Copy top rainmaker habits (ONE)

Johnny ‘Bob’ Spence
by Johnny ‘Bob’ Spence on October 1, 2018
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This is a referral marketing Blog. 5next software shares the habits of top rainmakers within this original article. It is a 5 minute read. The benefit to you is a clear perspective on the day to day processes needed to improve the likelihood of fees generated/clients won/agreements signed. These are the same habits delivering results day to day, week to week and month to month for the elite rainmaker. These are habits that can consequently be manufactured by mirroring the behaviour of the top rainmakers.

Under ‘the bonnet’ of any professional services firm will be at least two or three top performing rainmakers. The rest of the business look to them with respect. As a result they are the partners and most importantly they get the fees earned through the door. These rainmakers have the instinctive ability to develop and win fee earning opportunities for themselves and the rest of the practice.

The ambitious junior partner will often look to these ‘star rainmakers’ for help and advice. In reality unless the rainmaker is a highly skilled coach or qualified trainer it is rarely helpful because it would like asking Lionel Messi;

‘Lionel, so exactly, just how do you take a free kick’?

Furthermore it would be accurate to suggest in most cases a request for help from a rainmaker will not be helpful. In my own experience of searching for best practice I have received feedback such as;

‘Just do what I do’

Likewise when I have pressed further I received unproductive insight along the lines of this;

‘All you need to do is be proactive, go out and meet people and the work/fees/success will come’

This lack of practical methodology was not be because the rainmaker was trying to protect the commercial secrets which deliver their own businesses success. It is highly likely that the rainmaking ability they possess is a second nature and consequently it is impossible for them to identify what can be taught and learnt.


In many ways rainmakers are what 5next software term as ‘unknowingly proficient’ – which is to say that the skills they possess have evolved into a set of reflex actions. As a result over time the rainmaker may not even recall how they learned or picked up this invaluable skill set. On that basis the rainmaker finds performing these tasks easy.

Over the last 3 years 5next has observed and interviewed nearly 100 top performing business development professionals. These have been from the US, UK, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic and South Africa. This is to understand the practical habits and behaviours that anyone can adopt. We are going to share this insight to support you unlock your client relationship building potential.

Rainmaker habits: make time for rainmaking

You can not win the lottery if you fail to buy a ticket.

The investment of time into the right strategic actions will generate a positive outcome. One of the most successful and recognised accountancy practices in the North of England has at its head  an exceptionally success rainmaker. Every Wednesday, from 1100 hr through to 1145 hr, the firm holds a ‘rainmaking brainstorm’. This is where everyone is expected to bring ‘something’. It can be a targeted connection name, an opinion, a piece of information or an introduction.

Everyone is expected to contribute to the growth of the client bank. This is a recurring appointment and the momentum is never lost by this particular partnership.

Rainmaker habits: be strategic

Take time to consider who you are looking to connect too.

This is much more than your client aspiration list. Is there a likelihood at this event or this mixer that you are going to get closer to a real opportunity? Are any of those business cards you were handed likely to need your professional skill set or offer?

Understand the clients you want to work with and beyond that get to know who the people within that organisation are that you need to build a relationship with. Think it through and ask yourself these two questions:

  • Will they have enough organisational power to make the right introduction?
  • Will they have enough influence to make it happen?

If not, find out who does. The successful rainmakers are strategic and precise in whom they reach out to.

Rainmaker habits: understand your clients world

The successful rainmaker invests part of their day on the business, news or social media sites that their clients do.

As a result of this they understand the world that their clients and potential clients live in and live by. Rainmakers do this because if they know that world then they can talk to their connections about the issues that are important to them. Furthermore by doing that they then build a relationship with them that is based on clearly understanding the sector the client performs in. It is vital that you have the right knowledge to be able to hold those conversations.

How to build connections with knowledge with regards to what is going in on your marketplace

Rainmaker habits: share information

My original mentor became a center-of-influence by being a source of accurate and relevant information.

When my rainmaking career began I observed that he continually sent out copies of articles and would photocopy information from books. He would also send out handwritten notes to his clients with these hard copies. Furthermore this model of behaviour was one I mirrored immediately.

‘Power is gained by sharing knowledge not hoarding it’

Consequently I could see that it positioned him as a valuable connection to many people. I mirrored these actions so that I could work towards the position of becoming a more valuable connection to my own network of connections. Over time this habit generates the position as a center-of-influence. Within the 5next software ‘practice development programme’ this is the description of the recognised-authority profile. 5next will be publishing its second white paper on this very subject in December:

‘Rainmaking depends on reputation, guard yours with your life’

Introducing the ‘recognised authority’ model

It does take time to do this but you create a climate of trust and value to your clients. It can be much more easier to do this now with the tools available through the internet but you still need to do it.

Rainmaker habits: measure your actions

The elite players within this business discipline were analytical where they weighed actions and follow through against opportunity cost. We take our lead from them as rainmaking is all about opportunity cost at the top end of business development. 5next software has measurement systems and algorithms that generate probability and likelihood within the professional discipline of rainmaking.

‘There is an opportunity cost for everything you do. Ensure what you pursue is really valuable. Pursuit leaves countless lost opportunities in its wake. We choose one path at the sacrifice of all other paths’

Top rainmakers have the habit to review potential opportunities carefully, consider them and compare them to other opportunities. In terms of potential openings you will discover that they are not all the same value.

‘Whatever your rainmaking measurement system is, it needs to be consistent, repeatable, and as unbiased as possible’ 

This habit is to review your actions and really search for where you are wasting your time no matter how difficult it is to do so. We close with this quote;

‘The price of light is less than the cost of darkness’

Arthur Nielsen

Johnny ‘Bob’ Spence
Johnny ‘Bob’ Spence
5next Co-Founder. Trainer, networking coach & writer. Educated at L. S. E. & Wits University. ‘$1,000,000 Round Table’ sales qualifier. Author ILM accredited: ‘Executive Programme in Professional & Business Networking’. Rainmaking experience in RSA, UK, France, Finland, Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Dubai, Poland, Germany, Slovak Republic & the USA.
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