A typical child starts asking where rain comes from between the 2nd and 4th grade. New research reveals many law firm partners may have skipped this lesson or this knowledge has been eclipsed by intense legal studies.
True rainmakers book 5 times more business than the average law firm partner. This 5-to-1 relationship crosses all law firm sizes and specialties. In actual dollars the numbers look like this:
Rainmakers exhibit selected behaviors others have not yet developed. These include:
1. Extraordinary Self Discipline
Rainmakers are rarely distracted by stray opportunities. They know their best opportunities come from their clients and their networks. These rainmakers are unrelenting in making sure they position themselves to be first in line for new business—often before their client asks or brings it up. The rainmakers are always anticipating needs.
2. Focus on Forever
Rainmakers say there is no such thing as one and done. They work at figuring out client needs and finding the right firm resources—this includes skills, chemistry and bringing these resources up to speed. The focus is on filling a broad range of needs seamlessly with the right resources so the client need not look elsewhere—ever.
3. Limited Span of Relationships
As discussed in number 1 above, rainmakers are not impressed by having a large number of clients—they want large clients. Over time some of these rainmakers grow their networks to have a larger number of clients—but this is through careful and orchestrated growth.
4. Always in Dialogue with Their Clients
Rainmakers are always exchanging information with clients. These dialogues are a combination of phone, in-person, email and simple exchanges of articles and snippets from a broad of array of sources. This ongoing communication not only proves rainmakers are well rounded and understand all aspects of their clients—it teaches clients something new and fresh, as rainmakers have a knack for sending only relevant insights. (Hint: nearly every rainmaker relies on a steady supply of insights from peers and junior staff who see reward when their research is used.)
5. Value Relationship Building Skills Over Sales Skills
The superior relationship is the real secret sauce behind the rainmaker. Because, behind every great rainmaker (and mover and shaker or leader) are great relationships. In fact, replace the word great with superior. People who make things happen make superior relationships happen first. Relationships are the power source, if not the very soul, of doing big business—the kind where clients smile and don’t think about giving work to others.
People who sell don’t develop nearly as much business as people who develop relationships. New business flows to those individuals and firms who can move beyond a transaction to a relationship. People, especially executives, don’t want to work with the person with the best sales skills. They want to work with those who are emotionally invested in helping them and pay significant premiums for this rare commodity.
PS. These behaviors are also covered in depth in my newly released book Clientelligence: How Superior Client Relationships Fuel Growth and Profits. Already in use at over 100 law firms, Clientelligence provides a systematic approach to developing superior client service skills to give you unparalleled access to your clients' most complex—and premium-rate—work.
Learn how you can create and maintain superior client relationships of your own—while fueling growth and profit—here.