Posted in practice
on July 21, 2015 10:29 am EDT
Forward Motion: 4 Strategies to Create Rainmakers
We know who the rainmakers are in our teams. The question is, how do we inspire others to develop those skills? And what are the unique elements that apply when we are working with churches?
Whether you lead your firm, manage a team or work on the front lines, “rainmaking”—the art of bringing in business—is core to building a practice. In his book “Rainmaking,” Ford Harding writes: “There is no one right way to develop business. Whatever your particular skills and interests, you can make a contribution.” Yet, for designers it often feels like successful business developers were just born that way. Most of us work with churches through passion and opportunity, but after weathering a few turns in the market, we learn that business development skill is 100% necessary to be able to practice our craft.
Here are four strategies to improve rainmaking—for both ourselves and in coaching our teams:
1. Document your network.
The heart of churches is relationships, and—in fact—churches don’t work with companies, they work with people. Why document? Because it is the only way to maintain the discipline of consistent connection. Whether we use a CRM solution (client relationship management software), are proactive with LinkedIn or go old school with index cards, having a list of all the people we know, setting a rhythm for connecting with them and documenting conversations forces us to focus outwardly rather than inwardly. Training our teams in the value of their own networks (or beginning the discipline ourselves) can be transformational in caring for relationships that lead to work. And you are never too young to start documenting your relationships so that you begin to see them as the network that they are.
Training our teams in the value of their own networks (or beginning the discipline ourselves) can be transformational in caring for relationships that lead to work.
2. Create a rhythm of connection practices.
Remember that person you knew from school that you didn’t hear from for years then he suddenly called out of the blue to pitch his new multi-level-marketing company? Yeah. We don’t want to be that guy. Once our network is documented, we can determine how frequently we want to connect. For some contacts, it may be as sparse as once or twice a year. For others, it may be monthly. Connection isn’t about selling, it is about caring. Taking the time to check in with people and finding out what is going on in their world when there is no project opportunity is a great way to maintain a relationship.