Copy top rainmaker habits (THREE)

Johnny ‘Bob’ Spence
by Johnny ‘Bob’ Spence on November 27, 2018
Polish-Anglo networking & culture (TWO)
November 14, 2018
Polish-Anglo networking & culture (THREE)
February 28, 2019

This 5 minute article continues the focus on rainmaking habits around referral marketing. 

Rainmaker PRO software discuss habits of top rainmakers within this 5 minute read. Nearly 100 rainmakers were interviewed to capture the habits held to be recognised as ‘best practice’. These are the habits that are the basis for success. They were captured as a series of ideas that could form a rainmaking routine and this may require change.

‘Change almost never fails because it’s too early. It almost always fails because it’s too late’

The author is ‘Bob’ Spence the professional services coach at Wilkinson Read & Partners. The sample of rainmaker interviews stretched from the West Coast of the USA to Central Europe. It produced a consistent pattern of habits and behaviours. We can describe them as a recognisable method of best practice with regards to professional services business development.

Rainmaking habits: evaluate, evaluate & evaluate

Successful rainmaking is not ‘being known on first name terms by an infinite number of people’. No professional has the band width to work successfully with that as a method. Constant commercial evaluation of rainmaking relationships is a key habit.

‘It’s not about just connecting to people. It’s about connecting people with people, people with ideas, and people with opportunities’

Two questions needed to be answered consistently:

  • How can you help other people as a rainmaker?

Being able to help people is the foundation of being a successful rainmaker. You need the habit of continually evaluating what you offer and how you offer it. (How does your ‘value’ sound to a 3rd party)?

  • How can other people help you?

A networking relationship is about giving first and then receiving. Your networking relationships should be formal and informal partnerships…50/50…give and take…not a situation where you are doing all the work and getting nothing back in return. Not all of the benefit can be undefined and received at some far off future point without clarity. You only have so many hours in the day and so many connections that you can work with.

Top rainmakers have the habit to help other people out one time without any expectation of getting something back. You must develop some form of evaluation process that makes professional sense to both sides and search for the right professional balance.

Rainmaking habits: understand your network

Your network of connections is the distribution platform for your reputation to perform from.

For you to succeed in referral marketing the ability to communicate your value to a 3rd party is paramount. The proven method is to network from a starting point as a recognised authority.

This enables you to be at the front of the mind of your network as the first professional to be considered when a professional problem requires a professionals solution.

Top rainmakers understand how their value needs to match up in a bespoke manner across the different connections they possess. Your habit is to continually evaluate and understand, which connections support and complement, which parts of your professional value.

‘Even when you are marketing to your entire audience you are still engaging with a single person at any given time’

Rain making habits: stay in your key marketplace

When you have identified an area of your profession that excites you then you are on your way to finding your own niche. From that point identify a problem that you can solve. Link that to a marketplace. Interpret how your offer of professional service can help within that marketplace. Focus all of your attention on that one area. That habit focus will guide the development of your career and your practice. The ‘take out’ habit from top rainmakers is:

‘Develop your niche and stick to it…LIKE GLUE’

Rainmaker PRO refers to this as your-market-place-of-maximum-relevance. Once you have discovered your niche, commit to it in order to become the recognised authority in that space. Keep thinking about your potential niche and you will generate many ‘light bulb moments’ that support your rainmaking.

Maintain the relevance and targeting of the rainmaking actions that reinforce your position within your niche. Be recognised as being consistently in that niche, consistent at solving problems in that niche and  you will become successful.

‘Recognise in the crowded marketplace fitting in is failure, not standing out is the same as being invisible’

Build the habit of becoming a fluent expert. Rainmakers are masters of market knowledge, client needs, of their ability and services, their value, their competition, and everything else they need to know to succeed at marketing the professional service they deliver. You can not do this without at least one niche that you perform in and ‘play’ in.

Rainmaker habits: be strategic

Look at the tools and tactics that are available to you as a rainmaker. (These range from asking for an introduction to trade show presentations). Essentially if you keep doing what you are doing, you are likely to continue to get the same results. Are you continually reviewing your strategy and then within that context the tools that you are employing. Tactics and strategy are often confused:

  • Tactics: the actual means used to gain an objective
  • Strategy: the overall campaign plan

Strategy may involve complex and sophisticated patterns of behaviour, different types of activity, and making hard decisions that govern your tactical execution of rainmaking. The top rainmakers never confuse tactics and strategy because in order to do anything meaningful, you have to know where you are going.

“Grand strategy is the art of looking beyond the present battle and calculating ahead. Focus on your ultimate goal and plot to reach it.”

Robert Greene, The 33 Strategies of War

Put a ‘mental pin’ into your rainmaking map of targets and habitually ask yourself;  is this tactic, this action, this new connection or this phone call getting me nearer or further from my rainmaking objective.

‘If you don’t know where you are going any road will do’

Rainmaker habits: estimate your progress

Continually evaluate where you are in terms of what you are looking to achieve. Develop a measurement system that ensures that you and your practice do not move from feast to famine. That is a cycle that ensures that the average of the two is less than where you need to be.

Dig your well before you’re thirsty’

We thank thought leader Martin Byrne for his insights on this particular thinking. Martin writes about ROE. You have too have a process that does not discount the value of a new connection but does begin to evaluate their potential within the context of your rainmaking goals. You have to search for the balance of the two and time invested is the finite factor as a rainmaker.

Search for the balance that enables you to be available and remain valuable before the moment of truth arrives. The moment that someone needs your services.

‘It’s no longer enough to target relationships when they’re ready to do business’

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

Rainmaker habits: measure twice and cut once

Continually the elite players within this business discipline weighed actions and follow through against opportunity cost. There is a recognised opportunity cost at the top end of business development. The Rainmaker PRO software has 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 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 & author. 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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