Everyone with a widget to sell or a client to serve has an idea of what business development looks like or should look like. Many see rainmaking activities as a uniquely external endeavor, with activities that are better suited to extroverts. Some have heard rainmaking terms but have never seen them put into practice – while others let the concepts fall to the bottom of the pile after a few less-than-stellar experiences.
Listen here for a snippet of our interview with Maureen!
Over the past two years, we have worked with many professionals via the ConvergenceCoaching Rainmaker Development Program® and helped them broaden their abilities to develop business with great success. One of the CPAs we had the pleasure of working with experienced a complete mind-shift in her approach to growing her business. For this month’s Spotlight feature, we spoke with Maureen Moraccini, CPA, a recently appointed Shareholder of Gordon Advisors in Troy, Michigan about her journey toward rainmaking.
Being more comfortable behind the scenes, and a little skeptical, Maureen is the first to admit that rainmaking has not always been top of mind. For most of her accounting career, Maureen’s experience with business development was largely dependent on an invitation. It was, in fact, an invitation that led her to join a 6-month training program on rainmaking, something that Maureen says she came into with little to no expectations. “When you’ve been in the profession for a while, it can sometimes feel like you’ve seen it all,” says Maureen.
In truth, many CPAs experience similar pain points and obstacles when it comes to bringing new business into their firm.
“On the first day of training, I learned that there are 4 types of business developers and 4 levels of contribution,” says Maureen. “This concept went against every preconceived notion I had about business development.” From here, Maureen found a renewed new interest in sharpening her rainmaking skills.
“I used to feel hesitant, shy and maybe a little anxious about going into networking events,” Maureen says. “I had a checklist and I went through it with a lot of pressure to turn every meeting into a lead. Over the course of the program, I learned how to leverage my strengths, refine and reposition my elevator speech, and change the way I look at the people in the room. Instead of seeing everyone as a potential win/lose, I see potential partners to help my current clients. I am now able to do what I love doing most – build relationships. Becoming a strategic advisor for prospects depends on your relationship – gaining an understanding of their business, looking out for them and not being tied to the clock. Moving away from traditional marketing efforts and connecting with prospects in a way that is winsome changed not only my mind but also my body language. It’s amazing how this alone has impacted my business.”
Maureen also learned that rainmaking is not one size fits all. “Rainmaking and Client Service are really of equal importance,” says Maureen. “You can develop rain with your current client base by identifying services you aren’t currently providing, looking for ways to WOW them, and deepening existing relationships. We need experts in the field bringing new clients in, but we also need people that want to serve our clients well.”
Maureen’s Tips for Rainmaking Success:
- Understand that Business Development needs to evolve. Just because you took a webinar or two, doesn’t mean you’re set.
- Embrace the process, don’t fear it. Rainmaking isn’t black and white, there are a lot of gray areas. Navigate with an open mind.
- Stick to it – business development may feel clunky at first, but once you find a rhythm, you’ll reap great rewards.
- Use your resources! Find a training program that gives you the tools you need to succeed.
- Find out where you excel and how you can serve your clients uniquely.
With any program, you get out what you put into it. Maureen didn’t come to the table hungry, but once she got there, she developed an appetite and wasn’t afraid to try new things. Her courage to keep an open mind guaranteed her success in a range of activities – from networking and building referral sources to leveraging social media and using modern sales strategies. If you would like to recharge your business development skills or find out how you can encourage more rainmaking in your firm, please contact one of our consultants today.
The Rainmaker Development Program® was created by ConvergenceCoaching, LLC. Inovautus Consulting is an authorized facilitator and coach of the ConvergenceCoaching Rainmaker Development Program®.