In my experience most professionals, such as lawyer, accountants, architects, consultants would not describe themselves as rainmakers. (even though many professionals wish they could become a rainmaker) From my time spent working with professionals who have business development responsibility, I know that many of them have from time to time wished they could outsource their marketing to someone else. If you have aspirations to get to partnership quickly (or slowly, for that matter), you need to be seen as a rainmaker. I.e. be able to bring in lots of work, not just for you and your team to service, but for other members of the practice.

How to become a rainmaker

In my view, business development is a team activity that every member of the practice (regardless of their size) should play a part in. I have yet to find a firm which gives everyone a target for business development activity – often marketing effort is expected to occur in employees and partner’s own time. In my research for my next book, ‘how to make partner and still have a life’ I am finding that if you want to make partner, then you better be good at winning new business! So why do so many professional practices expect their directors and senior managers to ‘magically’ be able to do business development. If you are given a very high billable hour’s target, how can you be expected to learn and experiment with differing business development activities? Regardless of the rights or wrongs of a high billable hours target, you still need to make time for activities which will help you become a rainmaker for your practice.

Click here to download our free ebook "The reluctant business developer's guide to winning clients". (email required)

Often business development is seen to be the glory end of marketing and selling, i.e. the writing of proposals, clinching deals and pitching for work. In reality business development activity is anything that contributes to winning new business; this is everything from generating interest and awareness in the firm’s products and services, through to the glory moments of winning a competitive pitch.

This could be:

  • Networking – both face-to-face and on-line
  • Writing articles
  • Speaking engagements
  • Organising and running seminars (both face-to-face and teleseminars)
  • Conducting proprietary research
  • Spending time with existing clients getting to know them better
  • Market research
  • Attending industry conferences to understand new needs within the industry
  • Writing proposals
  • Writing and delivering pitches

If you read through the list of non-chargeable activities which contribute to business development, there is something for everyone to excel at. The true technical specialists may relish the opportunity to write articles and contribute to on-line forums – but would be like a duck out of water if asked to go in and ‘sell’ to a client. The ‘sellers’ may get bored rigid conducting proprietary research, but love the opportunity to go out face-to-face networking.

If you think about you and your strengths and talents, which of these business development activities appeal to you? How you can you incorporate them into your weekly routine, or get the opportunity to do these types of activities?

Click here to download our free ebook "The reluctant business developer's guide to winning clients". (email required)

Scroll to Top