The term ‘rainmaker’ means different things to different people. In professional service firms it tends to be used to refer to a partner who brings in lots of fees. In some firms the rainmaker has no other repsonsibilities. This is increasingly unusual however.
In my role as the Accountants’ Business Coach I have often used the description ‘finder’ rather than ‘rainmaker’. I have distinguished 12 key business skills as falling under the headings of:
- Finders – who go out and find the new work
- Minders – who look after the relationship with the clients
- Binders – who keep the team working well together
- Grinders – who do the work [this requires technical skills rather than business skills as such]
The point being that to be a good ‘finder’ you need at least 4 of the 12 key business skills.
- Networking – meeting new people and generating work through those you meet;
- Speaking in public – being confident and clear whether talking to small or large gatherings;
- Pitching – asking for work or responding to invitations to tender;
- Closing – gaining new work on acceptable terms;
Of course there are plenty of good rainmakers who never have to make a formal presentation to large groups of people. With that exception any good rainmaker will be confident across all four of those key skills.
To complete a piece of research I have been undertaking recently I’m asking readers of this blog:
- Is it important that someone in your practice is a good rainmaker?
- Do you relate to that concept better than that of being a ‘finder’? and
- Are there any other skills or talents that you feel a good rainmaker needs to possess?
Please post your comments below. If you would like to see how you fare against the full checklist of a dozen key business skills, please let me know and I’ll gladly send you a copy.