Business NetworkingWhat does it take to make it rain?

Real rainmakers — the individuals able to connect with the marketplace in a way that consistently results in business — share three characteristics.

They may engage in business development in a variety of ways and employ differing techniques. There are, after all, no cookie-cutter formulas that work for everyone. But every rainmaker builds on these three things.

1. Rainmakers Are Proactive

The individuals who always appear to connect to opportunities in the making are not sitting around waiting on someone else to make things happen. You’ll not hear this breed infer that success hinges on so-and-so doing such-and-such.

Rainmakers are the ones making the calls versus waiting on the phone to ring. These are the folks instigating the conversations and setting the meetings.

Rainmakers do not sit idly by. These are individuals of action.

2. Rainmakers Invest In Relationships

Don’t misunderstand. This proactive approach referenced above is not about stirring up activity without direction or purpose. Those who are consistently connected to new opportunities are con stanly making strategic investments in relationships.

Talk to someone with a long track record of business development success. Their network of relevant relationships will number in the hundreds. If a log of activities exists, it will revolve around activity specifically designed to creste  connections and build equity.

Rainmakers believe relationship trumps everything. And they act on this belief every day.

3. Rainmakers Understand Timing

Rainmaking is not a seasonal act. The individual or group hoping an eloquent speech today will make it rain tomorrow does not understand the role of time in a strategic business development equation. Equity is not built overnight.

If you’re launching a blog one week and counting on it to produce dividends the next, you will almost certainly be disappointed. Use your blog to connect and deliver value, and it is a great tool for building equity.

Sure…it is possible to get lucky, and generate business with a single contact. But few practices are built on luck; and long term business development success — the work that will sustain you over the life of a practice — requires relationships. A robust network of relationships — one large enough to consistently push work your way — is the result of a proactive mindset,  and strategic attention, over time.

It is tempting to see the rainmaker as one who simply has a knack for being in the right place at the right time. But as is almost always the case when we see consistent and repeated success, career-long rainmakers tend to create their own brand of luck.