35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2011
The authors are the principals of the RAIN group which publishes sales research and RAIN Today a highly respected sales blog/newsletter. I am voting this the best sales book of the year so far. This book is a fitting complement to David Maister's ground breaking work. The authors have been able to make this a comprehensive book as well as eminently readible. They keep the book true to the 10 Rainmaking principles:
1. Play to win-win
2. Live by goals
3. Take action
4. Think buying first, selling second.
5. Be a fluent expert.
6. Create new conversations every day.
7. Lead masterful rainmaking conversations.
8. Set the agenda: be a change agent.
9. Be brave.
10. Assess yourself, get feedback, and improve continuously.
I pulled a few jewels on value selling from this as well. The concept of Money Discomfort is well explained. They explain that there are two parts to this;
1. A general discomfort talking about money and
2. A money ceiling where talking about a certain amount becomes uncomfortable.
This also ties back to a persons buy cycle.
1. Some know what they want, and go out and buy it.
2. Others are indecisive, always price checking, and need sellers to educate them.
If a seller is more like the indecisive buyer, he will reflect that in his sales approach, especially if he trends to being a price seller.
Lesson learned, take individual money discomfort level and personal buying cycle into account when you are looking to improve your sales abilities or those of your team.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2011
Mike Schultz and John Doerr just published their second book, Rainmaking Conversations: Influence, Persuade, and Sell in Any Situation. The book joins the growing list of sales books on the market, but there's something different about this one.
Focus on Conversations
The central idea of the book is that the decisions customers make about buying are driven by the quality of the conversations they have with sellers. Most sellers understand this idea, but Schultz and Doerr shine a new light on the subject by showing how everything we do prepares us (or doesn't) for the all-important sales conversation. With the sales conversation as the book's organizing principle, the reader can easily see how the strategies and tactics in the book help to win the sale.
Help with the Process and Psychology of Selling
You'll find lots of practical advice in the book, like how to handle sales on the phone, how to prepare for a meeting, and how to diagnose customer problems. But, early in the book, the authors discuss the importance of the seller's motivations, goals, and attitude to becoming a rainmaker. The main message: you are the key to your success as a seller. And they offer tools to help you think about and achieve that success.
Full of Hidden Gems
Rainmaking Conversations includes interesting sections on the role of influence in the sale, how to build that influence with customers, and techniques for co-creating solutions to customer problems. Schultz and Doerr also offer a framework that can help you develop your own style for dealing with the inevitable customer objection. There's a real-world feel to the wisdom in this book. You realize these gems weren't concocted out of thin air, but from the authors' decades of combined experience.
Schultz and Doerr really understand how people are reading these days, so the book is a good combination of valuable lists, tables, and longer explanatory text. This is a book that you can scan to find the subject you want, or you can read the book from front to back. Sometimes, all you need is a reminder before a meeting, and the book is set up so you can access what you need.
I've read this book twice, and I found new ideas in the second reading that I missed the first time through. I liked the book and I think you will too.
54 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2011
I ordered this book because a read a friend's copy and wanted one for my library. On their website, RainToday said that if you ordered the book you would get $2,000 in bonus materials. What they did not tell you was that you have to visit almost 20 different websites for other RainToday "partners", log in to each one, give your name and email address to register with each, and then and only then can you get the materials.
The problem is is that most of the materials are materials that the "partners" would give to you for free anyway. Also, a lot of the materials are only designed to try to get you to buy the "complete package" from the partner. I wonder how many emails from these "partners" will I start to get.
The bottom line is that the book is good but don't buy it for the "$2,000 in bonus materials" or you will be disappointed. I was.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 2011
I`m sorry to disagree with most of the other reviers but if anyone has already read The Law of Success in Sixteen Lessons from Napoleon Hill won`t get absolutely nothing new here, except the very misleading and annoying "Bonus Materials" in the end of every chapter, as already noted by another revier - Edward H. Seriouly, save your time and money and go for Napoleon Hill.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2011
RESONATE, DIFFERENTIATE, SUBSTANTIATE
The only valuable nugget from this book was the phrase "resonate, differentiate, substantiate" .. the three things that need to happen to make a sale ..
I bought this book because one weekend (around end of April 2011 or early May 2011) I saw it listed in the Wall Street Journal as among the top 10 business bestsellers by Nielsen Scan. I thought it was going to have something valuable ... it turned out to be similar to most books on sales tactics and strategies.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2011
In their new book «Rainmaking Conversations», Mike Schultz and John E. Doerr explain that rainmakers - sales superstars raking in considerably more sales than the average salesperson - follow 10 core principles. Taking these principles to heart is a prerequisite to the successful application of the Rainmaking Conversation Roadmap.
RAIN is the acronym to describe this roadmap. R (Rapport) is the starting point of the Rainmaking Conversation Roadmap.
This leads to the next discussion regarding the `A' which stands for Aspiration and Affliction. Many selling concepts focus only on problems (afflictions) that create an initial value gap, indicating that the prospect is not achieving the success that could be possible. But according to the authors, buyers operate with two mindsets: "problem solving" and "future seeking". Sellers focusing on problems alone will thus miss all opportunities related to the "future seeking" buying mode.
