You’re so busy juggling client work it’s no wonder business development often gets put on the back burner. But for many seller-doers, it’s not just having the time to do business development that’s holding them back.
The stereotypical rainmaker is outgoing, makes conversations and develops new relationships easily and handily wins new business through a combination of confidence and charm. And, frankly, many seller-doers don’t fit that mold.
But the fact is, different types of personalities can excel at business development – they just need to develop the critical rainmaker mindset.
So how do you begin?
1. Decide what type of rainmaker you want to become based on your personality and preferences.
Research shows that rainmakers often have one of three dominant qualities.
Relationship Builders are like the stereotypical rainmaker we noted earlier. They are extroverted, confident, and charismatic.
Expert Advisors have a high degree of specialized expertise in an area. Their deep understanding of a given subject matter affords them the opportunity to achieve go-to status for clients and prospects.
Service Mavens have a natural talent for client satisfaction and routinely go above and beyond to fulfill clients’ needs. They foster loyalty by anticipating issues and providing exceptional solutions.
2. Match your business development behavior with your dominant traits.
While you may identify with each of the rainmaker types to some degree, you will find that one or maybe two are dominant in your personality. Once you recognize this, you can orient your business development efforts around your dominant traits.
You can get a good idea of your rainmaker mindset by looking at your behaviors. Do you feel comfortable speaking in front of large groups or conversing in group settings? Do you prefer personal phone calls and one-on-one lunches? Do you naturally scan the latest news to identify potential challenges and contact clients with proposed solutions? All these activities are effective business development strategies.
3. Begin each day with a proactive activity.
It’s easy to immediately get mired down reading and responding to emails in the morning, but this puts you in a reactive mode, where you make your clients’ needs your priority all day long without considering your own.
Instead, start each day with a proactive activity that plays to your rainmaker strengths. For example, if you’re a Relationship Builder, you may kick off your day by reviewing a list of active targets in your pipeline to identify an opportunity you can advance today. If you’re an Expert Advisor, you might review the news and see what topics you can convert into a thought leadership piece. And if you’re a Service Maven, consider placing a call to a client to see how they’re handling a current problem before you begin checking your email.
4. Set a weekly budget for business development time.
But tackling one business development activity at the start of each day will only get you partway to your business development goals. Decide on the amount of time you can dedicate to business development each week, build it into your schedule, and meet it consistently and habitually to ensure you maintain your rainmaker mindset.
The tips above appear in an e-learning micro-lesson found in Trainer, the business development education feature of the PIPELINEPLUS sales acceleration platform. The library provides a comprehensive assortment of training videos and transcripts that cover every step of the business development process: planning, branding, networking, pitching, and expanding the client relationship.