26 May 2021
Rain Maker is a term to describe a business person who is particularly adept at introducing new clients to a firm and closing big deals. The term is most often associated with professional services firms (most popularly legal firms) and has its origins in the United States.
Rain Makers are regarded with some reverence with colleagues often mystified as to how they are consistently successful, and attributing an almost magical quality to their unique ability.
The term derives from American Indian folklore; stories of the rain-dance - where a tribe member was thought to make it rain through a mystical process.
Rain Makers make it rain money.
The typical 'Rain Maker' is a senior partner who is well connected (knows many high-profile people) and spends a lot of time socializing. However, in reality highly-successful Rain-Makers have a very well developed instinct for potential new business, usually identified through conversations with their business network, reading the business press and other information sources.
The final step in their process is being able to 'work-their-contacts' to first identify someone near to the inner-circle of the potential deal and then arranging an introduction.
An important quality for successful Rain-Makers is projecting an image of gravitas and being seen as 'shakers-and-movers' - in other words they have considerable personal credibility and influence.
Such is their reputation for influence, people in their business networks will take the trouble to make contact with the Rain Maker and voluntarily provide information that could assist identify or close a deal. Such a gesture would then enable them to contact the Rain Maker at a later time to return the favor (or indeed, the Rain Maker would similarly offer useful information to his/her own network).
Although the popular saying is "it's not what you know, but who you know" - Rain Makers trade information AND know many influential people...
Knowledge is power.