(By Gil Gerretsen) Although the early entrepreneurial explorers of decades ago provided a great abundance of business science and insight for modern entrepreneurs to follow, there remains one critical arena where entrepreneurs seem to resist the scientific mindset. Of notable interest is that such undisciplined behavior thrives in the most critical part of the success equation. For most modern entrepreneurs and business leaders, the entire "rainmaking" process continues to be a gamble.
If you're not familiar with the "rainmaking" term, it generally refers to a the seemingly magical ability some people appear to have for capturing new business. To the unskilled observer it is often not clear how that new business activity was caused, so the "rainmaker" is seen as a mysterious practitioner of almost godly status. However, in its essence, rainmaking is the ability to consistently deliver new revenue.
However, the mystical powers of persuasion attributed to rainmakers is a troublesome telltale. How is it that otherwise intelligent and process-minded entrepreneurs could fall for the idea that the entire process of reaching new prospects, securing their patronage, and then optimizing the relationship is just a slight measure above happenstance?
Certainly, the rainmaking process was once unknown or unrefined, but that should no longer be the case. If entrepreneurs hope to safely reach their success destinations, then they must shift from their unproductive and dangerous patterns. The navigational tools associated with modern rainmaking are becoming an ever more exact science. Guesswork (operating from the gut) has become increasingly foolish and dangerous when competing with other entrepreneurs who have become skilled navigators.
Nearly every rainmaking question which arises in business has been accurately answered by many experiences. We learn the principles and prove them by repeated tests. Results have been watched and recorded, so no lessons have been lost. Prior entrepreneurial explorers have left their records and ideas behind to show the way and help build a viable navigational framework.
Now, the only uncertainties pertain to the people and the products, not to methods. We cannot say that a specific offer will be popular, but we know how to find out very quickly. The perils have been almost eliminated. The results have improved exponentially. Individuality is still an essential element of business and rainmaking, but those variable things which depend on ingenuity have no place in the modern era. A wise rainmaker’s framework leads to predictable results and larger returns.
Seasoned rainmakers know that a successful framework has three key elements. "Marketing" encompasses the tools and processes associated with finding and connecting with prospects. "Persuasion" includes all the tools and processes associated with converting prospects into customers (aka selling). "Retention" is comprised of the processes associated with optimizing the value and longevity of those customer relationships.
Thousands of conspicuous successes show the possibilities. Their variety points out its almost unlimited scope. There remains but a single decision. You are at a crossroad. Will you continue believing in the mystical arts and mysterious voodoo, or will you move forward as a scientifically-minded rainmaker?