Eight lessons rainmakers learned in lockdown
Rainmakers use their skills and abilities to grow their business by overcoming every hurdle that’s put in front of them. This past year has been a 110m high hurdles sized challenge and you’ve just discovered that Usain Bolt’s come out of retirement.
Here are eight key things rainmakers have taken out of the past year.
RAINMAKING IS A TEAM GAME
Culture eats strategy for breakfast.
Selling will always have its share of mavericks, the Lone Wolf who brings it home in their own inimitable style. It would be churlish to deny a place for such Rainmakers, as long as you manage them assiduously.
Selling, though, has always been a team game and lockdown has heightened the need to have your colleagues’ backs. Job descriptions have been ripped up, friends were put on furlough whilst others burned the midnight oil, others lost their jobs, unique personal challenges came to the fore and the ability to work from home has been different for everyone.
Everyone has had to “get on with it” in a fast-moving, uncertain landscape that tested resilience in new ways. Set strategy, to be sure, but it’s the sum of the parts of your colleagues at the kitchen table who deliver the numbers.
are you Emily or clive?
Dress each day as though you were a masterpiece and define your personal style.
Cindy Ann Peterson.
Rainmakers have always known first impressions matter and whilst in 2020 it might have been acceptable to look like you were still in bed, giving everyone a view of your chins and nose hairs, we are a year in. So, are you Emily Maitlis, Clive Myrie or the local mafia don in witness protection? And if you still sound like a break-dancing Dalek, get t’internet sorted or tell the kids to get off their iPads and go read a book.
Cutting everyone some slack in this new era is just fine- doing exactly that with everyone you meet- and give yourself a break, but first impressions mattered before March of last year and they matter still.
Be as compassionate to yourself as you are to your loved ones.
Rainmakers look after number one because they know if they are not healthy in body and spirit they’ll not be making rain any time soon. Mindfulness and work-life balance were coming more to the fore before March of last year and the pandemic has been a catalyst for speedier change.
The bottom line is to do whatever works for you. I’m a healthy sceptic in this area as on the road a small bag of Maltesers and a free hotel coffee were my simple go-to, but life without travel has changed things. It’s important for us all to remember that everyone has had to make changes and many are still out working every day, keeping us safe.
Fortunately, for most of us, it has never been easier to take a break (who knows if you’re having a quick snooze at 2.30pm?). My personal preferences are three boiled eggs from my own hens with toast fingers at 11am; pancakes with home-made jam; and half a tin of cider whilst making the dinner watching the Chase, starting at 5.17pm. Oh… and running. Lots of running (well, walking).
it's sooooooooo personal
Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication.
Likeability is a factor of influence that sits on the surface, but that does not lessen its importance. Rainmakers know it’s always personal when it comes to building relationships and you can get up close on the Zoom. More personal than when in the room. How many bedrooms have you seen? Then there’s the children with BIG HAIR, cats, dogs, family photographs, artwork and all manner of other stuff that hove into view by accident or design.
Personal disclosure has always been a cracking way to get to trust (Rainmakers leave clues in the background as conversation starters) and now you have many more ways of getting there.
If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
Rainmakers know there is no such thing as lockdown weight. Many have become leaner and fitter in the past year.
Remember: You may soon need to get into those business clothes again.
Creativity is an act of defiance.
Whilst everything is in flux Rainmakers know it’s time to think the unthinkable, try stuff out, find your mojo and experiment like you never have before. To paraphrase Darwin it’s the most adaptable that survive, not the strongest.
Creativity should be infecting every part of your business right now; I have said since last march that nobody has a job at KWC right now. What I mean is that your job may well be completely different next week.
Seriously, how exciting is that?
risk it for a biscuit*
Opportunity dances with those on the dance floor.
Rainmakers are risk takers and it’s time to go for it. Fail fast and fail early (if you are not trying things and failing you are not risking enough). The pace of change everywhere is rapid and it’s not going to stop any time soon. Get on to the rocket ship and hold on tight because it’s going to be some ride. If you’ve not heard your clients saying they want it done quicker/cheaper/better in the past year then your ears are painted on.
You are never more alive than when you are challenged, when all your chips are in the middle and you await the turn of the last card, when there is everything to play for. I think that’s enough metaphors for now.
*fig roll, caramel log, Aldi rosemary crackers.
everything has changed
The changes we dread most may become our salvation.
Technology is driving productivity gains that were already in the pipeline, but there is more to come. Doing more with less, for sure, but also doing things in completely new ways. We are running monthly conferences for hundreds of delegates from all over the world and Greg, whose job used to be travel and accommodation, put more bums on those virtual seats than anyone else last time.
The financial crash made Kissing With Confidence pivot to selling skills for professionals and Covid forced us online, which has been a revelation and allows me to watch tea time telly while cooking dinner for the first time in years.
Rainmakers have the words of the late Karen Carpenter, “It’s only just begun.” If you’re not sure what productivity is in terms of the economy and what it means for all of us in terms of investment in the really important stuff, look it up.
We really are all in this together.