Rainmaker vs. Team Sport [Video]

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Today I want to talk to you about two models for your business development and marketing. One of them is what we call the “rainmaker model,” and the other is what we call the “team sport model.”



Hi. Today I want to talk to you about two models for your business development and marketing. One of them is what we call the “rainmaker model,” and the other is what we call the “team sport model.”

Let’s look at how those are the same and different. Well, when I was getting started in professional services marketing, which is a long, long time ago, there was really only one model, and that was the rainmaker model. And the characteristics of that model were each individual person who wanted to become a partner in a firm would try to be the rainmaker.

They would try to develop individual personal relationships with people to become, eventually, the person’s trusted advisor and to be able to leverage those personal relationships to bring in new business. Now, marketing roles in that scheme was relatively limited. Their role was basically to support the rainmakers, to schedule events for those and to help them with the networking.

But the focus of the rainmaker was always to build the practice, leveraging their personal relationships. And that was the fundamental model for many years throughout professional services. But that model has really needed to evolve, because the technologies behind marketing have changed dramatically. People, the way buyers search for services and evaluate people have changed dramatically.

So what today’s professional services marketing firm really needs is a much more integrated approach that looks at the firm as a whole and draws upon the talents of many people, not just an individual person. Because if you’re only dealing with one person, they’re only as good as the thing they do most poorly.

However, if you’re dealing with a team, the team as a whole can put that together. And different members can have different roles in the process. So within the team model, that’s the focus is the team as a whole. You’re trying to really make the expertise that your firm has visible to the outside world. And you do that through speaking, through presentations, through publishing, and so forth.

But in the end, the goal is to develop visible experts, people throughout the firm who have expertise that is understood by the marketplace. The focus is then on how the team as a whole works, and the marketing role is to lead that team to help develop the overall structure of your process and the roles people play.

You’re trying to build up the reputation of the firm as a whole, and the firm’s brand becomes your primary asset. So you can see how this kind of a model offers much more flexibility and is much more suited to the way professional services are marketed and purchased today. If you’re looking for more on this, we recommend going to the Visible Firm Course in Hinge University, that’s

And there I think you’ll be able to find some good tips on developing a new model that’s going to fit your firm and the marketplace we operate in today. Good luck.

Author: Lee Frederiksen, Ph.D. Who wears the boots in our office? That would be Lee, our managing partner, who suits up in a pair of cowboy boots every day and drives strategy and research for our clients. With a Ph.D. in behavioral psychology, Lee is a former researcher and tenured professor at Virginia Tech, where he became a national authority on organizational behavior management and marketing. He left academia to start up and run three high-growth companies, including an $80 million runaway success story.

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