A Day In The Life Of A Rainmaker …
Excerpt from the Best Practices In Building Your Professional Network For Attorneys
What separates the top producers from average professionals? We asked this question of several of the best business generators in the profession. There is really no big secret … it comes down to 5 rainmaker attitudes and daily action that make the difference.
Let’s look at the day in the life of a rainmaker:
Rainmaker Rule 1: Plan out 5 business actions that you will take each day
Questions To Consider: Do you have a separate section on your daily to do list for business development? Do you set a minimum daily requirement of business development action? What actions can you eliminate today and substitute a business development initiative?
Example: Dave was a legendary business developer. One day I asked him the secret of his success. I was expecting an awe-inspiring motivational speech or groundbreaking sales and marketing technique to be revealed. Instead, he told me “Every day, I do five things that may result in business. Some days I do more, but I always do at least 5 no matter how busy I am. And I have been doing this same daily routine for 20 years. Why does this work? Several reasons: First, I hustle and stay hungry every day by putting my mind on business development. Second, business development is work so it has to be planned into your daily schedule like all work. Third, business development is a skill; the more you do the better you get. Finally, following this rule means that I do 30 actions a week for 50 weeks. This amounts to 1500 actions a year … and I know that this is a lot more than the typical professional does. What you see now in my practices is the result of doing this for twenty years and simply doing 30,000 things over the years to build a successful practice.”
Rainmaker Rule 2: Use breakfast, lunch and downtime to market and sell
Questions To Consider: Do you block out breakfast and lunch for business development? Have you scheduled out your meetings for the next week or so?
Example: Adam was a new associate who knew that he needed to build a book of business to be a success. But, he was just 2 years our of law school. On the advice of his mentor, he started a monthly lunch meeting with peers at a bank, investment bank and accounting firm. They met, discussed the focus of their work, shared contacts and invited each other to firm and association events, Now, five years later, they are all far more senior members of their firm and trade business back and forth. And they still meet for lunch once a month. Treat your breakfast and lunch as dedicated business development time.
Rainmaker Rule 3: See the marketing and selling possibilities in everything you do
Questions To Consider: What opportunities do you have today that put you in touch with clients, prospective clients or allies? How can you turn the delivery of work into a marketing and selling opportunity?
Example: Susan was just wrapping up an employment contract matter with a major client. Rather than simply sending over the document with a cover letter, she made an appointment with the VP of Human Resources and General Counsel to review the contract in person. As she prepared for the meeting, Susan identified 3 potential sources of legal “pain” that the company faced based on their unfamiliarity with some new state regulations in California. She brainstormed 3-5 questions she could ask to see if their exposure was significant. At the meeting the client engaged her to solve the problem she identified.
Rainmaker Rule 4: Always market first to your clients
Questions To Consider: What can you do today to strengthen you relationships with the clients that you are currently working with? Do you know what is keeping your top clients up at night? How can you help?
Example: Howard is the managing partner of one of the largest firms in Chicago. On a flip chart in his office, he has a list of his top 20-25 clients. Each day he looks at that list and identifies something that he can do to improve his relationship with 2 people. For example, today he 1) Wrote a personal, hand-written note to a CEO thanking him for the introduction the client made to a potential client 2) Called another client to alert her to a potential summer intern position that might be right for her son at an association that Howard worked with and 2) Sent the CFO of a large client a brief article on a specific supply chain improvement that the client’s top competitor was putting in place and suggested they get together with his firms supply chain expert.
Rainmaker Rule 5: Turn your allies into your personal marketing team and sales force
Questions To Consider: Who are the people within your firm that you should be co-marketing with? Which of your professional allies is best positioned to help you to grow your practice?
Example: Rachel was an estate planning specialist. Through her own experience, she had found herself overwhelmed by all of the responsibilities she faced when her elderly parents were unable to handle their won affairs anymore. So, she put together a team of female experts in all dimensions of helping adult children to take care of their aging parents – including health professionals, family counselor, financial planner and a tax specialists. Today, this group is putting on a seminar to over 45 of their clients who a facing this transition. And they mailed out a “Planning For Your Parents Transition” checklist that they mailed out to over 5,000 of their clients, contacts and referral sources.
To Become A Rainmaker … Change What You Do On A Daily Basis
The top producers face all the same pressures as the average professional – being chargeable, making time for firm management responsibilities, getting work out on time and building their professional skill. But, they find a way to do more business development – and do it more skillfully on a daily basis. To be a rainmaker, you have to do the same – each and every day.