As a new rainmaker, you should start off with activities that will spark your interest, create successes, and build good, long-term Business Development habits.
Every consulting firm relies heavily on referrals and conversations with friendly buyers to drive new business. Therefore, every consultant and consulting firm’s greatest asset is their network of buyers, future buyers and influencers.
New rainmakers often start with a weak network and very few contacts and without a good sense of which of their contacts are helpful for the purposes of Business Development.
Therefore, one of the very first exercises to complete is identifying your Network Core.
One of the first actions that you must take is to refine your Fishing Line.
A Fishing Line is a 10-15 word statement that succinctly and precisely describes your target market and the issue they address (a problem or aspiration). A Fishing Line does not talk about outcomes, solutions or your firm.
There are three audiences for a Fishing Line:
- Prospective clients
- Influencers who speak to prospective clients
- Other rainmakers in the firm–particularly if you are part of a large firm with multiple divisions or practice areas
The sole purpose of the Fishing Line is to prompt a conversation with a prospective client who fits the target definition and has the problem.
Fishing Lines are deceptively difficult to develop, and managers should expect their rainmaker (and probably others on their team) to take up to 18 months to develop a single, narrow, precisely-focused Fishing Line that is extremely powerful.
Helpful Resources: Fishing Line Developer Checklist.pdf Fishing Line Examples.pdf Chapter 7 of The Irresistible Consultant’s Guide to Winning Clients
To kick off your efforts, you should prioritize your Network Core. You can begin by reaching out to your connections and working on building strong, meaningful relationships. By doing so, you’ll be able to strengthen existing bonds and foster new ones, ultimately cultivating a network of solid relationships that will continue to grow and flourish over time.
Having solid relationships will help you get introductions to build your network and also serve as a reminder to your customers that you are available whenever needed.
So, for phase 1, you should concentrate on connecting with your Network Core and establishing strong relationships through various means such as Linked-In, Mass Email, SMS, Personal Email, or even WhatsApp (if preferred). This will eventually pave your way to initiate phone calls, face-to-face meetups, or video calls.
At this stage, for new, very uncomfortable rainmakers, your manager should expect you to make at least 3 new outreaches to your Network Core every week.
Helpful Resources: Outreach_Exercise.pdf Outreach Email and Voicemail_Scripts.pdf Chapter 15 of The Irresistible Consultant’s Guide to Winning Clients
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