It’s easy to get appointments with people who are like you, out there hustling to make it rain new clients.
But what about that person who is focused on other things, like running a business. You know, the type of person you REALLY want to get time with and make it rain.
Rainmakers know how to get to the VITO – the Very Important Top Officer – and inspire them to want to meet with you.
Where do you start? By knowing their hot buttons:
Know the rewards you can offer for their time – returns on assets, return on sales, return on knowledge and/or net working capital. You must be able to convey the impact of spending time with you.
Anthony Parinello demonstrates a rock solid approach in Secrets of VITO: Think and Sell Like a CEO:
Overachieve your goals by 15% while reducing operational expenses by as much as 10% – in 120 days or less.
Resolve their fears. What? CEO fears? No way! Yes, they do – and it’s not what you may think!CEO’s fear wasting time and they fear taking part in conversations on topics they know nothing about.
Convey clarity in writing. Be brief, be bold, be gone.
Rainmakers master these skills and set appointments with the people they need to serve.
Are you making it rain new clients at this level? Develop your Rainmaker Skills.
We’re going to share a secret with you. It’s a secret that you know, but perhaps overlook from time-to-time.
But first, let’s look at a day in the life of a Gatekeeper, whether that Gatekeeper is the company receptionist or an executive assistant.
What are their primary responsibilities when someone contacts their company?
- Get the caller or the right information to the right person
- Protect the company from wasting time with pesky sales people
Now you know their responsibilities. Which category are you?
Here’s the secret: Gatekeepers are people too! If you treat them with respect and kindness, they will help you. If you treat them like an automated attendant, they’ll route you down so many call paths you’ll never find your way out.
Rainmakers know Gatekeepers are people. They treat with respect and kindness and work hard to make them smile. In many cases Rainmakers turn Gatekeepers into advocates and engage their help in getting to the right person in the business.
What rainmaker skills do you need to develop to serve these nice people?
People buy from people they know, like and trust.
Job one is to get out there, get connected and start getting to know more people.
Job two is to show up focusing your energy on the other person rather than focusing on yourself.
The next job takes time. You need to invest in the relationship. You need to give, give, give before you expect to get.
Rainmakers live their lives in service of others. That’s the secret key to earning trust.
Yes, you’ll need other skills to build trust. Great questions. Extraordinary listening. Focused presentations.
But the most important rainmaker skill is mastering your rainmaking mindset.
That’s how Rainmakers build trust and make it rain new clients.
I kept six honest serving men.
They taught me all I knew.
They were what and why and where
and how and where and who.
Rudyard Kipling, 1902
It’s been over a century since Mr. Kipling handed every Rainmaker the six magic words that can transform every opportunity to make it rain. Of course Socrates handed us the same tools nearly 2,500 years ago.
Simply asking questions that begin with one of the six honest serving men demands that a question cannot be answered yes or no. The other person has to respond with what they think and how they feel. They cannot shut the conversation down.
Rainmakers know the questions they must ask. What open-ended questions should you be bringing to every conversation?
Develop your rainmaker skills by mastering the art of questioning.
Stephen Covey shared the blinding flash of the obvious:
You have two ears and one mouth.
Use them accordingly.
Maybe it wasn’t that obvious.
Most sales people can’t seem to stop talking long enough to listen.
But you are a Rainmaker. You are there to serve another person.
It’s what they say that’s important.
- Are you listening?
- Are you really listening?
If you are, you’ll not only hear their thoughts and feelings, but also their hopes, dreams, fears and concerns.
Listen well, Rainmaker! It’s one of the master rainmaker skills.
There will come a time in every meeting when it is time for you to talk about yourself, your products and services and your business.
What’s the rush? If you don’t tell, tell, tell early in the conversation, do you think there is an expiration date on your information?
Our Chief Marketing Officer, Bill Merrow, tells the story of his father-in-law selling advertising in Santa Barbara, California in the 1970’s.
Bob was a great listener. He once entered a jeweler’s store shortly after it opened. In between serving customers, Bob and the jeweler would talk about the jeweler’s business and personal challenges.
After eight hours, the jeweler asked Bob what he did. Bob said it really didn’t matter; he was happy to learn about the jeweler’s business. he could always come back another day. The jeweler became an advertising client – for over 20 years.
Your time to present will come. Rainmakers wait for their turn. When they get it, they present with clarity and passion.
Develop your presentation rainmaker skills by continuously practicing and refining your presentation. You’ll find you are saying far more than necessary.
You’ll make it rain clients by presenting less, not more.
Objections are a source of fear, panic and concern for many sales people.
What are objections? How do you prepare to overcome them?
Objections are simply questions, concerns and conditions. They don’t need to be overcome. But you do need to answer questions, address concerns and resolve conditions.
Rainmakers anticipate questions, concerns and conditions. They expect them and welcome them. It’s a key part of developing their rainmaking skills.
What questions, concerns and conditions do you encounter? Are you prepared to answer, address and resolve them?
Do the hard work of preparing for objections. Your Inner Rainmaker is ready for you to make it rain.
In golf, you drive for show and putt for dough.
In sales, you present for show and gain commitment for dough.
Rainmakers don’t “close” sales.
But they do gain commitment and make it rain new clients. What’s the difference?
Closing is a set of techniques largely designed to manipulate a decision in the seller’s favor.
Conversely, gaining commitment is all about helping people make effective buying decisions.
You may see it as a subtle difference. We see the difference as both significant and powerful.
Let’s go back to the fundamentals of your Rainmaker mindset.
Your modus operandi is service. There is no room for manipulation in a Rainmaker’s service mindset.
Yes, you still have to ask for the order.
But you ask at the right time after your client has demonstrated they want to buy. Then you help them do that effectively. It
It’s just how Rainmaker’s roll.