A rainmaker is a person who creates rain using artificial means. In other words, using inauthenticity to achieve a positive outcome. In the sales world, this inauthenticity can often go unnoticed, making you believe all is well. Because hitting your numbers is only half the battle, what happens if it goes away? Don’t be fooled, or it may cost you more than just revenue. As always if you have any questions please schedule a free 30-minute consultation and I’ll do my best to help in any way I can.


What we’re going to cover:

  • Willful ignorance
  • Carrying the load
  • Time for a change
  • Rebuild




Willful ignorance


What is willful ignorance?

“Willful ignorance involves neglecting information about how you’re achieving your targets. In other words, if I’m making my target why worry about it?”

“If you’re in this situation where there’s a superstar rep that’s carrying the load for your team and the rest of the team is not doing so well you’re lying to yourself to the degree that you’re hitting your target but you’re not worrying about potential disaster or consequences. You’re not really paying attention to how you’re getting there you’re just happy you got there.”


A lie told often enough becomes the truth.

“You can rationalize how you’re achieving your targets, but how are you actually achieving them? You’re telling yourself that all is good when in reality the rainmaker could be different.”


Nothing lasts forever

“If you have a six-person team it could be two people carrying the load. And the willful ignorant side of you is pretending that all is well. Yes, in fact, you are hitting your number monthly, quarterly, maybe annually for a couple of years and all is well, but nothing lasts forever.”


Carrying the load


Where is it coming from?

“Go back to all the podcasts on data, pipeline, metrics, and ask where is my business coming from? Who’s carrying the load for me? Whether that’s a large account, a series of accounts, one rep, two reps, three reps, where is my business coming from?”



“I started at a company in the management position, I moved into the role and one of the things my boss said to me was ‘look, we’ve got this team of folks that are doing really well for us on the major account side of the business. Then we have these folks that have geographic territories on the smaller end of the business and they’re doing okay but we want to build that and grow that because we feel like this is a growth area for us.”

“Then I started looking at the team and I started to began to learn the dangers of a single entity carrying the load. When I started breaking down the numbers not only for myself but the company I realized it was only a couple of people a few accounts that were carrying the vast majority of business. And if we lose the big account we’re dead, we’re in real trouble.”


Potential dangers


“I want to know where the business was coming from, I want to know how we got there, I want to know what potentially could be a danger zone or risk. And then I wanted to know how to do the next thing.  I want to look at the potential dangers and make adjustments based on that.”


Time for a change


1. Identify your performers. 

High, middle, and low. That’s the easy part because we know who they are.”


2. Look at your largest account. 

“What if they go away? What does that represent for you now that you’re responsible for the whole thing? What does that represent for X percentage of the business?”


3. How do I improve long term risk? 

“How do I improve the number and reduce the long-term risk? So, if one part fails I’ve got something else, you want to back yourself up.”

Overall plan

“Look at each one of the teams and address the performance issues up front. You’ve got people that aren’t performing and you need to get them either up or out.Then take care of that with the managers. Next, take all the middle of the road performers, evaluate them and decide if can they get better. If they can get better spend some time with them. If they can’t? Get rid of them.”




“I’m not breaking it down and rebuilding it, I’m rebuilding areas that need fixing.”


Moving on

“For example, I have major accounts, high-end accounts, I have geographic territories, I have some vertical and very little on what we call specialty products. So, we added a specialty product to specialty product divisions, moved some folks in there, and built them up into multimillion dollar divisions. Then in addition to that, we added to our verticals to spread the risk.”

What’s the benefit?

“If your territories are geographic and you add a vertical you’re not really taking a lot of everybody. You’re taking a little bit when you pull a vertical out. But, they don’t feel the sting or pain in their wallet and you have another opportunity to drive business.”

Build a strong team

“I started out looking at this saying wait for a second the vast majority of business comes from a couple of people and a few accounts for this entire company of a couple hundred employees, that’s insane. We need to do something about that. We need to strengthen the areas we have that are available, now we need to build new ones.”


Keep Filling The Funnel

We would love to hear from you. Let us know what you think about this episode. Please feel free to reach out to us if there is a specific sales topic you would like me to cover.  You can find me on Twitter at @Sheajohnr or email me at  And if you get a chance, please feel free to review us on iTunes.


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