Very simply put, a ‘rainmaker’ within a business setting is an individual that has the ability to bring as much business into the company as possible. Whether that be monetary, by introducing new clients or in other ways, for example as a conduit to networking with complementary businesses, rainmakers just have the knack for bringing people together and getting deals across the line.

The term is often applied to law firms and those within the organisation that have influence, a track record of winning new business and the power to make a difference – consistently.

The ability to win new business when it seems that every avenue has been exhausted will seem like magic to some.

To that end, it may appear that the skills required are such as to be unique. However, with a little practice and a lot of graft, it is entirely possible for anyone within an organisation to hit the jackpot.

Anyone can be a rainmaker.

The reason why many are not is because the vast majority of people place roadblocks in front of themselves because they lack confidence and motivation, thus harming their potential to ‘make it rain.’

Where does the term rainmaker come from?

The term has its origins in with the Native American community and was made in reference to those who it was believed could summon clouds to release rainwater.

It has become more popular in the modern vernacular when defining those within an organisation and their specific role to it, not forgetting that he or she can come from any part of the business.

The term rainmaker is, therefore, a metaphor for success today.

What’s interesting, certainly within the business setting, is that as long as the end result is positive for a rainmaker, the means which have been used to get there are often overlooked as irrelevant.

If the rainmaker doesn’t dip below the line of acceptable moral standards, his or her standing with the business is always valued.

What is a sales rainmaker?

For want of a better term, a salesman (or woman).

An individual with the gift of the gab, and a competitive edge and desire for the prize. There’s no point in being a shrinking violet in this particular game. He or she who grabs the nettle is the one who’ll nab a share of the spoils.

The sales rainmaker is an excellent communicator.

Of course, not everyone is adept at communicating well, but, nevertheless, everyone communicates.

The reason rainmakers are successful at what they do is because they never stop listening and learning.

Rainmaker principles

Listening is a hugely underrated aspect of a rainmaker’s armoury. It allows one to adapt the conversation as needed and to find a common ground which ensures a more natural flow.

There’s nothing more frustrating that thinking you are talking to a brick wall. You want people invested in what you have to say and in order to do that, you must listen and pick up the right cues in order to align the content of your conversation.

If you’ve listened, then success and retention rates are bound to be higher because, yes, you’ve guessed it, the customer and/or client feels special because they’ve been listened to.

Pretty simple when you break it down to the nuts and bolts.

Make a mental note when breakdowns in conversation occur as this will be of benefit later on. As will developing strategies to help with your own communication skills.

No rainmaker ever got anywhere without goal setting.

It’s incredibly important for a sales rainmaker to remain focused at all times on what the goals and aspirations are. The thrill of the chase to win a new client, of the ‘courtship,’ and finally the conversion of a prospective account is what sales rainmakers live for. Make sure goals are consistently changed to keep the hunger alive.

Play to win. Always.

If knowledge is power, then ensure that you are fully versed in every possible aspect of the business. If you are only armed with ‘general sales patter’ when heading into a meeting or otherwise, don’t expect to come away from it with anything other than that voice inside your head ringing in your ears and telling you that you could’ve done better.

Dependant on your area of sales, consistently develop your capabilities. That mindset will stand you in good stead, and one can never have ‘too much’ knowledge. Understanding this and being open to new information should ensure that you deliver a higher level of service to customers/clients.

Ask yourself if you are a ‘can do’ or ‘can’t do’ individual? Which of those do you think is likely to be the more successful as a sales rainmaker?

In order to motivate others too, it’s important to set the tone. Ensure the business leaders listen to all of their employees, so that everyone is on the same page. A sales rainmaker will always need a gold standard team behind him or her, but if those members of staff are unable to reach their own personal targets to oil the wheels because, for example, the higher ups have different ideas, that can impose upon a rainmaker’s success.

Sales rainmakers are always encouraged to go out and find new leads and get the conversation started.

To network extensively and to find any pain points to a potential deal quickly. Certain circumstances will compromise the efforts on occasion because not all sales are plain sailing, but in most cases a solution can be found if the rainmaker is dogged enough to see things through, even if things become problematic.


Sales rainmakers rarely doubt themselves. Having the confidence in oneself and a particular way of working is paramount. If you’re not 100% clear on what it is you’re selling, then how can you expect others to be. There is no shortage of potential customers available if you free yourself of any doubts.

Opportunities come and go every day, and for a variety of reasons. Excuses shouldn’t be used to place a barrier in the way of getting out there to spark more conversations. A sales rainmaker’s ability to dust themselves down and go again is key to their successes. Remember that the sales are always there and if you’re aren’t getting them, someone else is.

Customer behaviour is constantly evolving, and many are wise to the old tricks of the trade when it comes to sales. Therefore, a sales rainmaker must similarly evolve, developing new techniques and mindsets in order to be able to deal effectively with people from all backgrounds.

Those skills can absolutely be learned by anyone prepared to put in the hard yards.


2 responses to “What Is A ‘Rainmaker’ In A Business Setting?

    1. Given that a rainmaker, as the article states, is ‘an individual that has the ability to bring as much business into the company as possible,’ Donald Trump could arguably be deemed a rainmaker in the literal sense.

      However, we’d have to take issue as the current President of the United States is a failed businessman many times over.

      ‘Making it rain’ is a skill, absolutely, but we’d question whether Trump was initially successful at so doing purely on the basis of his public profile rather than his business acumen.

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