One mother lamented that no one posted the last first day of work. I could be at that point. In 2010, I coached 125 lawyers and I was on the road every month. Since I left my law practice in 2005, I have never coached as few lawyers as I am coaching in 2017.
So, maybe January 2, 2017 was my last first day of work. We’ll see.
I practiced law a long time. I’ve coached lawyers for over 12 years. I’ve seen and coached a lot of rainmakers.
At the risk of overgeneralizing, here are some traits I have observed:
- Most rainmakers have the right attitude Most rainmakers have a “can do” attitude. That enables them to persist when others quit. They are not like the pessimist described by Winston Churchill.
- Most rainmakers are really good lawyers They may not be the smartest lawyer in their field but they have focused on always getting better and becoming the best lawyer they can be.
- Most rainmakers are genuinely likeable They connect well with other people in large part because they are able to convey they really care. They are empathetic and understand the other person’s point of view. They are good listeners. They are able to build trust and rapport quickly. They are open and friendly.
- Most rainmakers have a confidence inspiring personality Clients need to feel you can take care of their problem. They are entrusting something really important to them in your hands. Rainmakers are able to instill confidence.
- Most rainmakers are willing to get outside their comfort zone I believe real achievement occurs when you stretch and try something that is uncomfortable.
- Finally and perhaps most importantly, rainmakers know what they want, they know what their clients need and they deliver value and exceed expectations. It all starts with knowing what they want and having a burning desire to achieve it and then using their non-billable time wisely.
There is nothing magical about the traits in the list above. I know some traits may not come naturally to everyone. When I was practicing law, I worked harder on those that did not come naturally to me. You can follow that path also.
Two final points:
- Rainmaking skills can be developed. You don’t have to be born with them. I know because I certainly was not born with innate rainmaking skills. Many of you also know because you have worked to build your profile and relationships with clients and referral sources.
- You don’t have to be an extrovert who is the life of every party or event. That doesn’t mean you can just hide in your comfort zone. Be willing to engage people.