Rainmaking – Do You Have What It Takes?


Success as a rainmaker depends on your ability to lead masterful sales conversations from “hello” to “let us go,” but the first sales conversation, the most important sales conversation, happens before you talk to actual prospects. The most important sales conversation you have… is the one you have with yourself. To determine if you have what it takes to become a rainmaker, you must ask yourself these six questions.

• How strong is my desire to achieve in sales?
The most important factor influencing whether or not you become a rainmaker is your personal desire for success in sales.

Some salespeople cannot wait to sell; others are just biding their time until something better comes along. The same is true of professional service providers. Many professionals have a tremendous desire to achieve in general, but not so much in sales (or, as it is more commonly referred to, business development.) What’s important to rainmaking success is to embrace your role in sales.

• How committed am I to doing what I need to do to succeed?
Salespeople often know what they need to do—make more phone calls, lead more rainmaking conversations, deepen relationships, become experts in their fields, learn new skills, go the extra mile for customers. Rainmakers have an unassailable commitment to success in sales. Desire to sell is the first step. Committing to action and taking it—that’s the game-changing leap.

• How energetically will I pursue success?
Success with rainmaking conversations is a function of how many you have and how well you conduct them. While you can always work smarter, working harder makes a big difference, too. Rainmaking conversations require a lot of work—you have to arrange the conversations, prepare rigorously, facilitate the discussion, and typically make multiple follow-up calls to close the deal.

• How is my attitude?
Rainmakers do not go into sales conversations with negative thoughts or doubts. If you think the opportunity cannot, would not or shouldn’t happen for you, it would not. If you think it can, will, and should happen for you, when opportunity knocks you will be ready to embrace it.

• Do I accept responsibility for my outcomes or do I make excuses?
Rainmakers succeed despite adversity. They beat a bad economy, they create conversations with difficult-to-reach decision makers, they sell something complex and intangible to someone who never even had an inkling they wanted to buy it until the salesperson came knocking. Rainmakers never fall back on excuses for why they did not prospect, did not prepare well for a meeting, and did not make those last few follow-up calls before they left the office for the day. Rainmakers know there is no one keeping them from getting it done but themselves.

• Am I willing to face my sales demons?
If you’ve been honest with yourself after asking the first five questions, you might be thinking, “I know some areas I can improve.” But rainmakers look at one more area beyond the first five questions: their weaknesses. Weaknesses are not as obvious as desire, commitment, attitude and the rest. They can sneak in and derail conversations from any number of angles. Regardless of what your weaknesses are, if you are willing to examine them closely, you will be well on your way to mastering rainmaking conversations.

“Desire to sell is the first step. Committing to action and taking it—that’s the game-changing leap.”

For more information, contact Ben vd Westhuyzen at ben@succeedgroup.co.za

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein.