Will the Gentle Rain System work for ME?
That’s a good question and it’s one that I’d be asking myself if I was in your shoes. The honest answer is, “I don’t really know.” But this much I can tell you. It’s worked well for me. And since 1992, for my clients as well. Let me share a bit more…
…Obviously I don’t know you, so I really don’t have a sense for how you’re currently attracting new clients. But the fact that you’re reading this tells me that you’d either like more clients, or desire some sort of system so that new business comes to you…rather than trying to push yourself onto prospects. So, the question becomes, what’s the best way to do that? In order to answer that, let me share with you a little bit about my own business, and how I developed the Gentle Rain process. I think that it will give you a helpful perspective on whether it’s right for you. I came into consulting having worked in advertising and with Pepsi and Kraft Foods. These were great experiences and I learned a lot about marketing. (I was part of the team that took Velveeta from $100 million to $300 million in sales which you may/or may not think is a good thing.)
However, when I decided to hang up my own shingle as a marketing consultant, I discovered that I really didn’t have a large network of contacts. Pretty much everyone I knew, worked where I had worked. Thus, it wasn’t long before I had lapped the track more than a few times hitting up my meager list of contacts for leads and referrals.
Like most people, I heard that networking events were a good way to meet prospective clients, so I joined a few groups, went to Chamber of Commerce meetings and even tested a couple of Rotary groups. The problem was that I’m just not real good at “meet & mingle” events, so I never got much out of them. Most everyone I met “said” they got a lot of business from these things, but for some reason they never worked for me-I found myself falling into that trap of hanging out with the few people I already knew.
To tell you the truth, I was getting a bit desperate when I borrowed an old cassette program from my cousin Jerry. It was Dan Kennedy’s Magnetic Marketing, and I’m not exaggerating when I say it transformed my life. At first I rejected the program because what Dan was teaching focused on restaurant owners and plumbers, and his sales letters were pretty over the top. I thought to myself that my clients were different-they’re too sophisticated for the type of marketing that he advocated. But, I really liked the idea of using free information to get prospects to raise their hands and then a pre-planned drip marketing sequence to build trust, credibility and eventually turn these prospects into paying clients.
I figured that I really didn’t have anything to lose, so I modified what I learned from Dan to focus on my niche which was consultants and others who offer intangible advice and services.
Anyway, to make a long story short…it worked. Really well as a matter of fact. I went from making $45,000 to $97,000 the following year. For someone like me, who had $1,800 in my checking account, that was a huge leap forward.
I kept experimenting with ideas, some didn’t work-but a lot did, and in two years my business up to around $250,000. That was in 2002, and as you may recall, that was the year that the internet really started to take off. All of a sudden websites became a lot easier (and cheaper) to put up.
Now there were these programs called autoresponders that enabled someone like me (who had absolutely no technical skills whatsoever), to automate almost the entire marketing system. My income increased by 50%. And then it did it again.
I’ll admit this was pretty great. Instead of having to go out and try to strike up conversations with strangers at networking events, I literally had a waiting list of clients. Which meant that it could raise my fees and even more importantly… choose whom I wanted to work with. (If you’ve ever had a jerk as a client you know how valuable it is to be highly selective about who you decide to work with.) Anyway, that was my life for the next 3 years, and it was great. But things change, and in my case the change came in the form of the international management consulting firm A.T. Kearney. You may or may not have heard of them, but they’re one of the world’s elite consulting firms, up there with McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group and Accenture.
A.T. Kearney was going through a tough patch. Surprisingly, for a $1 billion consulting firm, they didn’t really do any marketing. Virtually all of their business came from referrals and repeat assignments. Which worked fine until a number of their long-term clients didn’t renew their contracts, and the referrals started to dry up. Then they started to get worried about how they were going to fill their pipeline back up with new business. One of their senior partners, Bill Jeffrey read a book I wrote called, Power Prospecting, liked my non-hard selling approach and asked me to fly up to New York to meet with him and some of the other senior partners. That conversation led to a 5-year engagement in which I trained 275 of the 350 partners at A.T. Kearney on my Gentle Rain methodology. Did it work? Obviously I wouldn’t be telling you this story if the answer was “No” and to be totally honest the success they achieved was mostly due to their willingness to implement what I taught and embrace new ideas and approaches. As you may be aware, A.T. Kearney stage one of the most dramatic turnarounds in the consulting industry. They recovered so well that the partners bought the firm back from their corporate owner EDS, and today are once again one of the most profitable firms (on an income per partner basis) in the world.
It was a pretty heady period of time. But there was a price. A lot of my work wound up being in Europe. In the beginning it was terribly glamorous and I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. But it does wear on you. The 17th time you go to Düsseldorf, it really becomes little more than just a v-e-r-y long consulting trip. Plus, while I really enjoyed working with some of the world’s top consulting firms, I had a desire to teach and apply the Gentle Rain methodology on a smaller canvas. Working with solo consultants…helping firms with 3-25 consultants who really wanted to make a mark in a particular niche. That’s what got me the most excited.
Which leads me to where I am today. My clients are in consulting, insurance, financial services, real estate, training and a lot of other niche businesses. The one thing that they all have in common is a focus on building relationships and a desire to become very well known for what they do within a particular niche. (Not to mention also making a very nice living in the process with plenty of free time for family and leisure time activities.)
I truly think that it will work well for you too, but ultimately that’s up to you to decide. One thing I will tell you is that I sense you recognize a need for change. That whatever you are doing now, and have done in the past, isn’t producing the results you want. I also have the sense that you would like some assistance. (Since, from a purely practical perspective, if you were going to do this on your own, you probably would have done so by now.)
There are a number of ways I work personally with clients. Everything from my elite Platinum program is which I partner with you and earn the bulk of my income from the success we achieve together (although in fairness I will tell you that it does require a $15,000 retainer)…to a la carte assignments in which I’ll write a sales letter, landing page copy or success story for you. Some people prefer advice and answers to the questions they have about differentiating themselves from the competition and how to set up their marketing system-for which my Gentle Rain coaching program is a great option. And here’s one final thought…which may be the best way to determine whether Gentle Rain is right for you. As I’m sure you’re aware, you’re experiencing the Gentle Rain process right now. As a result of an ad, a letter, a referral or some other sort of lead generation tool you went to one of my websites and opted in to get some free information. That triggered a series of automated messages that hopefully you’ve found helpful and interesting.
And something else has happened…
You’ve started to build a relationship with me. Which is even more interesting since it’s likely that we’ve never spoken or met.
Yet, you feel on some level that you know me. Perhaps even like me. And no matter where the relationship goes from here (whether you decide to invest in Gentle Rain or not) it’s likely that you’ll refer me to others if the appropriate situation presents itself.
So, if you decide that Gentle Rain is right for you, I would welcome the opportunity to be of assistance to you. Please let me know how I can help.