|How to Become a Rainmaker|
Jeffrey J. Fox
I recently attended a CLE seminar on "Starting Your Own Practice" for lawyers. I wasn't exactly ready to go into business for myself right away, but the job market's been tough, and I figured learning a bit more about what it really takes to work for yourself couldn't hurt.
One of the panelists recommended a couple books on "rainmaking," or business development. He said there were a couple he found particularly helpful, but they all repeated many of the same ideas. He said this wasn't a bad thing, as sometimes the repetition can serve as a helpful reminder of things to do.
My cousin is very into business related issues, so I thought maybe he'd have one of the books. He didn't, but did let me borrow this one, How to Become a Rainmaker.
I read it on two separate days, probably less than a two hour total commitment. It's written in short, simple chapters, suitable for someone who is busy and looking for a quick tip they can read in the morning over their coffee.
The book is definitely geared towards salespeople, but there are tips that are good for people in all professions.
*First is one that I have a problem with, at least in my personal life: return all phone calls the day you get them. I know this is important. My new, "big" boss thinks it's of primary importance. So, I should probably work on this. I should be providing my clients the best service I can, and returning their calls promptly is a big part of that.
*Listen to want your client wants, ask enough questions to understand, and craft a responsive solution. Pretty self explanatory. This is just one that I'm actively working to get better at every day.
*When a client calls, you are never "in a meeting" or "unavailable." You are "with a client," or "in court." Now, I think the point is that you SHOULD be busy doing legitimate work, and if you're not, take your client's call. Otherwise, you're just going to have to call them back later that day :-)