Route to Partner = Technical Strength + Rainmaking Skills
Making the transition from technical expertise to work winning capability is one few professionals make with ease. Accountants, lawyers and similar highly qualified experts are these days expected to win business as well as log lots of billable hours. It’s not something you’re really trained for, but could you actually move into the realms of business development warrior and top rainmaker?
The short answer is yes. There are no stipulations to ’crossing over’. You can become a rainmaker whether you’re young or old, male or female, an introvert or extrovert, have a big network or are the least known person in your business community. Good work winners and BD warriors come in all shapes and sizes.
There are many different approaches and strategies to bring in new clients. The world of online networking and platforms like LinkedIn have changed the BD landscape. Mobile phones are an essential weapon in a rainmaker’s armoury. Everyone has one and everyone looks at it multiple times a day. The internet gives anyone a thought leadership platform for ideas, insights and opinions. Everyone has email and social media, so there are ways and means to get to almost everyone in multiple ways and start a conversation.
There has never been an easier time to make money, win more work and be a business development engine for your firm. But are you ready to make the transition? These four questions will help you decide if you can make the move, and whether you even want to.
1. Why Do You Want To Become a Rainmaker?
To help you make the transition from technical professional to BD warrior, let’s examine your motivation. Becoming a rainmaker is an intentional move. You’ve got to want it. You’ve got to be ready to learn, upskill and put in some effort. What drives you to do this will be different for each person. Your ‘reason why’ is unique to you – you may want to transition into a more work-winning role for many reasons, including:
- Career reasons. The ability to bring in new clients accelerates your path to partner and promotion. It could be control, influence, autonomy or flexibility in your role.
- Money reasons. Your motivation could be income. Bonus. Commission. A bigger care, new house, more holidays, which all need wealth.
- Kudos reasons. You want to some recognition. ACknowledgement of your contribution to the firm, your brilliance or your talents. Understandable – it drove me at school to pass my exams.
- Challenge reasons. You want to push yourself and raise your game. You’re coasting or getting bored. You want new goals, fresh horizons.
- Curiosity reasons. You’re intrigued by the rainmakers. You like the sound of BD warrior and you want to give it a go.
- Coercion reasons. Someone or something is forcing you to widen your skillset. You’re under pressure to step up and step out. You’re expected to go out there and win business because of your position, your reputation, your circumstances. Even if you might not want to.
All of these reasons are valid. What’s your why? What’s pushing you into mastering this extra dimension? Think for a moment about WHY you do what you do? Whatever your reason, acknowledge it and make the intentional, purposeful decision to go for it.
2. Do You Believe in What You’re Selling?
Could you sell what you do? Do you believe in your products, your services, your offering? Do you have faith in your brand, your firm values and your unique selling proposition (USP)? If you have any doubts about talking passionately and with conviction about what you do, you’ll struggle with business development. People buy confidence. Confidence comes from certainty and belief that:
- Your offering is at least as good as your competitor’s.
- What you do is competitively and fairly priced.
- You make a positive difference to the lives of your clients.
- You’d buy you and what you do if the roles were reversed.
These ‘statements of intent’ should convince you or not that you’ve got the belief and desire to sell what you do. Without that, you’ll never be strong enough to win work. After a couple of rejections or lost deals, your confidence will take a hit. Your mental toughness will be called on. You’ll need to draw on your inner reserves of willpower and motivation. It comes back to your reason why and what’s driving you. You have to believe inside that you’re doing good and making a positive difference to your clients. Not every day is like that. If BD was easy, everyone would excel at it.
3. Do You Have a Plan to Bring in New Clients?
What’s your plan of action? How are you going to win business? Do you have any kind of strategic plan for sourcing, engaging and converting new clients? Do you have the contacts, the selling skills, the blueprint for winning work? Your phone will not ring the moment you announce you’re ‘open for business’. BD can’t be left to chance. Who are your targets? How will you reach them? How will you talk to them and get them interested in what you’re selling?
This stuff doesn’t happen by accident. Some rainmakers you look at and think they’ve got it easy. Or they’re just lucky. Not so – they’ve probably been grafting for years. Building networks, investing in relationships, raising their profile. You need a plan to do the same, but you your way, with your weapons, your objectives and your style.
A BD strategy that works for you and your unique situation is vital for success. There are a hundred different ways to sell what you do. A hundred different ways to attract the right opportunities and open the right doors. Without a gameplan, you’re just another player lost on the field while the game passes them by. Being easy to do business with takes some thinking through. You have to put processes in place. You must position yourself properly. In addition, there are times where you’ll need to be fast, agile and responsive.
4. How Will You Improve Your Skills?
Where will you get the help? You’ve got to do your BD by yourself, but you can’t do it alone, if that makes sense. You need coaching, training and mentoring. You need support and opportunities. You need upskilling and guiding to create your work winning plan and execute it properly. There are a few ways to do this, including a training workshop, online learning, getting coached by an experienced work-winner and reading some books, blogs or manuals. trouble is, only one of them really works. Here’s that analysis>>
The BD Academy is a proven program that addresses the complex blend of qualities and capabilities required to create work winners. This in-house one year business development training program guarantees to turn your professional people into confident, effective rainmakers and work winners. Contact founder Rob Brown on 0115 846 2127 to talk through some possibilities.