Rainmakers: How to Find, Focus and Retain Them

 John Ruh  Recruiting, Sales

Throughout history there are people who have said that if you paid them enough they could bring down rain from a sky empty of clouds and make an arid land fertile. I’m not too sure about the success rate of those super weathermen, but I do know that, in business, a Rainmaker can help a company grow quickly. What are the traits of top salespeople? These are people who see opportunities that others don’t and can build a new territory from scratch.

The bigger question is, how do you find these unique people? And, once you have found Rainmakers, how do you focus and retain them?

Finding Them is All in the Recruitment Description

ALERT: This is not a job description.

You need to create a recruitment description that speaks to the person who loves to do new business development. One that lets them know their unique skills will be rewarded. Treat your potential Rainmaker like you would a valued client. Rainmakers don’t want a job, they seek an opportunity. Speak to them of the opportunities your company offers. Once you talk to them in a language they understand, you will achieve the critical first step….getting them in the door. Note: A Rainmaker does not need to be from your industry. The good ones can sell anything with the right tools and a product they believe in. Look at their history of success, not the name of their employers.

The Secret of Focusing Them Is to Give Them Lots of Freedom

It is not wise to bog down Rainmakers with tedious details and paperwork. One of the traits of top salespeople is that they are entrepreneurs at heart, which is why they are such superstars. Let them bring you new business in their own way. Otherwise, they will lose interest and move on. Be sure to provide them with the back-up support they need so they can devote their time to the hunting you want them to do.

The Secret to Retaining Them

Make sure they always have a challenge and the opportunity to make more money. This will create “golden handcuffs” to keep them working and producing for you. Rainmakers excel in situations where they receive a commission on all sales without any upper limits. That way, the more they sell, the more income they earn. And, subsequently, the more business your company receives. Start limiting a Rainmaker’s income and they will move on to the next opportunity.