Are you caught in the rainmaker's dilemma?

The Rainmaker’s Dilemma

I have been working in sales leadership for a long time.

Over the years, I have learned that most family business owners who want to grow their businesses end up plateauing because of something we call the Rainmaker’s Dilemma.

Successful business founders tend to be great at building relationships with their customers and selling their product or service. The skill and enthusiasm they bring to this role is what brings them initial success. They can “make it rain.”

Unfortunately, this creates a trap for them and a ceiling to growth for their company.

They embrace their role as rainmaker, and never realize that not stepping away from that role and growing a team is what’s holding them back. To be honest, as a former “rainmaker” myself, it took me a while to learn this lesson too.

The Rainmaker’s Dilemma plagues both small business owners and sales leaders in larger organizations.

Because their primary role is “making it rain” – they don’t have the bandwidth to grow a team or focus on strategic plans to grow the company.

Are you the rainmaker in your company?

The answers to these 2 simple questions will tell you.

  1. How much of your company’s revenue do you personally generate?
  2. Do you know all your customers by name?

The first indicator of being a rainmaker is if you generate 75% or more of the company’s revenue. In this case, you are serving as your company’s economic engine and are likely the primary sales and marketing resource.

Because you conceived the original vision for the business, you can probably pitch your product or service effortlessly.

The second indicator of a Rainmaker is an owner who knows all their customers by name. These are owners who are exceptional at developing and maintaining customer relationships.

Early in a company’s evolution, Rainmakers are essential. Their ability to secure new business and maintain customer relationships generates revenue rather quickly.

Encountering the Rainmaker’s Dilemma is an indicator of a successful business.

Without highly skilled, driven, and motivated owners, most companies fall flat.

The Rainmaker’s Dilemma isn’t due to a lack of expertise or effort but a lack of time.

There is a finite number of hours in the day to bring money in the door.

If an owner continues to be the only Rainmaker, they will eventually reach their capacity.

The solution is to shift your role from Rainmaker to Architect. (If you’d like to learn how to do this, sign up for my free online training below.)

What would happen to your business if you had to step away for 3 months?

This is one of the questions I explored in my interview with Patrick Kagan on his Sales Hindsights podcast where we discussed the Rainmaker’s Dilemma.

Highlights of our conversation:

  • How to set up your culture so that your people take ownership of their role
  • The importance of learning from mistakes (and how to allow others to learn from theirs)
  • The best way to develop a team of rainmakers
  • What NOT to do when training new salespeople
  • How pain is one of the greatest motivators
  • The problems with micromanagement or being a “helicopter leader”
  • The perils of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”

You can listen to the episode here: David Schlosberg Interview on Sales Hindsights podcast

Free Video: Rainmaker's Dilemma

Are you unable to grow your business because you're the one who's bringing IN all the business? Learn how to free up your time so that you can grow. Learn:

  • Why the skills and strengths that "got you here" won't "get you there" (and what to do about it)
  • Why you need to switch from Rainmaker to Architect
  • 9 strategies for making the transition

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