business development
- I didn’t go to university for 5 years to have to sell my services
- Selling isn’t a real job
- Sales people are pests
- Spending time getting to know clients is a waste of time
- I don’t want to invest any of my own time to build relationships. I’ll do it if I get paid overtime.
In spite of all the negative or misinformed ideas of business development Rainmakers persist and focus on building relationships and getting in front of prospective buyers and going deep with existing clients to ensure their success.
Successful Rainmakers and business developers know that when building a relationship with a new client, or going deeper within an existing organization, it is essential to build a diverse network of contacts. They know who to connect with in order to get necessary information, gain support, navigate the politics and landscape of the client’s organization. Having an established network of trusted advisors or advocates can accelerate your success and improve your effectiveness by increasing the value of your products, solutions or services to the client.
There are three distinct and valuable groups that are already part of your network whether you realize it or not.
• Users. These are employees such as field staff, manufacturing or production line workers, customer service staff and administrative or support personnel. These people can provide important insight into the company, how it operates, its culture and values and how it serves its customers. They are often ignored in the information gathering process yet have invaluable insight and knowledge that you can tap into.
• Coordinators. Often positioned deep within the organization, these people are content experts and specialists such as executive assistants, project managers, and production or manufacturing managers. They coordinate and facilitate interaction, build cross-functional connections and know the shortest path to information or resources required. These individuals can advise you which groups, processes, systems or resources must be aligned to make the process work and to achieve effective outcomes. They can also provide valuable insight on the political hierarchies and mine fields to maneuver.
• Elders. These are the seasoned and often battle-scarred sages that can provide rare insight into the organization, its culture, values, people and other critical factors that will provide an inside track to help you serve the client. These individuals are not always on the senior executive team and can be found in management or supervisory roles relating to research, manufacturing, distribution, finance or heading up special projects given their unique insight and tenure. You may have to dig deeper to find them but the pay back may be great.
The best rainmakers continue to enhance their network. Take a step out of your comfort zone and introduce yourself to someone “new”. Try this with the person whose desk you have passed for years and always exchange a pleasant greeting without really knowing what they do and how they may be able to assist you. They may be the missing link for you to add more value to your client and the key to greater success.
“Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You’re thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all… you can be discouraged by failure, or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because, remember that’s where you’ll find success. On the far side.” – Thomas J. Watson
Rainmakers turn clients into friends
In order to become and remain a successful Rainmaker, you need your clients to see you as a friend. Let’s take a look to see which ones of your clients qualify as friends.