What’s Your Revenue Growth Strategy? Think Like a Rainmaker to Drive Revenue Growth
Lawyers and other professionals often get caught up in thinking there is really only one way to increase revenue: work harder. We debunked this idea in our last newsletter by delving into the concept of productization and exploring ways one can charge for a product based on the value delivered instead of simply billing for the time worked. In a nutshell, productization lets you increase revenue by working smarter, instead of harder. (Click here to read Pt.1: Growing Revenue by Working Smarter Instead of Harder.) This month, we continue the work-smarter-not-harder-revenue-connection by focusing on rainmaking. After all, everyone knows that investing time into business development is necessary to grow your practice and the good news is that everyone can enjoy and excel at business development by thinking like a rainmaker. Thinking Like a Rainmaker can help you get more bang for your business development buck so that the time you spend doing it is fun, efficient and effective.
We often say that our goal is simply to get every professional thinking like a rainmaker. Why? Because thinking drives behavior which drives results. So by thinking like a rainmaker, you will begin acting like rainmaker. The beauty of this approach is that by adopting the right mindset, and not worrying so much about what you actually do, there’s very little pressure to perform. The simple act of giving yourself the freedom to merely shift your mindset typically results in a behavior shift where you find yourself acting like a rainmaker in ways you may have never believed you could. From here it’s easy build in some simple systems to drive behavior change as effortlessly as possible. Then, by deploying some basic tools used by successful rainmakers, you will be thinking like, acting like and reaping the rewards of being a rainmaker with the revenue to match.
Thinking Like a Rainmaker—Rainmaking is Fun: At the risk of sounding trite, if you believe business development is fun then it will be fun—and if you believe it’s torture…well, you know the rest. So how does one find the fun in business development (especially when you haven’t found business development to be all that fun so far)? The quickest way to shift your attitude regarding marketing is to stop seeing it as a means to “get more business” and instead embrace it as an opportunity to make more connections. Since relationships—the connections you form with clients and colleagues that transcend the work you do together—are the basis of all business development, when you look for opportunities to develop and deepen your relationships, business development becomes fun. By letting go of the need to get more business, you stop worrying about what you need from your client and can focus on what they need from you. Not only does this take all the pressure off of you to “sell,” but it also demonstrates to the client that you are a trusted advisor focused on truly addressing their needs…and that is how a rainmaker thinks.
Thinking Like a Rainmaker—Be Efficient at Business Development. A common misconception among professionals is that they are too busy to market. Business development doesn’t have to entail hours of mindless networking events or going out for long business lunches several times a month—in fact, if you’re doing that, then you’re doing it wrong! We believe marketing is fun when its easy. If it takes too much effort, then you probably won’t do it. One the best ways to keep it easy is to employ a system so much of your business development thinking is automated and you can focus on other things (like practicing law!). A simple system has three components: (i) setting short weekly business development appointments with yourself that you respect just like a client meeting, (ii) using your calendar to book follow up actions and next steps immediately after a business development activity so that you don’t have to think about it again and (iii) keeping a spreadsheet of your top clients and prospects that tracks when you last talked, what you talked about and what you said you’d do next and when. This seemingly simple spreadsheet not only helps you stay on top of the details and needs of your most important relationships, over time it becomes a useful data set that lets you see trends of where your efforts have paid off and where they could be put to better use…and that is how a rainmaker acts.
Thinking Like a Rainmaker—Growing Revenue Effectively. Once you’ve adopted a relationship-focused mindset and have put into place some systems to keep you on track, you’ll want to hone your rainmaking skills to grow revenue as effectively as possible. At Maraia & Associates we’ve developed a toolbox of the most effective rainmaking tools and techniques, based on thousands of coaching calls with lawyers and other professionals. Of the many tools successful rainmakers use to consistently get and grow business, some of the most effective are:
- Soliciting Feedback: asking “how did the work we do compare to other firms you have used, is there anything we could have done better or differently?” is an incredibly effective tool to deepen existing relationships and to gain useful knowledge for building future relationships with new clients.
- Working (for) The Room: approaching networking events with the intention to make other people feel comfortable and looking for opportunities to put people together for their benefit (as opposed to solely for your benefit) is a strategy rainmakers use to take the sales-y element out of networking events and truly embrace the simple chance to connect with others in a way that leaves them remembering what you did for them and not what you wanted from them.
- Ending Random Acts of Lunch: By never wasting another business lunch or dinner again because you have prepared in advance and considered what personal and business needs your client might have and how you might be able to address them puts you in a position to spot real opportunities to move the relationship forward…and that is how a rainmaker gets results.
By Thinking Like a Rainmaker and looking for fun, efficient and effective ways to build professional relationships is the best route to growing revenue as a rainmaker. For more ways to build the collection of tools in your rainmaker toolbox, check out Rainmaking Made Simple and Relationships Are Everything by Mark Maraia or visit our YouTube page to hear more about rainmaking and relationships. And be sure to join us every other Thursday at 10:30 am for the Maraia Minute. On April 12, 2018, Mark Maraia and Matt Rowe will be sharing more tips for “How to Think Like a Rainmaker.” Revenue growth comes when you work smarter, not harder and Maraia & Associates can show you how.