After I posted about Ford Harding's blog earlier Ford sent me a thank you mail. We got into a conversation and I started telling him about how blogging has benefited me and my ability to get consulting clients. Ford then asked me if he could share my story on his blog and he has :-)
Ford also offered to send a couple of his books to me to read, and I received them yesterday. They are Creating Rainmakers: The Manager's Guide to Training Professionals to Attract New Clients and his earlier book Rain Making: The Professionals Guide to Attracting New Clients
As you might have guessed Ford Harding and his company help professionals become "rainmakers" as their site says:
If you're an accountant, attorney, architect, engineer, executive recruiter or management consultant, you've spent years learning your profession.
But now, if you and your firm are going to prosper, it turns out you're going to have to become a rainmaker, too. And no one ever taught you that in school.Harding & Company helps professionals learn to sell and market. We help them make the transition from doing and managing client work to bringing it in. We help build the sale behaviors that are a vital part of any professional service firm's success.
I have just started browsing through the books and have found that some activities that I have been indulging over the last few years (unknowingly) is what rainmakers do as second nature. Two aspects being, looking at every thing always optimistically and cultivating a network without the thought of immediate business gain.
In fact, before the days of blogging and before the days of Yahoogroups.com I interacted with students from other B Schools and CAs on a Rediff chat site called "A Smoke Filled Cafe". I am still in touch with them. One is a retail consultant with AT Kearney and the other is a KPMG auditor at London.
Other examples have been to create a community of HR professionals and KM practitioners in 2000. Many members of these communities have become personal friends and people who sound me out for advisory help.
Then of course, there is this blog, and the Linkedin community and connections through Orkut and Facebook.
As Ford says in his book, developing network is a pay-off that is a J shaped curve. It starts very slowly, probably leading to disappointment in the short term...but when the curves starts going up it moves very steeply :-)
Keep an eye out for my detailed review of Ford's books coming soon.