Are you a Rainmaker or a Rain Barrel???


Anthony Iannarino from


I started writing a daily blog on December 28th, 2009. Shortly thereafter, I noticed a group of people converting the idea of “social media marketing” into “social selling” suggesting salespeople spend their time on Twitter and LinkedIn instead of prospecting. To gain attention (and sell their wares), many I would eventually come to describe as the “social media mafia” set up the cold call as a straw man.

Because the proponents of “social selling” were many, and because they lived in an echo chamber, mostly sharing the joys and wonder of their new toys with each other, salespeople started to believe the hype. These new experts had a lot of followers, so they must know what they’re talking about, right? And what could be more attractive than getting new clients without having to do the work? The promise of social selling was that your clients would come to you if you just connected with your dream clients and engaged with them on social.

At some point I wrote that we were losing a whole generation of salespeople because they were following this advice from “social selling experts.”

Yesterday I saw a post from a marketing expert who asked “Why are salespeople still necessary if you have a great product and great marketing?” This reminds of a story I heard a philosopher tell about how we have scientists right now trying to move human consciousness from the brain to a microchip. He liked the idea, but ended the story with “Whatever the procedure, I am not going first!”

No one serious about improving sales results would suggest you get training in “social selling.” In fact, it’s nearly impossible to find someone who describes themselves as a “social selling expert.” The hashtag has all but disappeared, and with it, the “experts” who believed you should be a Rain Barrel, helpless looking to the sky for opportunities to rain down on you from above.

Which brings to the decision one must make now: Rain Maker or Rain Barrel?

The decision here is one of proactive pursuit of your dream clients or passively waiting for marketing to provide you with a lead. It’s a choice between creating opportunities or responding to opportunities others created, likely as an “also ran.”

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