Secrets of Great Rainmakers

A review by Andrew Forward, of Jeffrey J. Fox's book on selling

What is a great rainmaker?

We are always selling, regardless what we do. Instead of fighting this fact you should arm yourself with the necessary tools to at least understand the habits of successful sellers. And by the way, a rainmaker is a metaphor for great sellers (something that I did not know until I picked up this book).

Even if you do not work in your sales department, or ever want to, Jeffrey Fox has some great advice from some very successful people.

The summary below provides a brief glimpse into what makes a rainmaker. The text below should:

  1. Give you a few pointers about selling well
  2. Help you to decide whether or not the book is worth the read
  3. Provide a brush up on the content after you have read Secrets of Great Rainmakers

Dollarize your selling proposition

Never admit to having competitors


Get Out there

"Thank you for taking the time. Based on our experience with companies like yours and based on my research, we are confident we can save your company $10,000. May I continue?"

The first buy-signal: "We work with X, good, cheaper!"

Some customers may assume that company X is your competitor, but remember you do not admit to having competitors. The mere fact that the customer, Jayne, agreed to meet with you implies that she thinks you can help. Jayne cannot admit that she made a mistake and will usually be very defensive at first. Several key buy indicators include when the customer smiles, nods, tests your product, asks technical questions and a schedules follow up meeting.

Turn $6 into $60,000

Do not be cheap with pennies when dealing with customers (especially new ones). By going one step beyond, you have a lot of lose. A man walks into a men's clothing store, on Sunday, and needs buttons. Provide him with great service, fancy new buttons and do it all for nothing. That same man returned the next day and was a loyal customer for many years spending upwards of $60,000 to outfit his entire family.

6 buttons, 10 minutes, uncommon courtesy resulting in $60k in sales

Selling is a contact sport

Rolodex roulete


Precall Homework

Precall Planning

Sales Plan

"I have talked to 10 of your customers... You will be interested in what they are saying about you. I'll bring that information with me."

Follow up phone call

How to start a sales call / meeting

When meeting with a client avoid the cliché of bonding with the customer (i.e. I see you like to fish, hey me too). It is just plain stupid. Only after the sales call, and if you really care, should we ask about that big trophy in the glass case. At the very start of the meeting be sure to confirm the customer's availability,

"We agreed to 15 minutes, is that still okay with you?"

This will achieve the following:

Asking for the order

Getting client referrals

Ask with aided prompts "Are there ____ (members of your country club) who want to get the same deal?"

Free is not a loss leader

Loss leaders are losers - they lose you money attract the wrong customers are should never be part of sales or marketing campaign. Free is a good customer getter as good customers know what "free" means

Good faith that a successful experience will lead to a purchase


Do not assume who the decision make is and do not assume that the person who says they are the decision maker, really are.

"In addition to yourself, who else is involved in ____ (decision making process)?"

"And what might their concerns be about going forward?"

Customer participation

Leads to persuation so let them take the pen and crunch some numbers, eat the cookie (if you sell cookies), let them use the calculator. When the customer invests effort, time or money in the buying process they are closer to buying. Try to get the customer to:

Do not burden customers with to-dos and do not make it hard to participate.