WE RECOMMEND: Rain Making: The Professional’s Guide to Attracting New Clients by Ford Harding
Rain Making: The Professional's Guide to Attracting New Clients by Ford Harding has been out since 1997 with a second edition released in 2008. It is a timeless guide to advise the development of rainmakers.
Harding defines a rainmaker as someone who brings in business, generates leads, and develops relationships that turn into profitable projects. The focus of the book is to help technical professionals learn how to market themselves or their services. “It’s basically a how-to manual that reviews all the marketing techniques you will ever need to know to sell professional services,” describes Keri Hammond, MARKETLINK Principal. It includes learning which techniques are the best for marketing yourself and your firm, understanding how to make cold calls and sales calls, and networking to develop new clients.
“The research that this book is based on is so applicable to both marketing and technical staff for professional services firms,” says Keri Hammond. Keri is familiar with the author, having organized a successful conference in 2006 and securing Harding as keynote speaker. “It is specifically written for individuals at professional service firms who want to become a rainmaker.” Those individuals can be anyone from principals, project managers, engineers, and architects to contractors and marketing and business development staff.
One of the most eye-opening aspects of Harding’s research describes the traits of the industry’s best rainmakers. It’s easy to assume that the top salespeople must fit the stereotype—an aggressive extrovert and the life of any party. According to Ford, they do not need to be. The most important traits of a rainmaker include:
- Productivity on existing projects
- Interest in marketing early in their career
- Keeping on top of their credentials
- Finding ways to improve the firm’s services
- Being specialists
These five traits are achievable for anyone invested in the industry. “This means that anyone and everyone could and should be marketing,” asserts Keri. The book corroborates the idea that there is no one right way to market and that rainmaking is the key to success at any firm. It is the perfect entrance into natural marketing for any interested individual.
We recommend Rain Making: The Professional’s Guide to Attracting New Clients by Ford Harding, which explores accessible strategies, research, and guides on how any professional at service firms can make authentic, lead-generating connections—in essence, successful and well-balanced marketing.