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Is It Worth the Risk For Your Company to Hire a Rainmaker?

So we’re going to talk about rainmakers today. Many business owners really wish to bring in that rainmaker, that individual who will come onboard and save the day. She’ll sell big accounts. She’ll bring in a lot of revenue. She’ll ride in donning her cape and just double the size of the business with the sheer awesomeness of her sales ability.

That’s the idea, anyway.

Now, I have nothing against rainmakers, but I would like to caution you about the following potential pitfalls before you go out and hire one for yourself:

1. As a business owner, sometimes you’re too focused on the topline. Even if you bring in that rainmaker, someone who can sell a lot of stuff, your products or services still must be profitable. If you’re running an inefficient system to begin with, no amount of revenue will solve your problem. In fact, it’s possible to increase your revenue and actually hurt your business in the process. So make sure that you’re focusing on profitability and not just on topline revenue.

2. The rainmaker may refuse to follow your system. Imagine that your company has a particular sales process every employee uses, or a set way that you deliver your products/services. Well, this rainmaker will come in and do whatever she wants just because she’s a rainmaker. She feels that either she can get away with it or is entitled to it. Either way, her deviation from your system can end up hurting your business.

3. She might rebel against your company’s culture. You probably adhere to a certain set of rules, embrace certain value. She comes in and makes it rain, but in the process causes everyone else around her to be unproductive. She destroys the morale of her fellow co-workers. So in effect, the company can end up making less money even if the rainmaker is bringing in a lot of additional sales.

4. She decides to cut corners. Maybe she doesn’t fill out the paperwork all the way. Or maybe she just won’t go through the entire process for properly delivering the product or service. She’s all about being number one on revenue, all about making that sale. So oftentimes, she’ll cut corners to get there if she has to.

5. She sometimes has the ability to hold the owner hostage. This is very key. Maybe the rainmaker gets to a certain point where so much revenue is in her hands that she feels like she can do just about anything. The owners, in turn, are unwilling to reprimand or correct her. They refuse to hold the rainmaker accountable because she is responsible for such a huge amount of revenue coming in. This happens all the time with many different companies.

So those are things to be wary of before you hire a rainmaker, before you embrace this vision that a rainmaker’s going to waltz in and save the day. Of course, these are just guidelines, and not all rainmakers will wreak havoc. I mean, I definitely believe that I was a rainmaker when I worked for other people, and I don’t think I had all these negative characteristics. It is possible to find someone who will turn things around, who will take your company to the next level. Just make sure you have a good, effective hiring process in place before bringing that rainmaker in.

Go out, have fun, and take action today.