The rain maker is a mythical being (usually associated with the legal profession) who excels at generating new business. Several years ago an attorney introduced me to a new term ” the “rain broker.” The rain broker is a person who, due to his or her unique position in life, is able to connect you with many individuals with whom you could do business. Relationships with these individuals are critical to growing your business. Leads are great, but introductions to qualified prospects are golden. If you want to grow your business, you need to do all you can to identify and nurture relationships with rain brokers. There are several key steps to keep in mind when developing these relationships.
- Identify Industries with Overlapping Customers ” A prerequisite for rain brokers is their exposure to people who could become your clients. You can begin identifying these individuals by looking for companies that market non-competing products to prospects you want to reach. These people will be in a position to refer you to people who could become your clients.
- Search for Ways to Help Your Rain Broker ” Referral fees are nice, but rarely incentive enough to get you an introduction. Look for ways to help your rain brokers improve their core business. This approach has proven to be extremely successful for Conrin. Conrin’s first major marketing campaign targeted advertising agencies. Conrin did not intend to make these agencies major customers, but groomed them to become rain brokers. Ad agencies were targeted because they generate client leads that do not receive sales follow-up. Essentially, Conrin could provide proof (via its closed-loop qualification process) that sales reps for their ad clients weren’t following up on the promising leads the agencies had generated. This provided protection for the agency against claims of campaigns with poor ROI. The relationships this campaign built, on top of the business it generated, prompted a flood of business early in Conrin’s history.
- Say Thank You ” Always thank your rain broker. If you have a revenue-sharing agreement, cut a check immediately. If you do not, don’t be cheap. Take a moment and think, “would I have paid a couple of hundred dollars for that lead?” Of course you would have! Open your wallet and send your rain broker a nice gift.
Relationship selling is always easier than a cold call. By taking the time to develop a large group of rain brokers, you can be sure to have a steady stream of highly qualified leads, regardless of what people say about the economy.