The 12 Commandments of Rainmaking

Not a day goes by without my office receiving multiple inquiries about or affluent client acquisition: What does it take to become a rainmaker?

Not a day goes by without my office receiving multiple inquiries about “rainmaking” — or affluent client acquisition: What does it take to become a rainmaker? Can you really teach someone to become a rainmaker? Why are there so few rainmakers out there? Not surprisingly, everyone seems to want to bring in 10 or more new $1 million clients a year (the rainmaker minimum), but it remains a path less traveled.

So I've boiled the basics down into 12 common-sense jewels that are short on words and long on meaning. This list is by no means the last word on rainmaking; it's simply my best attempt to answer the most frequently asked questions on the subject and, hopefully, assist you in your rainmaking quest.

The 12 Commandments of Rainmaking

  1. Pledge the Rainmaker Covenant — Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts have their oaths, American citizens pledge allegiance to the U.S. flag and rainmakers pledge to master their craft. You must dedicate yourself to becoming a master rainmaker.

  2. Be Totally Committed — There is nothing casual or part-time about rainmakers. They are totally committed to their annual rainmaking goals, and they don't delegate their client acquisition responsibilities to others.

  3. Be Fearless — One of the qualities that sets Tiger Woods apart from other professional golfers, according to his swing coach Hank Haney, is that he is fearless. Tiger is not afraid to fail, and neither are rainmakers.

  4. Be Extremely Competitive — The competitive drive of basketball great Michael Jordan is legendary. As a player at UNC Chapel Hill, Michael would challenge teammates to free-throw shooting contests for a nominal wager. Rainmakers, like all winners, are very competitive.

  5. Be Highly Disciplined — Discipline linked to a well-defined goal is high-octane fuel for achievement. It takes discipline to execute those “high-impact” rainmaking activities every day. The secret is to do them even when you'd rather be doing something else.

  6. Be Completely Focused — We live in an age of sensory overload. There are so many distractions, and it's only getting worse. Rainmakers must be able to filter out the excess and keep their priorities at the forefront of their thinking.

  7. Be Fully Energized — Rainmaking is not for the faint of heart. Since you are the product and must always be looking for opportunities to sell yourself, it is crucial that you pay close attention to common sense issues such as getting enough sleep, eating properly and exercising. These things are more important than many people think.

  8. Be Persistent — In the words of Calvin Coolidge, the 30th U.S. president: “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

  9. Always Have Your Antenna Out — Good luck seems to follow rainmakers wherever they go. Business seems to fall into their laps. But rainmakers make their own good luck by having their antenna out and developing a kind of sixth sense for new business opportunities.

  10. Develop Seamless Sales Skills — Every affluent prospect knows when he or she is being prospected, pitched and closed. Rainmakers recognize that the affluent do not like sales people, so they are constantly working on honing their sales craft.

  11. Be Like Tiger — Now that Michael Jordan is officially retired, I have knighted Tiger Woods as the universal rainmaker role model. He's always striving to improve; he's fearless, highly competitive and the hardest worker on every tour. Be like Tiger!

  12. Love the Game — You must love what you do in order to excel. Rainmakers are as passionate about the value they bring to their clients and prospects as they are about the thrill of the hunt. People know when you love what you do.

There is no shortcut to becoming a rainmaker. Benchmark yourself to these 12 commandments, determine to hold yourself to a higher standard and then make a habit of assessing your progress on a quarterly basis. If you do, you will find yourself continually improving your game. Just like Tiger Woods.

Writer's BIO: Matt Oechsli is author of Building a Successful 21st Century Financial Practice: Attracting, Servicing & Retaining Affluent Clients.

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