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Jan Copley
Certified Practice Advisor
Atticus, Inc.

530 South Lake Avenue, Suite 250
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 696-3145
(626) 421-6747 (fax)
jan@copleycoaching.com

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What Makes A Great Rainmaker? Part Six

April 20, 2011

Filed under: Rainmaker — @ 4:25 pm

I had planned to end my rainmaker series after five installments, but I recently received this “Business Booster” from John Thompson, a colleague of mine. John, a mortgage professional, is one of the best entrepreneurs I know.

John’s short posting made me realize there is a fifth component to being a great rainmaker: authenticity. You, as a great rainmaker, allow other people to know the real you! You are willing to let people know personal (that is, not related to your profession) aspects of your life. You realize that if you pretend to be someone else, no one will trust you — and who wants to work with someone they don’t trust?

Please let me know if you agree with me!

What Makes a Great Rainmaker? Part Five

April 15, 2011

Filed under: Rainmaker — @ 2:22 pm

As I’ve written in my previous four blog postings, I think there are four key components to being a great rainmaker: (1) listening; (2) value; (3) commitment; and (4) vulnerability.

I’ve previously written about listening, value and commitment. Today I write about vulnerability. If you want to be a great rainmaker, you must allow yourself to be vulnerable. It’s scary, I know!

What does vulnerability mean, exactly? It means you, as a great rainmaker, are open to asking for help. It also means that you, as a great rainmaker, are willing to risk failure to move your business forward.

This is how I think you, as a great rainmaker, use your vulnerability to grow your practice:

A great rainmaker asks for help. You, as a great rainmaker, are willing to admit when you need assistance — from colleagues, referral sources, and even clients — to grow your practice. You don’t see this willingness to seek help as a sign of weakness; rather, you realize people are willing to help and you take advantage of those resources.

Being open to assistance manifests itself in many ways. It may be as simple as a straightforward request for referrals from clients. It may be more complex; a great rainmaker may ask another professional for a referral to another professional. A great rainmaker is willing to learn what has and has not worked for other entrepreneurs. A great rainmaker is willing to pay for assistance with issues confronting him or her, such as working with a marketing company and a website developer. And, I don’t know a successful lawyer who hasn’t received some form of coaching during his or her career.

A great rainmaker risks failure. You, as a great rainmaker, know you sometimes have to take chances and risk failure to grow your business. You take a chance every time you try something new. You might not think of it this way, but you take a chance and risk failure with every new employee you hire! However, you, as a great rainmaker know that you must take chances to grow your business — to do otherwise is to guarantee stagnation and failure.

A great rainmaker admits mistakes. We all make mistakes. You, as a great rainmaker, are willing to admit it. You don’t hide behind something or blame your mistakes on others; you own up to them. You show integrity. Besides, you know that admitting a mistake is not a sign of weakness. Rather, it makes you human and endearing! Showing your vulnerability makes you trustworthy, which means people are more likely to want to work with you.

What do you think of my observations? Please let me know!

What Makes a Great Rainmaker? Part Four

April 13, 2011

Filed under: Rainmaker — @ 12:53 pm

I think there are four key components to being a great rainmaker: (1) listening; (2) value; (3) commitment; and (4) vulnerability.

I’ve previously written about listening and value. Today I write about commitment. If you want to be a great rainmaker, you must be committed to rainmaking. What does that mean, exactly? It means that you, as a great rainmaker, know who you are and are consistent in getting your message out.

This is how I think you, as a great rainmaker, are committed to rainmaking:

A great rainmaker communicates. You, as a great rainmaker, understand who you are in the marketplace, and you communicate it to the people around you. You know who you help, how you do it, and what’s unique about you and your practice.

Not only that, you have a way of communicating what you do so people remember you. You know that when someone asks you what you do, “I am an attorney” is not a compelling or memorable answer! You have developed a short, pithy speech — what we at Atticus call your “Laser Talk” — as an essential part of your marketing plan, and you use it! People understand what you do. They remember you. And, new business comes to you as a result.

A great rainmaker gets out there. You, as a great rainmaker, do not sit behind your desk waiting for the phone to ring. You know you have to get out in the community to meet potential clients and referral sources. Therefore, you set aside time on your calendar specifically dedicated to marketing. Because you do this consistently, you touch more people, develop more relationships, and generate more business.

A great rainmaker is open to new ideas. You, as a great rainmaker, know marketing is as much an art as a science. You won’t learn if something works until you try it — more than once. You, as a great rainmaker, know new ways of marketing your business are continuously developing (think Social Media!). Finally, you also know marketing ideas that have worked in the past may not work in the future (think Yellow Pages!).

The only way to deal with all this is to learn and try new things. You are willing to implement them in your own practice to see if they work. Because you are open to learning, you are ahead of other people in your profession and you take advantage of opportunities others miss.

A great rainmaker is consistent and persistent. You, as a great rainmaker, know it takes time to build a relationship. You know it takes multiple contacts to build a relationship so someone will know, like, and trust you enough to refer business your way. You also know that if you want a relationship with someone, you are 100% responsible for building and maintaining that relationship — you can’t wait for someone to take the first (or the second, or the third) step.

Therefore, you have a system for regularly following up with your marketing contacts, knowing that, over time, you will build relationships with them. Your follow-up is consistent, not haphazard. Because you are patient, you have strong, long-term relationships with your referral sources that generate quality business for them — and for you.

Please let me know if these tips are helpful!

