How to Become a Rainmaker by Jeffrey J. Fox
“[T]he paramount job of every single employee in an organization is to, directly or indirectly, get and keep customers.”
As someone who had worked a part-time job in sales as a teen, I could immediately relate to “How to Become a Rainmaker” by Jeffrey J. Fox. What the book does is to change your entire perspective towards sales. Salespersons get a plenty of advice on what they ought to be doing and what not – but the simple truth about sales is that it’s all about the people who pay your bills – the customers. Win the customers, and you will become a Rainmaker for your organization.
This is important advice and I felt during my short time as a salesperson how my colleagues, even those who were much higher than me in the hierarchy, didn’t take their jobs seriously enough. Most of the staff were just going through the motions, halfheartedly, without really making an effort to impress the customers. And this reflected in the organization’s poor performance as well.
Fox talks about how many companies get confused about what their customers really want. Well, essentially a happy customer is someone who really wants to buy what you can provide. This book is full of great advice on how to give the customer what they are looking for. Any young salesperson will be motivated and encouraged by the advice given in this book. This is solid, practical advice, one which you won’t learn anywhere else.
So, who is a Rainmaker? A Rainmaker is a top employee who brings a lot of revenue to your organization. What does it take to be a Rainmaker? How about this – according to Fox, having a business meeting with a client during breakfast, rather than during lunch is one of the things Rainmakers do.
There are plenty of reasons for this - breakfasts are inexpensive meals since the selection is simple. So you don’t have to think too hard over what to have for breakfast and there is no temptation of ordering alcohol. Breakfast meetings are held early in the day so chances of them getting cancelled are minimal. For these reasons rainmakers love breakfast meetings.
The book is full of practical advice like that. Fox says, for instance, we shouldn’t have coffee during a sales call. Having a coffee during a sales call would distract both you and the client and leave both of you frustrated, because your attention will be elsewhere.
One of the reasons I appreciated this book so much is because it makes a salesperson think about how customers look at them. Let’s look at this advice – Dress very well during a sales call. Why? When you dress well, it’s a sign of your professionalism; it shows your client that you take him or her seriously and that you respect your work. But that doesn’t mean you should dress expensively – just that you should be dressed better than your client.
When you take your work seriously, those in the organization who are junior to you will be motivated enough to take their jobs seriously as well. This book should be given to every sales manager as the advice given here will help them motivate their sales staff and train them to get better at their job.