Monday, December 19, 2005

Secrets of the Great Rainmakers

by Jeffrey J. Fox

In companies that use salespeople to sell directly to customers, rainmakers are the people who bring in the business. Rainmakers bring in big revenues, big money. Rainmakers bring in new revenues, new customers. Rainmakers sell new applications, new products, and price increases. Rainmakers make the cash register ring. Ka-ching! Ka-ching!

And, rainmakers make big money for themselves. Rainmakers are always the highest paid sellers, and it is not uncommon for rainmakers to be among the highest paid employees in the organization. Rainmakers are rare, but they are everywhere. They are in corporations as super sellers. They are commission only salespeople, entrepreneurs, small business owners, solo practitioners, agents, brokers, and partners in professional firms.
Here is what rainmakers always do that other salespeople don’t: First, they sell more! Rainmakers generate more sales revenues than the other people. They sell more through thick and thin. They sell more in good economies and bad. They sell more regardless of the competition. Rainmakers sell more by relentlessly doing things that other salespeople sometimes do or never do.

Here are some “secrets” of the great rainmakers:

Secret One: They carefully and thoroughly do pre-call homework and pre-call planning for every sales call on a decision maker. They spend at least three hours planning a 15-minute sales call. They might spend three weeks pre-call planning a five-minute sales call.

Secret Two: They dollarize. Rainmakers don’t sell products or services. They don’t sell features or benefits. They don’t sell technology. Rainmakers sell the dollarized value that their customers get from the product benefits, or get from the technology. Rainmakers don’t sell MRI machines; they sell hospitals 10 MRI exams per day at $2,000 per exam.

Secret Three: Rainmakers always know the answer to one question: “If I (the rainmaker) were the customer, and knowing what I know about my company, about my product, about the competition, about the customer, why would I do business with my company?” The rainmaker becomes the customer and honestly answers “why the customer should do business with me.” Knowing “why the customer should do business with me,” in dollars and cents, gives the rainmaker a rock solid foundation for confidently pursuing the sale. Learning the answer to this question must be part of your pre-call planning.

Secret Four: On every sales call with a decision maker or influencer, rainmakers always ask for the order, or for a customer commitment to a customer action that will lead to an order. The rainmaker does what 90% of all salespeople never do: the rainmaker asks for the business.

Secret Five: In a baseball game, a hitter or batter gets to the plate about four times a game. This means that the batter, barring a strikeout, and regardless of whether he gets a hit or not, has to run to first base three or four or five times a game. Even though running to first base three or four times a game is nothing, a small effort in the totality of the game, some players give up on their hit, assume they will make an out, and dog it to first. The rainmaker never dogs it to first base! The rainmaker never assumes he or she will be thrown out. The rainmaker runs out every hit, and runs full tilt, because the few times the opposition fumbles the ball, or the ball drops in, the rainmaker ends up safely on base. The rainmaker never quits in the sales cycle. The rainmaker always sprints, always goes for the sale. That’s why rainmakers are known as “big hitters.” One motto and deep belief of the rainmaker is the “if you, the customer, don’t do business with me, then we both lose.” So the rainmaker works every second to make sure the customer wins so the rainmaker wins.
And these are some secrets as to why rainmakers sell more and make more money than the rest of the selling crowd. Now go make it rain!

*Source: Adapted from Jeffrey Fox’s upcoming new best seller The Secrets of the Great Rainmakers.
Learn more about Jeffrey Fox and his bestselling program How to be a Rainmaker.

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