7 Ways to Identify the 'Rainmaker' on Your Sales Team

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Maddie Sheng
Maddie Sheng


It should come at no surprise that your sales team harbors a range of talents and strengths. Some members may be quick to close deals, while others are better at forging client relationships. In addition, every sales team should have some rainmakers. Yes, as in, make it rain!
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identify the rainmaker salespeople

What is a rainmaker in sales?

A rainmaker in sales is someone who frequently brings in new business and generates leads for the company. Without a doubt, they are high-achieving individuals, making them key assets to the team.

The name is said to be inspired by a tribal practice of rainmaking, where a rainmaker summons rain for crops to prosper. Similarly, a sales rainmaker allows a company to prosper through never-ending business development and new connections.

So, how can you identify the rainmaker(s) on your team? Below are some common traits of these superstar salespeople to help you pinpoint them on your team.

Common Rainmaker Sales Traits

1. They’re focused on the bigger picture.

It’s common for salespeople to have goals that are created by or with their managers. These goals often focus on hitting certain numbers and sales revenue.

While these sales goals apply to rainmakers as well, they’re not their sole focus. Rainmakers are driven by a larger vision which they work to make reality by setting a combination of sales, financial, career, and personal goals. Rainmakers believe that working to meet and even exceed these goals will propel them towards success.

For example, this could be a working parent who knows they must bring in a certain income to support his or her children. A larger vision of being able to provide the best education and lifestyle for the children is what fuels them to move forward. Instead of feeling instant gratification from money, rainmakers think long-term and have clarity on what they’re ultimately working for.

2. They’re experts in the industry.

A good salesperson is great at selling their product. A rainmaker salesperson sells not only the product, but also the brand and vision of their company. To do this, they meticulously study their industry and understand how their pitch can stand out against competitors.

This skill is especially valuable to build credibility and trust with the client. It allows rainmakers to bounce back from any concern, question, or hesitation a prospect may have during a conversation. Rainmakers can clearly communicate a product’s features and benefits without a doubt. But in the end, the client is buying the story that rainmakers craft.

3. They know how to adapt to customers.

Rainmakers realize that customers are people at the end of the day, each with their own unique personality, backgrounds, and beliefs.

Before meeting clients, rainmakers thoroughly prepare to make sure they understand the customer. This can include learning more about the customer’s needs, characteristics, and behaviors such as their business model, challenges, potential reservations, communication style, and more.

Because of their stellar soft skills, rainmakers know how to cater to people of all kinds and make the customer feel comfortable when speaking with them. Their power to put customers at ease and switch off defense mode increases the chances of striking a deal.

4. They form genuine connections with clients.

Rainmaker salespeople see every client as a person to form a relationship with. Now, they don’t have to be best friends, but it’s valuable to maintain a genuine relationship with prospects.

Instead of overwhelming the client with offers, rainmakers take time to listen to the client’s issues, complaints, and goals. In fact, the initial meeting might not even involve a typical pitch — rather, this time may be used by a rainmaker to step into the client’s shoes. As a result, clients often gain appreciation for and trust in the salesperson.

This relationship selling can pay off in the long run in multiple ways. For one, existing clients will return for more, becoming a constant source of business. These connections can also open new doors and refer new contacts from their own network to the rainmaker salesperson.

5. They have a growth mindset.

A person with a growth mindset believes it’s possible to change and develop your abilities over time, and that failure only helps to learn. They’re free from limiting beliefs telling them that they’re not good enough or something is impossible.

Instead of thinking, “I don’t know how to do this,” someone with a growth mindset thinks, “I can learn how to do this.” The difference is significant since the growth mindset encourages the person to be proactive rather than give up.

For rainmakers, this mindset is required for every aspect of the job. A growth mindset will prevent them from being easily discouraged and push them to constantly sharpen their skills. Moreover, when receiving feedback, rainmakers don’t take it personally and use it as their chance to improve their craft.

6. They know how to handle rejection.

For many people, the word "no” seems like a dead end. That’s it. Everything’s over.

For rainmakers, no simply means not now. It may take some more time and conversations, but rainmakers believe they will eventually win the deal, even if the chances are unlikely. This positive outlook drives and encourages them to continue building their relationships with the client to keep them top of mind.

When faced with rejection, rainmakers also take time to investigate the reason behind the decision that was made. Perhaps their client’s business is reprioritizing or they need more clarification on a certain part of the product. Honing in on why the rejection happened helps rainmakers better understand the client’s perspective and adjust accordingly. Or, simply take that lesson with them to their next meeting with a new prospect.

7. They motivate other salespeople.

As a salesperson, it’s important to stay motivated. Times can get tough, so something or someone needs to keep the drive going.

Rainmakers inspire the rest of the sales team to do better with their outstanding performance and disciplined selves. They act as role models for the team and are often highly regarded by their peers.

What’s unique about their way of motivating is that it’s not necessarily intended. For rainmakers, they’re most likely not using every day as a chance to motivate the team. Yet, indirectly, they do so through their admirable actions and results — they’re able to naturally lift up the people around them which makes them highly valuable team members.

Rainmakers are all-stars and their characteristics make them sought after team members by sales managers. Now knowing some common qualities of rainmakers, can you identify who the rainmakers are on your sales team?


Topics: Sales Training

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