What Makes a Great Rainmaker? Part Three

April 8, 2011

Filed under: Rainmaker — @ 1:06 pm

I think there are four key components to being a great rainmaker: (1) listening; (2) value; (3) commitment; and (4) vulnerability.

I’ve previously written about listening. Today I write about value. If you want to be a great rainmaker, provide value. What does that mean, exactly? It means that you, as a great rainmaker, consider the other person’s concerns and provide resources to that person, even if you don’t get immediate benefit from doing so.

This is how I think you, as a great rainmaker, provide value:

A great rainmaker provides help. Because you, as a great rainmaker, have a genuine interest in a potential client or referral source, you may become aware of issues that person is facing. If you can provide assistance to him or her, you offer to do so, even if you don’t receive an immediate benefit in return. You will, if nothing else, earn that person’s gratitude, which is key to developing the kind of relationship that will lead to referrals from that person.

A great rainmaker acts as a connector. Sometimes, you may not be able to provide assistance to a potential referral source, but you know someone who can. You, as a great rainmaker, know how to match the right people with the right partners, even if that partner is not you. Why would you do this? At the very least, you’ll be a hero (which, although not necessarily remunerative, is always good for the ego); at best, someone will remember you with gratitude and refer work your way when he or she has the opportunity to do so.

A great rainmaker has an abundance mentality. Are you detecting a theme here? You, as a great rainmaker, put the interests of someone — a potential client or referral source — before your own. You don’t fear competition, either from other lawyers or other business professionals, because you know that, for great rainmakers, there is enough business to go around.

A great rainmaker is reliable. Finally, you, as a great rainmaker, are reliable. If you promise to do something, you do it — and on time! You follow up with someone to find out if you have provided assistance to that person. By doing so, you will impress the other person with your care and concern — which can only lead to leaving the kind of good impression that causes someone to remember you when it’s time for that person to take advantage of the services you offer.

Please let me know if these tips are helpful!

What Makes a Great Rainmaker? Part Two

April 6, 2011

Filed under: Rainmaker — @ 1:23 pm

I think there are four key components to being a great rainmaker: (1) listening; (2) value; (3) commitment; and (4) vulnerability.

Today we will talk about listening. If you want to be a great rainmaker, listen.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve sat through a lot of discussions with potential referral sources. I’ve walked away from some looking forward to working with the person; I’ve ended others hoping I don’t have to talk to that person again! If you want to be great rainmaker, and you want to grow your business through referrals, it means you have to build relationships with referral sources. And that means listening.

This is how I think you, as a great rainmaker, listens:

A great rainmaker shows genuine interest. Have you ever had the impression that the person you are talking to is only interested in fishing in your client pool and has absolutely no interest in you as a person? It’s not a very successful sales tool, is it? You walk away feeling used.

In contrast, you, as a great rainmaker, will express genuine interest in the other person, the person’s concerns, and the person’s concerns for his or her clients. That person will feel good; he or she will start to trust you. Treat any referral source you want to work with the same way. It will lead to the kind of relationship that can generate work for you.

A great rainmaker lets you finish your sentence. Every family and every office has one: a person who constantly interrupts. And what do we think of that person? Annoying! So, you, as the great rainmaker, sit back, focus the conversation on the other person, and lets that person have his/her say. The person will enjoy the conversation and you might learn something useful.

A great rainmaker doesn’t lapse into technobabble. I recently met with some trust officers and we talked about, among other things, marketing. They asked me what marketing mistakes I’ve seen other financial advisors make. I told them that I never want to hear a technical discussion about asset allocation ever again!

So, what’s the point of this? You, as a great rainmaker don’t focus on technical expertise in your conversation. You know that if you lapse into legal-technical, people won’t understand what you’re talking about. People assume you know your stuff; if you start talking about how great you are; you’ll sound defensive and as if you don’t really know what you’re talking about. Besides, it’s boring! You, as a great rainmaker, just let referral sources know you can help them and their clients.

A great rainmaker never, ever pounces. One of the things I’ve learned from being an advisor is never give advice unless someone asks for it. This goes for rainmaking, too. You, as a great rainmaker, don’t break into conversations to make points for your own benefit. If a potential referral source starts talking about something in which you have expertise, you, as a great rainmaker, don’t pounce to say what you can do. Rather, you, as a great rainmaker, will offer assistance only if asked, and without turning the spotlight of the conversation your way.

Please let me know if these tips are helpful!

What Makes a Great Rainmaker? Part One

April 1, 2011

Filed under: Rainmaker — @ 1:33 pm

To paraphrase Jane Austen, “it is a truth universally acknowledged” that law schools don’t teach law students how to market. Although I didn’t think about it when I was a law student, this is a huge omission in an attorney’s education — just how are we supposed to make a living practicing law if we don’t have any clients and don’t know how to find them?

I thought I would tackle this question through a series of blog articles. So, here goes!

One way — and one of the best ways — to generate business is through referrals. A good referral source is a wonderful thing. If you develop a real relationship with someone, he or she may consistently refer work your way and serve as a resource for you and your clients.

A referral source can be another attorney, a financial professional, a satisfied client, or someone else you’ve touched and who feels that he or she benefits from associating with you.

So, how does a great rainmaker create relationships with referral sources? I think there are four aspects to that person:

    1. A great rainmaker listens;
    2. A great rainmaker gives value;
    3. A great rainmaker is committed to marketing; and
    4. A great rainmaker is open to vulnerability.

We’ll go through each of these rainmaking assets in subsequent entries. If you’d like to contribute what you think makes a great rainmaker, let me know!