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Friday, June 27, 2008

Chaos Theory and Construction Marketing (2)

In a recent blog entry Lead Flow Part 2 -- How it makes you an Attractor, Rainmaking expert Ford Harding observes how Chaos Theory applies to the networking process of rainmakers. Rainmakers, of course, have an incredible ability to generate valid and worthwhile leads -- and thus are desirable to everyone in business. Of course, the challenge for the rainmaker-- and the person or organization wishing to obtain the leads -- is to define the best way to fit in and create value.

Harding suggests the highest power occurs when rainmakers get together, each generating leads which benefit the others. But there are other categories. The least valuable is the person who approaches the Rainmaker claiming synergy -- or, to put it more basely, "You give me the leads, and I may buy you lunch."

(Jeffrey Gitomer handles these people simply: If you want his consultation, you can pay him $500 for his time -- and he might buy you the lunch.)

So, how do you master the Rainmaking art so you can generate leads and attain the power that arises?

The most obvious approach would be to call Ford Harding and pay for his services. He obviously knows his stuff, and if you pay -- and listen to his advice -- you'll probably get there a lot sooner than if you try to do this on your own. This type of paid consulting is almost always worth the money you spend. In fact, I sometimes wonder about people who spend a small fortune on marketing -- on brochures, advertising campaigns, even head-hunters to find marketing employees -- when you can pay the expert and (if you listen and learn quickly) get the answers you need.

There is a longer range approach as well, the one I've chosen to practice. Since my own personal goals call for me to be a truly effective national level rainmaker in three to five years, I can be patient and build up my expertise and status more deliberately. I've chosen to use my writing ability in this blog and for the SMPS Marketer. Every time I research a story, of course, I gain virtually instant access to the experts around me -- as they know the advantages of positive and reference-based publicity. These connections increase my, for want of a better word, "Rainmaking credits" since I expect no compensation or direct business to arise from this work. (The blog and writing are probably quite helpful indirectly, of course, in that we are now receiving upwards of two or three dozen requests for the Construction Marketing Ideas newsletter each week, and some of these inquiries are from businesses within my publication's service area.)

Most effective rainmakers "get" by giving -- they share so much value in their relationships and insights that, without a cent changing hands, they attract business and opportunity. So, if you want to be successful as a rainmaker, you'll need to learn how to give without worrying about the 'get.' The art, of course, is to do the giving in rational ways and places -- and no, I am not talking about blind and insincere 'networking' where relationships are plastic, artificial, and only concerned with short term gain.

So, my advice to you: Take a portion of your marketing budget and spend it on top-quality consulting from people who know what they are doing. But don't take that consulting in the framework that they will do everything for you -- use their expertise to learn the craft and build your own knowledge. If you don't want (or don't yet have) the cash, there is nothing wrong with reading, connecting, and then finding ways to share. You might be a proto-rainmaker now, but ultimately you'll graduate to full status -- and the fullest opportunities for success and achievement.

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