Top 10 Rainmaker Best Practices to Win in 2010 – Part 3
This week’s posts are identifying the Top 10 Rainmaker Best Practices, that when focused on with discipline and intention, distinguish you and your firm and help you gain a competitive sales advantage. Our previous posts Part 1 and Part 2 focused on the first six Rainmaker Best Practices. Today’s article focuses on the last set of four Best Practices and discusses WHAT works in any market and HOW to implement the best practices to impact your business with increased revenue, increased leverage of time and resources and improved accuracy and predictability in your sales pipeline.
7) Networking and Working a Room
Networking effectiveness has less to do with personality and more to do with readiness. Simple answers to questions like, “What is my goal or objective for the event?” “How many people do I want to meet at the event?” “How might I follow-up after the event if I make a connection?” turn networking situations into productive treasure hunts. Networking basics include having your Quick Pitch ready, having business cards accessible and managing your time to meet your objectives. When possible, ask for the attendee list in advance and peruse the day’s headlines (news, sports, current events) to have small talk ready to break the ice.
8) Campaign Thinking
The ethos of Campaign Thinking is any single act of marketing or business development should be leveraged minimally for a 3:1 payback. 3:1 leverage could be turning an article into a speech and a webinar. 3:1 leverage could be turning a single event into a 3-part communication plan: pre-event communication, during the event conversation and post event follow-up communication. 3:1 leverage can also be geography based by utilizing travel as the authentic reason to connect, i.e. one meeting in NYC turns into three meetings in the Northeast Corridor.
9) The 6 Silver Bullets for Closing and Managing the Red Zone
Unfortunately, there is no magic phrase or silver bullet to close business. There are however, six qualifiers that can be like silver bullets to understand when business should close. Business will generally close if there is:
1) A legitimate problem
2) A good fit solution
3) A sense of urgency attached to the timeline to make decisions.
4) Access to the decision makers and their decision-making criteria
5) Expectations that are in alignment regarding the level of effort it will take to initiate a relationship and work successfully with you
6) Budget that fits with your fee structure
When your prospect’s interests align with your six qualifiers, business has a way of closing itself. If you aren’t sure if your prospect’s interests align against a specific qualifier, asking additional Discovery Questions will provide clarity and a sense of what the appropriate next steps might be.
When business does close, it is understandable that when a prospective client gives you a verbal “yes,” it is tempting to celebrate and step back from your selling efforts. However, managing the Red Zone means that you recognize that when you get the “yes”, the incumbent has gotten the “no,” which can often lead to desperate decisions and measures to retain the client. Business is not truly closed until work has started. Therefore, when you receive word that you have been hired you are on the 20-yard line. You will want to continue to stay connected, step-up communication and set clear definitive next steps as you ready for the actual work.
10) Create SuperFans through Client Experience
Many professionals assume that if they do good work, clients will continue to hire them for more work. However, reality tells us that just doing good work is not enough. The competitive market tells us that we need to continuously manage the client relationship to inspire client loyalty while simultaneously looking for additional problems to solve for the client. Recognizing that loyalty is usually a result of an accumulation of good experiences rather than one outstanding moment, we can create SuperFans by finding ways to deepen value within the client experience in seven areas of innovation:
1) Client feedback
2) Client intake process
3) Communication and expectation management
4) Client appreciation
5) Knowing a client’s business
6) Non-legal client project participation and facilitation
7) Alternative fee arrangements
Whether you are new to business development or a seasoned veteran, the Top 10 Rainmaker Best Practices are designed to give you greater focus, greater control and greater results with more predictability. When you remember to focus first on building authentic relationships and solving the problems that should be solved, you will have greater joy during the journey and greater impact in the communities in which you serve.
To see Part I of Top 10 Rainmaker Best Practices to Win in 2010 click here.
To see Part II of Top 10 Rainmaker Best Practices to Win in 2010 click here.