For some skilled individuals, there is nothing particularly difficult in prospecting for new business. By that I mean some salespeople just take naturally to hunting and gathering. Indeed, some industries have traditionally depended on individuals with this skillset to bring clients, money, business, or even intangible prestige to their organizations. The legal profession labels these individuals “rainmakers.” As recognizable assets, these professionals have distinguishing traits in their personality. Rainmakers, for example, are confident, resilient and socially adept. You can identify these highly valued traits, and many more, among your own team by using sales aptitude tests.
Sales aptitude tests will identify your rainmakers
Managers should identify key rainmaker traits to support and nurture. Once recognized, leaders can guide select employees to the fine points of business procurement and coach them in business development. Importantly, managers can save time and energy, confident that the rep has the personality traits associated with rainmakers.
Maddie Sheng, blogger for Hubspot, has comprised “7 Ways to Identify the ‘Rainmaker’ on Your Sales Team.” Admittedly, every team has a variety of strengths in different measure, and it is incumbent on the manager/coach to make the most of this raw material. Sheng points out that those individuals who are particularly adept at generating leads are key assets to the team and should be given the opportunity to shine. As a suggestion, look for these personality traits residing in your team members:
Able to focus on the big picture – Long-term thinking is a hallmark of those who excel at prospecting. An expanded vision for the organization drives rainmakers. Therefore, managers can paint in broad strokes and communicate a combination of goals, confident that the connections will be made and the boxes checked.
Expansive knowledge of the industry – Rainmakers are lifelong learners. Moreover, they know the industry and have a thirst for relevant knowledge. When identifying these new business generators, look for the traits of curiosity and self-motivation. Effective sales aptitude tests readily identify these traits and offer coaching tips to exploit their value.
Genuine empathy and connection to customers – Admittedly, not every team member has the soft skills required to make customers feel comfortable and the ability to prevent a crisis. Even so, true rainmakers can often diffuse a tense situation and create an opportunity to strengthen the relationship based on their instinctive personality traits.
Can you teach someone to be a rainmaker?
Armed with the knowledge provided by sales aptitude tests, managers may be able to isolate those individuals whose personality traits will allow them to exceed at new business generation. According to Dr. Larry Richard, of LawyerBrain, LLC, ego drive, resilience and empathy are traits that drive rainmaking success. Interestingly, Dr. Richard contends that 20% of partners in a law firm are natural rainmakers while 20% will never be comfortable with the activity. “The 60% in between, however, can be taught skills…that will make many of them much more effective at growing business, deepening relationships and attracting new clients.”
The competencies required for rainmaking
Fortunately, it is not difficult to make the leap between connecting personality traits and the skills needed to generate new business. Dr. Richard’s suggestions provide a guide for managers who are willing to study the personality traits of their team members. Some of the top traits to look for:
- Good listening skills
- Communicates at all levels
- Seeks process improvement
Identify the traits of your team members today
Prospecting success in the new year begins with an assessment of personality traits of your current team. Likewise, you can discover the power of managing and coaching to the strengths of your most valuable asset. In addition, you can quickly gain insight to job candidates and the strengths they possess BEFORE onboarding.
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