A few days back, I was in a meeting with a business head of a major financial institution in India. He wanted to identify and develop his best RMs ( relationship managers) and he went on to define the qualities that make a great RM – customer focus, good inter-personal skills, ability to solve problems & goal orientation.

Over the past decade, I have studied and interacted with thousands of relationship managers across the country. What sets a great relationship manager apart from an average one is not how well he listens or how he solves problems. There’s more to his success then what meets the eye.

Here’s how you can assess your relationship manager and check his potential to be a RainMaker.

Anticipates : A Rain-maker anticipates client’s questions and prepares in anticipation. He treats every prospect like a client and every client like a prospect. He makes sure he maps the client well and if he is unable to do it, he keeps a list of questions and statements ready to understand the client well.

President Abraham Lincoln, who was famous for his unusually skilled grasp of human nature and his deep empathy, once wrote: “When I go to see a man, I spend one third of my time thinking about what I am going to say, and two-thirds of my time thinking about what he will say.”

Big Picture: A RainMaker is able to see the entire chessboard and not merely his move. He looks at client’s big goals. He aligns himself with the big picture rather then treating the current symptoms. He is able to position himself as a client partner rather then an advisor or an expert.

Agile in execution : Rainmaker moves fast, executes faster. His thinking is clear and sharp. He understands the resources needed and does not hesitate to seek external help. He lines up subject matter experts when needed and is relentless in providing the best client experience.

Self-belief – RainMaker believes in himself. This does not mean he is aggressive or over-confident. I have come across many relationship managers who mistake flamboyance with self belief. Knowing your strengths, being able to see your image in the mirror as it is – rather then seeing what you want to see, blended with a belief in your capabilities is what sets a RainMaker apart from a relationship manager. RainMaker has a strong belief in the offering and the benefits to the client.

Its important to differentiate between Rainmakers and Relationship managers. This differentiation will help in investing resources in the right set of people. Assess what matters rather then assessing the obvious.

You may write in to – smita@ableventures.in to know more. I am an expert in behavioural assessments and have impacted close to 8000 professionals in India.