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Notes from Rainmakers

One of my favorite stories from a rainmaker: when he was a young associate at a well-regarded firm, the managing partner sat him down one day and told him: son, you will never have to worry about bringing in clients. It is my job to be the rainmaker. I take care of my team. Later that day, the managing partner fired half the firm. That was the moment the rainmaker realized that his book of business was his own responsibility and was not to be left in the hands of others. He went out and started networking and never looked back. Today, he is the managing partner at a successful law firm.

Here's what I've heard from other rainmakers:
  • There is no substitute for being a great lawyer. Expertise and client service are non-negotiable - you must deliver results. 
  • Be friendly. People want to work with people they like. No one wants to work with a jerk. You want people to respect and like you. 
  • If you're not failing, you're not succeeding. Not every pitch will be successful and that's ok. By failing, we figure out how to improve. It's part of the process. 
  • Dig your well before you're thirsty. In other words, stay in touch with your network. Send birthday wishes. Follow up when nothing's going on. That way, when the time comes, your relationship is already established.
  • Don't just do the work. Cultivate relationships with your clients and make it easy for them to want to work with you. Doing the work is necessary, but it's not sufficient. Be your client's point person by keeping him or her happy and up to date on the matter. 
  • Take a long view and remember that rainmaking is a journey. A long term perspective is required when developing relationships with clients and colleagues at your firm. Ultimately these will pay off - we promise.  

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