What is a Raintaker?
A raintaker is a successful salesperson or other individual who generates significant revenue for a company and then takes those clients with her to a new employer.
How Does a Raintaker Work?
A rainmaker is a successful salesperson or other individual who generates significant revenue for a company. For example, let's say John Doe is a salesman for Company XYZ. He has a lead on a potential customer, Company ABC, which he has been cultivating for six months. John's sales methods involve calling on potential customers at certain times, providing product information in a certain format, and making sure to form a bond with the right vice presidents. He also has significant travel and entertainment expenses to wine and dine potential clients. As a result of these methods and planning, John's sales numbers are twice that of the other salespeople in the organization, and he brought in 20% of Company XYZ's revenue last year. John is a rainmaker.
However, John decides he's no longer happy working for Company XYZ, and so he easily gets a job (thanks to his reputation as a rainmaker) at Company DEF. John phones his clients to let them know of his move, and they take their business to him at Company DEF, making Company XYZ suffer. John has become a raintaker.
Why Does a Raintaker Matter?
Rainmakers are valuable employees. They often make much more than other employees, both because they receive a percentage of their sales in commissions and because their companies want to keep them around. Raintakers can cost employers big-time, which is why it is often in an employer's best interests to make sure a rainmaker stays happy.