You may have heard the term ‘rainmaker’ associated with sales people. This is the term given to a person who brings in a ton of new business for their company. They seem do to this in an effortless way, and others just can’t seem to put their finger on why they are having so much success.
A rainmaker will often be a key figure in a company or business and is more than just a salesperson. They are often a top executive or producer in the business and are held in high regard.
It is this ‘rainmaker’ association that many new sales people hope to achieve. It is absolutely possible to do so, but you will need to fine tune your skills and be prepared to roll up your sleeves and work hard.
There are certain habits that successful rainmakers possess and we will look at these in more detail below.
1. A rainmaker will treat their clients and customers as though they are their most valuable asset. Repeat business is going to help them achieve sales records and can be used as a referral method. What better way to get new clients than by being able to show them satisfied customers who keep coming back for more? A successful rainmaker will make time to take their clients out to lunch and to keep in contact with them. This can be done via email, follow up phone calls and via social media. Simply post a thank you message on their business page or wall. Helping their clients celebrate their own successes is another trait of a great or upcoming rainmaker. If your company is holding an appreciation luncheon then invite both your existing clients and your prospective ones. This way they can mingle and promote your talents and praises without realizing they are doing so.
2. A great rainmaker will make the time to development their business skills including improving their mindset and their time management skills. While it is important to market your products or services each time, take some time to work on developing relationships. Asking for feedback is a great way to achieve this as is making follow up contact after making a sale. Take a few minutes each day to work on improving your mindset by using motivational tapes, reading self improvement books and finding meaningful quotes that you can memorize. As a salesperson, you no doubt will have a calendar. Add your own self improvement time into your schedule each day or at least once a week. Having a plan or structure in place will help you hone your skills and increase your sales.
3. How many times have you seen people start rushing to a person just because they landed a big client? All of a sudden everyone wants to get to know this person. They offer to take them out to lunch and buy gifts or more. One person missing from this crowd will be the rainmaker! They realize that doing this type of act is not going to put them in a good light for long. Instead they would have noticed what this person was doing earlier, and taken steps to get on their radar. They will have taken the time to construct a plan for the year and will have spent all their time working on it, to achieve the successes that they desire. Your plan could be setting personal and business goals and having strategies in place. You will also have made time to get to know other individuals in your company, especially those that meant business and are out to get somewhere!
4. Time management is another skill that rainmakers take seriously. They understand that time is an expensive commodity and do their best to get the biggest return on everything they do. One thing that you could do here is to make time to build a relationship with those customers who could possibly refer you to other people. It is much easier to market to people who already know, like and trust you, than to try and persuade new clients of your potential. Once you have run this well dry, then it is time to start working outside your circle of contacts.
5. Develop marketing activities that pay off. This is another activity that successful sales people do all the time. This is where they can show-case their strengths and advance their careers. For you, it is important to remember that not all marketing activities pay off immediately. Sometimes results take time to show up, and will emerge when you land that new client and they open a large sales account. Find out what is important to your clients and stay up to date with them. You may find that some love to talk about their kids and plans for their summer vacations. Others may purely want to socialize on a business level only. Find what works and stick to it.
6. Following Up. It is so important to follow through and follow up with your clients and customers. Too many people overlook this factor and lose potential new business because of it. It can take as many as 7-11 follow ups to secure a new client or land an order. Statistics show that less than 3% of all sales are made on the very first attempt. People just do not like to make a decision on the spot. This can vary depending upon what you are selling. For example if you are selling golf clubs and are running a special then your customer may very well order immediately, especially if you offer a bonus of free golf balls with every order. For service related businesses it can take longer for a person to decide if they actually need your services or not. For example you don’t consider hiring the services of a lawyer until you actually need one.
7. Develop your listening skills. This is one trait that all successful rainmakers and sales people have in common. You will secure more orders if you learn to listen more than you talk. Let your clients and customers do the talking. They will expose their needs and desires along with their problems. You can then offer them the solution! Repeat what you have just learned back to them to clarify that you have understood their issues and then it is time to attempt to sell your services or products.
8. Ask for the business! How are you ever going to get the order if you don’t ask for it? This is a huge mistake many new sales people make. They don’t want to appear pushy and simply forget to ask for the order.
Remember that if they refuse you there is nothing personal attached to it. They simply do not see the need for your products or services at the current time. Remember this saying: Every no brings you one step closer to that “Yes”!
While everyone fears rejection there are some easy ways to ask for the sale. If you are having lunch with your prospect ask them “When would you like to get started?” or “So what’s our next step?”. Another good approach is: “I’d really like the opportunity to work with you and help you with your needs. I don’t want to take too much of your time. Would 30 minutes (Tues/Wed/Thur) work for you? Just to see if working together is a good match.”
All successful sales people and rainmakers are made, they are not born. If you take the time to incorporate the above factors into your business plan you can easily become super successful at everything you do.
Which of the above traits do you already possess and which do you need to work out? Write them out and make a point of scheduling time to work on these important points.
Gina Alagata is the founder of Wink, Women Inkorporated® and does training, speaking and consulting in business on topics related to women as well as social media marketing. She is also mother to the “Fantastic Four”, aged 14-20-years old, married to her husband Alden of 23 years and they reside in San Diego, CA.