How to Become a Rainmaker by Jeffrey Fox

I picked this book up recently for $0.50 at a garage sale, which is a steal of a deal considering I had been looking at it the week prior on Amazon at full price!

A quick read with short chapters, Fox manages to distill actionable advice into bite-sized packets. The advice dispensed can broadly be categorized as Mindset, Tactics, Actionables, and the Six Killer Sales Questions. Much is made of proper manners and etiquette, and can be applied broadly across one’s entire life.

I enjoyed the book and would have gladly paid full price for it. Some of my favorite ideas presented are as follows:

The Six Killer Questions

1. Do you have your appointment calendar handy? You need to make appointments to make rain.
2. Will you look at this and decide for yourself? Are they powerless, or in control?
3. Would you like to know our points of difference? This is the offset to your competitors and it doesn’t need to be better. Just different. This gives a reason to go with you that can be sold up the ladder in your clients organization.
4. If the demo/test/trial is successful, is there anything else prohibiting you from going ahead? If yes then you have uncovered a hidden issue. If no, then they have agreed to the sale.
5. Why don’t you give it a try? Momentum. Once they are using your product / service they are unlikely to stop. But to them it feels temporary, which provides safety.
6. What question should I be asking that I am not asking? The rainmakers job is to continually ask questions, to get all the information. Don’t miss anything.

Mindset

• Stay on high receive. Don’t talk about yourself. Ask probing questions to learn as much as possible
• Don’t drink coffee on a sales call. A spill can kill.
• You are not at lunch to eat lunch. You are there to ask questions, listen, and get a commitment.
• Be polite to everybody. Everybody is someone’s somebody.
• Never be late.
• Return every call every day.
• Never assume something that you can check. Pay attention to the details.
• Dare to be dumb. Asking too few questions is asking to fail.
• Onionize to understand. Ask why why why why why….
• Never be in a meeting.
• Use good manners. All the time. With everyone.
• Be the best dressed person you will meet today.
• Give your card to everyone.

Once a customer has hired you for a job, they don’t want to know about problems you have doing the job. They don’t care. Do a wonderful job, do it on time, do it on budget, don’t complain, and give the customer a little extra. This is the blueprint for customer satisfaction and continued sales success.

Tactics

• Fish where the big fish are. Talk to customers who are familiar with your product, already using your product, or have a high probability of using your product.
• Rainmakers sell money. Solutions can always be expressed in terms of dollars and cents.
• Always take the best seat. You don’t want your clients attention to wander.
• Objections are how customers express their desires. Turn objections into objectives.
• When you are in the middle of a job, start selling the next one.
• Save the small talk to the end. Don’t ask a question if you don’t care about the answer.
• Show the chain, sell the first link. Explain the entire lifecycle then go back and ask for a commitment to the first step. This puts the entire process in motion.
• Park in the back. Never show vulnerability. Give yourself a bit of privacy to prepare.

The lowest price is not always the lowest cost.

Actionables

• Determine your “calls to close” ratio. If it takes 10 calls to close a deal then it is better to make 10 calls to one customer, rather than 9 calls to two. Don’t dilute your efforts. Stay focused.

Use the points system and work to get four points every day, in any combination:

1. Get a lead
2. Make an appointment
3. Face to face meeting
4. Commitment to close

Dollarize Your Deal

1. Determine the competition
a. What do they offer?
b. How much do they charge?

2. State the benefit
a. Why they should do business with you

3. Quantify the benefit
a. Restate it in numerical terms

4. Calculate the dollar value of the benefit
a. No. of claims x cost per claim = amount saved per year

5. Restate dollarized value per unit
a. Total savings / Number of units = savings per unit

6. Show the net cost of your offer
a. Your price – savings per unit = true cost

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