Brian Carroll

Rainmakers and Lead Generation

In professional services organizations the people who bring in the big revenue clients are often called rainmakers. They’re the one’s that make it all happen and become almost mythical in the process. In today’s challenging business climate, we could all use more rainmakers.

I like what Ford Harding, author of Rain Making, Attract New Clients No Matter What Your Field, 2nd Edition and President of Harding & Company had to say about rainmakers.

Harding writes, “A rainmaker, as we define one, brings in leads and converts them into business at such levels that she leaves her colleagues in awe.  Of the two talents, lead generation and lead conversion, the former is much the rarer.  That is, professionals who can sell, once given a lead outnumber those who can generate leads, but can’t convert them into business.”

Ford cites my book, Lead Generation for the Complex Sale in his post, "Lead Flow Part #1: How It Makes the Rainmaker," along several good ideas, which I’ll summarize.

  1. Try what’s worked before. Look for patterns of success, ask your clients for advice and ideas on how they have been approached by other professionals (even your competition) to find out what worked and what didn’t.
  2. Experiment and adapt.  Some trial and error learning is inevitable as you try to master lead generation. Develop a plan and use multiple tactics.
  3. Don’t let up.  Be consistent. Try to do at least one lead generation thing every day, even if it is something small, that will help you get into a conversation with a prospective client. If you use calling, resolve to make an extra call a day before you leave. If you do networking, resolve to meet one more person at an event.
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Lead Generation, Marketing Strategy, Sales, Sales Leads



  1. | #1

    Absolutely!

    The bottom of the funnel is useless if there’s nothing coming in the top of the funnel.

  2. | #2

    Brian, I’ve been one of those silent readers. I’ve never quite seen this thought put exactly this way and it says what I’ve been preaching for years. Marketing and lead generation are not bad, but they do not encourage your salespeople to become rainmakers. Thank you. You’ve given me much to post about.

  3. | #3

    I like your #3 point. This comment is my extra mile.

    Perhaps I’ll get a new client from it. Thanks for your

    writings. Roy

  4. | #4

    Rainmakers are indeed a rare breed. Rainweavers are even rarer. Rainweavers make rain not only for themselves but proactively and genuinely often make rain for their strategic partners, and colleagues, both as a service to the prospect and their partners. Bob Liddell is credited with the concept of “Netweaving”, networking with a priority on helping others, creating opportunities for others in a ‘pay-it-forward’ spirit. I coined “Rainweavers” but couldn’t get it off the ground. That was before Web 2.0. Maybe someone else can run with it!

  5. Brent Hill
    | #5

    hello ,

    I enjoyed reading your take on Rainmaker/Rainweaver talent. We are looking to hire those type of people for our business . If you know of anyone in your network .we would appreciate havint the opportunity to speak with them . Thank you

    Brent.

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