Rain Making, 2nd Edition: Attract New Clients No Matter What Your Field. By Ford Harding. Avon: Adams Business, 2008. 314 pages. $14.95 (paperback).
One of seven books on the Society for Marketers of Professional Services (SMPS) “Suggested Reading to Prepare for Certification” list, Ford Harding’s book, Rain Making, 2nd Edition: Attract New Clients No Matter What Your Field, is the precursor to his later book: Creating Rainmakers: The Manager’s Guide to Training Professionals to Reach New Clients, which is also on the study guide list of books to review. The 2nd Edition is a 2008 revision of the earlier book published in 1994. The 2008 edition includes five completely new chapters and substantial additions to other chapters. The book is divided into four parts, with the first three parts including seven chapters in each unit. Part I discusses marketing tactics and provides an outline for how professionals build reputations and generate leads. Part II takes the next step in guiding the reader in how to develop a sustainable source of leads, while Part III addresses more specifically how to advance and close a sale. The concluding Part IV guides from tactics to strategy and includes ideas that work and those that do not.
Having previously read the second book in the series, I was somewhat disappointed in this prequel. Although the book was updated in 2008 and the information is relevant, technological advances are not current with regards to the techniques for developing and maintaining networks. (Social Media, SmartPhones, Tablets, etc.) While the book is geared more practically to Principals, Partners and Thought Leaders within a firm, the reality of engaging these targeted groups to read this somewhat dry offering could be challenging to business development staff. Of particular interest is Chapter 9: Special Rules for Special Networks: Trade Associations, Formal Networking Groups, and Internal Networks. There are very tangible and practical tips for selecting group memberships, following up on contacts made at events and leveraging relationships to meet appropriate prospects. Chapter 26 covers “Simple Strategies That Can Help You Now.” I particularly appreciated the concept of LEVERAG(ing) YOUR LIMITED TIME. This section discusses how to make one activity translate into another activity. For example, increase your deliverable options by using a speech or presentation as the basis for an article.
This book is not for the faint of heart, although the information is very useful. I think that it would best be absorbed by possibly offering a workshop or seminar with key leadership within the firm to practice and outline suggested techniques. Breaking the content down into small bite size pieces would increase retention and more importantly adoption. Perhaps an incentive system to encourage practice and tracking within your client resource management system would provide the types of results that makes management smile.
Julie Woodman, CPSM | Business Development
PERSHING TECHNOLOGIES, LLC | www.pershingtech.com
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