Rainmakers: Are They Born Or Bred?


Rainmakers are a diverse group, and few will conform in every respect to a single, common profile. Studies have showed that Rainmakers differ from other professionals in ways that can be recognised even before a practitioner has built a track record of client development. Research have revealed that rainmakers tend to score higher and report consistently on the following traits or characteristics:

Rainmakers are optimists – The first and most striking of these defining attributes is optimism. Almost all rainmakers see the positive side of life. Optimism can be seen as a character trait, as a result of knowledge, or as a skill.

The second distinctive Rainmaker trait is that of Dominance – Dominance refers to a person’s tendency to exercise power and influence over others. People who score high on this dimension are likely to take initiative and to seek control over activities. They often play a dominant role in influencing the results of a team effort because they enjoy taking a leadership role. They can see the big picture.

Rainmakers have a system for finding new business – Most respondents described a system that the rainmakers use week in and week out to get business. Business development is a part of their daily routine. The specific approach may depend on the rainmaker’s personality and the nature of his practice, but whatever it is, the rainmaker pursues it systematically and tenaciously.

Rainmakers are good listeners – Almost all the rainmakers are superb listeners and able to synthesize what they hear and then provide a valuable response. This is a key to selling success.

Rainmakers never lose track of a client – Rainmakers never lost track of a client or prospective client or other important contact. Once they develop a relationship with someone, they never let go. The rainmakers realise that the cost of obtaining a new client is much higher than that of keeping an old one. Many affirm that their relationships mean something to them beyond the possibility of future work. Whatever the reason, they never lose touch.

Teamwork vs. motivating others – Rainmakers further distinguish themselves in how they work with clients, their staff and interact with other professionals. It is viewed as an ability to manage a team through delegation and empowerment, while also trusting people to take on increasing responsibilities, listening to their views, and encouraging them to act on their own. By doing so, they are perceived as always putting the client’s interest first. Rainmakers are also able to motivate the members of their internal teams, because they are good at delegating and empowering the people who work with them.

And finally, there is the risk-taking factor – A willingness to question established methods, supplying a break with the past and being prepared to bend the rules to achieve higher performance. This is a willingness to question established methods; to challenge the rules; and to be creative and flexible. They are confident of their abilities, so they will take risks by being out-of-the box thinkers. And, rainmakers are not deterred by rejection. So, when rainmakers are told “no” they hear it as “not now.”

What does this all mean? Are rainmakers born or bred? The answer is complicated. But the information above gives all professionals information that they should consider if they want to become rainmakers. The tactics of business development only gets you so far. It is the ability to form trusted advisor relationships that turns a good business developer into a great one. And those are the people who make it rain.

For more information contact Ben vd Westhuyzen at ben@succeedgroup.co.za

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein.