By Harold Larson, Visiam LLC
Many service professionals believe that effective “rainmaking” (business development) requires them to behave in ways that are not comfortable to them. Are you one of those individuals? Would you be pleasantly surprised to learn that this idea is actually a misconception?
As I have connected with successful rainmakers over the years, I would ask them to let me in on their secrets. It was very clear that they struggled to articulate or even know how to define the reasons for their success. Another interesting discovery is that most of these individuals did not consider themselves extroverts. Nor did they see themselves having special experience, skills, or intellect.
As I continued to be impressed with their success, I was also fascinated that they did not consider their efforts to be work. It was so automatic and natural that one person shared that he could not believe he was getting paid to do this.
In his book, Rainmaking Made Simple, Mark Maraia refers to a list of tools to use when training and coaching lawyers and CPAs on rainmaking. Armed with this list, I started evaluating how they applied to my world of rainmakers. The reality was that each individual focused on a small subset of these tools that they had taken beyond simple intellectual understanding to a natural mindset.
As adults we are slaves to habits. So, rainmakers establish habits that work for their personality and their marketplace!
Studies show that it takes anywhere from 21 to 66 days to form a habit. This is not a quick trick.
There is an old saying–“Practice makes perfect.” Actually, I believe that “practice makes habit.” And practicing the right rainmaking habits that suit your wiring will positively affect your results.
One of my pillars of rainmaking is the concept of bringing people together for their benefit. Your preparation only requires a professional introduction of two parties and asking questions that will cultivate their relationship. This is the most “natural” form of expanding your network.
Going into any situation by thinking “who can I help?” rather than “who can help me?” puts you into a giving rather than a taking mindset. And most professionals see their comfort level skyrocket with this approach.
If you sincerely believe in this, it will provide depth to those relationships and pull you into their universe of contacts.
Now, how do we start, build momentum, and make this approach automatic?
At the ISPI conference in Indianapolis, I will facilitate a breakout session that will include a number of rainmaking initiatives and provide the steps to their implementation, knowing that each of us will only invest in those that come naturally.
About the Author
Harold Larson is a retired executive and currently owns Visiam LLC, a technology company that creates virtual offices for integrated teams of employees, clients, and strategic partners to get their job done.