How to Become a Rainmaker

"How to Become a Rainmaker" a book by Jeffrey J Fox

In today's business world, sales is one of the most competitive fields.
So, standing out is no longer an option; it's a necessity.

With an array of products and services at their fingertips, customers are spoilt for choice. In fact, they are often confused by too much choice.

To make your mark, you can't just be good - you must be far above average; you must be a rainmaker, the kind of salesperson everyone aspires to be. 

This book is a your guide to becoming the salesperson everyone wants to be.

A 'rainmaker' is the go-to person who consistently brings in new business, making it 'rain' revenue.

The Rainmaker's Mindset

Rainmakers aren't born; they're self-made.

Anyone with the right mindset and tools can become a rainmaker, bringing in the 'rain' of customer money to their company.

Remember, customers aren't interested in you; they're interested in solving their problems. Your job as a salesperson is to understand these problems and offer solutions.

Fox puts it aptly, “Rainmakers are akin to investigative reporters, detectives, psychiatrists, doctors, and archaeologists. They ask, probe, dig, diagnose and listen.”

The Rainmaker's Credo ... How to Become a rainmaker

At the heart of Fox's book is the "Rainmaker's Credo," a set of principles that serve as the Ten Commandments of sales. These principles guide salespeople in their interactions with customers and in their approach to selling. 

  • Cherish customers at all times: Customers are the lifeblood of any business. They should be valued and appreciated at all times, not just when they're making a purchase.
  • Treat customers as you would your best friend: Building a strong relationship with your customers is crucial. This means treating them with respect, honesty, and kindness, just as you would treat a close friend.
  • Listen to customers to decipher their needs: Effective salespeople are excellent listeners. They take the time to understand their customers' needs and wants, which enables them to offer the right solutions.
  • Give customers what they need: Once you understand what your customers need, your job is to provide it. This might mean offering a specific product, providing excellent customer service, or delivering valuable information.
  • Price your product to its dollarized value: Pricing should reflect the value that your product or service provides to the customer. This is often referred to as 'dollarizing' the value, which means showing customers the financial benefits they will gain from your product or service.
  • Show customers the dollarized value of what they will get: It's not enough to tell customers about the value of your product or service; you need to show them. This might involve demonstrating how your product works, providing case studies of other customers who have benefited, or explaining the financial benefits in detail.
  • Teach customers to want what they need: Sometimes, customers don't know what they need until it's shown to them. Effective salespeople can educate their customers about their needs and then show them why their product or service is the solution.
  • Make your product the way customers want it: Customer preferences should guide product development. If you understand what your customers want, you can tailor your product to meet those desires.
  • Get your product to your customers when they want it: Timing is crucial in sales. You need to deliver your product or service when your customers want it, not when it's convenient for you.
  • Give your customers a little extra, more than they expect: Going above and beyond for your customers can make a big difference. Whether it's offering a small bonus with their purchase, providing exceptional customer service, or simply taking the time to follow up after a sale, these little extras can turn a satisfied customer into a loyal one.
  • Remind customers of the dollarized value they received: After the sale, remind your customers of the value they received. This can help to reinforce their purchase decision and build a stronger relationship.
  • Thank each customer sincerely and often: A simple thank you can go a long way. Make sure to thank your customers for their business, and do it often. This shows them that you appreciate them and helps to build a positive relationship.
  • Help customers pay you, so they won’t be embarrassed and go elsewhere: Make it easy for your customers to pay you. This might mean offering a variety of payment options, providing clear instructions on how to pay, or even offering payment plans for more expensive items.
  • Ask to do it again: After a successful sale, don't be afraid to ask for repeat business. If you've provided a great product and excellent service, your customers will be more than happy to buy from you again.

Practical Tips for Becoming a Rainmaker

In addition to the Rainmaker's Credo, Fox's book provides a wealth of practical tips for salespeople. These include:

  • Prepare a pre-call plan for every sales call: Before you pick up the phone or walk into a meeting, have a plan. Your pre-call planning checklist should include written objectives, questions to ask to determine the customer's needs, something to show the customer, anticipated customer concerns and objections, how your product or service is different from your competitors' product or service, meaningful benefits to customers, investment-return analysis, strategies to handle objections and eliminate customer concerns, closing strategies, and expected surprises. Fox emphasizes, “Never make a sales call on a customer unless you can answer the question ”Why should this customer do business with our company, with me?”
  • Target the right prospects: Big companies are usually better prospects than small companies, and successful customers are usually better prospects than struggling customers. Targeting the right prospects can significantly increase your chances of success.
  • Turn objections into customer objectives: Rainmakers know how to turn customer objections into shared goals that meet their needs. These objections are simply the way that customers let you know what they want. Fox notes, “Customers always have concerns or issues that must be satisfied before they will buy.”
  • Focus on existing customers:The easiest sale is to a customer you already have: While rainmakers are always alert for the next job, the next assignment, or the next sale, they also know that the easiest sale is to a customer they already have. Building strong relationships with existing customers can lead to repeat business and referrals.
  • Recognize the buying signals: All customers give a signal that they are willing to buy. The biggest buy signal is when the potential customer agrees to meet with you. Fox points out, “Today’s decision makers are usually too busy to see a salesperson unless the customer has a problem.”
  • Don't fear looking stupid just because you ask questions: Customers want you to ask questions so they can answer them and tell you about their needs. The biggest complaint customers have about salespeople is that they don't ask enough questions. Asking the right questions can guide the buyer in a productive direction and allow you to capitalize on their responses.
  • Return all calls every day: Fox emphasizes the importance of courtesy in sales, stating, “Returning phone calls is a basic courtesy. But not many people do it. Rainmakers return all calls every day.”

Conclusion ... How to Become a Rainmaker

"How to be a Rainmaker" is a valuable-read for anyone passionate about sales and motivated by career advancement, financial rewards, and making a positive impact. 

The principles and practical tips in the book are timeless but perhaps common knowledge. I think this book would be more of a resource for new salespeople rather than experienced salespeople. 

As Fox succinctly puts it, “The lock salesperson doesn’t sell locks, he sells security for valuables.” This encapsulates the essence of being a rainmaker: selling not just a product, but a solution to a customer's problem.

Further Reading

Get Customers and Keep Them Coming Back

Rainmaker, Performance Tips