Average sellers would likely be happy to close the value gap considering both buying modes. Rainmakers however, then look for `I' (Impact). Uncovering the rational and emotional impact of success and failure leads then to the true value gap.
Now the prospect is ready for the `N' (New Reality) for which the rainmaker then crafts a solution to close the gap and gain the customer's commitment.
`A `and `I', in the RAIN acronym, serve a double duty. They also stand for Advocacy and Inquiry. Sellers have been taught to talk less, to ask the right questions and to listen well (Inquiry). However, as a result of this, some sellers today ask too many questions. Rainmakers find a balance between Inquiry and Advocacy (giving advice) in their conversations to add more value for their prospects.
Finally `IN' stands for the all important influence rainmakers can develop.
Before the authors explain those key rain selling concepts in detail, they outline a conversation that aspiring rainmakers should know well to clarify attitudes and motivation. As attitude and motivation trump skill with regularity, this is an important discussion. Somewhat related to this conversation is the discussion about four types of conversation killers towards the end of the book.
Another prerequisite for being able to hold successful rainmaking conversations is to understand value propositions, which are more than just polished value proposition statements. The proposed structure of the value proposition is determined by three principal reasons that drive why people buy. Prospects have to want or need what the seller is offering. A strong value proposition must resonate. Potential buyers then need to see how a particular offering stands out from possible alternatives. Value propositions therefore need to differentiate. Potential buyers also have to believe that the seller can deliver on the promise. Value propositions must therefore have a substantiating component.
After having established this base, the second part of the book contains detailed descriptions of the aforementioned rain selling key concepts.
The third part of the book describes how to maximize one's rain selling success.
This part begins with chapters about prospecting by phone: creating rainmaking conversations, handling objections and closing opportunities, and opening relationships. There are important nuances added to these common terms making them very applicable for today's sales world. Old school sellers should thus not conclude from these chapter titles, that their old and tried concepts hold still true.
I also found two gems in this part. `FAINT' a new concept to qualify opportunities which is much better suited for cases where latent needs are discovered. Such opportunities can be easily killed when qualified with the old and still often used `BANT' concept. The first letter of the acronym stands for `budget' which can hardly be expected to be in place for latent needs. `In `FAINT' the first letter replaces the budget aspect with financial capacity. This seems to me an important aspect for lead scoring concepts, a hot topic in Marketing Automation.
The short chapter on knowledge proficiency is very enlightening in the context of the discussion on Sales Enablement.
Overall, I find «Rainmaking Conversations» an excellent book on sales skills. However it must be read very carefully. As an example: in one instance, I had to read the footnote to avoid a gross misunderstanding what was meant by an example given in the beginning of the book.
As you would expect for a skills-oriented book, there are many conversation examples which, as the authors warn, should not be used verbatim.
Simply reading the book will not make you a Rainmaker, though applying the ideas presented will increase your chances for success. To help to put these concepts in practice, links to online tools are made available in a large appendix on resources.
17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2011
Armed with a preview copy, I was eager to pull nuggets of insight from this book to share across my company. Mike and John did not disappoint.
Once I got through the introduction, which I felt was a little academic, this book is full of examples, experiences, and stories that not only made the lessons in this book immediately applicable to my business - it made it fun to read.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2013
Less is more, this book just had too much irrelevant content that i skipped over, probably 50% plus is not relevant to small business and more geared for closing big deals, BUT the 35% plus that does relate to small business was EXCELLENT, so I would recommend getting it, I think that KISS (keep it super simple) approach would have made this a better book, it is not super simple at all it is a "super detail hurt your head" kind of book, so if you buy then be prepared to eat the meat and spit out the bones!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2012
This book describes a sales approach based on the authors' proven RAIN sales model. Well written, this book should be on every consultant's bookshelf (after reading it, of course.)
The authors are co-founders of the Rain Group, a sales training and sales performance improvement company. Their customers include professional service firms and other companies that sell complex products and services (technology, pharma, medical devices, etc.)
As such, they certainly understand the unique challenges of selling intangibles like consulting. They also co-authored Professional Services Marketing, which nicely complements Rainmaking Conversations.
Incidentally, if you are brand new to consulting, rainmakers are those who generate new business. In large firms, a few rainmakers often bring in most of the business for everyone to work on. In a small practice, however, everyone needs to be a rainmaker!
This book uses their RAIN model that shows you how to:
Build trust right from the first contact (R - Rapport)
Uncover both problems and dreams (A - Afflictions/Aspirations)
Make the economic case for purchase (I - Impact)
Paint a vivid word picture for the future (N - New reality)
The book emphasizes sales conversations, not manipulation. In short, selling consulting should NOT be like selling a used car -- but rather like talking to a friend or colleague. When placed in that context, selling consulting services can even become enjoyable. (It is for me...)
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2011
Rainmaking Conversations is another fantastic resource from the team that I think knows sales better than anyone. Mike and John teach a model that is both effective and straightforward to learn and use - something rare in the world of sales training.
I recommend this book to everyone - whether or not "sales" is in your title or not. In almost all cases, your career and finances are dependent on your ability to sell your vision, ideas, products, and services.
Get this book and make it rain!