On August 21st, the United States witnessed its first full coast to coast solar eclipse in 99 years. And in a few select locations across the country people were lucky enough to experience “totality”, where the moon completely blocked out the light of the sun and cast darkness for about two minutes. I was lucky enough to find myself in Fountain Inn, South Carolina, which was in the path of totality. It was an incredibly lucky experience! Americans all over the country planned trips to these cities of totality – some for months or even years prior to the event. Hotel rooms had been booked full for a long time and were fetching outrageous rates.
As it happened for me, my husband and I were just in the right place at the right time – with a lot of luck and then a little planning. Months earlier, without any thought to the eclipse, he had planned a trip across the country to visit family in Texas, Georgia, and then South Carolina. I joined him at the end, flying in to South Carolina and enjoying some beach time. On Monday the 21st, we needed to make our way from Charleston, SC to Atlanta to catch our flight out the next day. When we realized that we were actually in the path of totality making that drive, we made a call to our kids in Fountain Inn. My daughter-in-law, Mary, had been planning for this for weeks, and her step-dad, Fritz had come all the way from Texas with his large telescope. So, we dropped in to visit with them on our way to Atlanta! On Eclipse Day. With totality looming.
So what does any of that have to do with Rainmaking? In my courses, I coach participants that there are many facets around Rainmaking – and that it all starts by building relationships and then putting positive mindset and intention around networking. As I thought about my eclipse experience, it occurred to me that there are several lessons from that day that correlate with Rainmaking.
Be at the right place at the right time.
For eclipse viewing pleasure, this was really key. Even just a few miles away, totality was not going to happen, so the geography was important. That’s true for rainmaking too. When we think about building relationships with people who may ultimately become clients or those who might refer us to potential clients, we want to make sure that we intentionally put ourselves in the room with the right people so that we can maximize our opportunities of meeting our perfect client. So, it’s important to prepare and put yourself into that right room. Sure, you can end up at a networking event haphazardly and meet some people who might ultimately become clients. But, you’re more likely to do so if you plan ahead with intention.
Have the Right tools.
When we arrived at Mary’s house for the eclipse, they had already set up an amazing telescope in the backyard, complete with a viewing filter. She also had multiple sets of eclipse glasses, and a fabulous buffet! The glasses were cool, but seeing the eclipse through the telescope was even better! On the Rainmaking side of the equation, it’s also important to have the right tools to tell your story. In addition to attending the right networking events and making good connections, it’s also important to follow up and continue building the relationship. How? With links to your impressive website, newsletter sign up, or social media profile. It also helps to be able to link your newly established contacts to a blog you’ve written that might be of use to them. Make sure your marketing materials tell your story consistently to build your reputation and brand.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!
If you were on social media at all on August 21st, you couldn’t help but notice all kinds of posts about the eclipse. Friends from all over the country were sharing their experiences. The event united us as a country – which was very inspiring. A lot of Rainmaking is about communicating as well. Again, it starts with meeting someone initially, then getting to know them better via subsequent meetings or other interactions, and finally (perhaps) exchanging some leads and referrals when the time is right. So much of that is about the basic art of communication – whether via email, phone, or social media. Following through with newly established connections is a key driver in making sure that relationship takes its next step forward. It’s one of the things I encourage constantly. If you say you’ll follow up, then follow up! Have a plan for that and stick to it.
If you missed this month’s total eclipse, you don’t have to wait too long until it comes to the United States again. On April 8, 2024, it’ll appear again, cutting across the country the other way – from Texas to Maine. But, if you missed our latest Rainmaking webinar series in August, you only have to wait a few months until we offer it again. No firm dates have been established yet, but we’re looking at late November or early December. Stay tuned! We totally look forward to seeing you there!