In business, a rainmaker is a person who brings in new business and wins new accounts almost by magic, since it is often not readily apparent how this new business activity is caused. It means generating substantial new business or additional cash flow from sources sometimes outside established business channels, sometimes by connecting with people in non-traditional or hidden markets, and sometimes by prompting current clients to spend more money. A rainmaker is usually a key figure in the business or organization, not merely a salesperson, but a principal or executive who is usually highly regarded within the enterprise.
The origin of the business sense of rainmaker may be an allusion to the Native American practice of dancing to encourage deities to bring forth the rain necessary for crops. In summertime during a drought, for instance, the rainmaker would dance and sing songs on the plains, and the activity was believed by others in the tribe to magically cause clouds to come and bring the life-giving rain. By analogy, a business rainmaker would magically bring new business and clients to a firm or generate more revenue from existing customers and donors, and rain is a metaphor for money. An example was the late advertising agency executive Frederick D. Sulcer who was described as a rainmaker after bringing numerous new accounts to the agency. According to one view, the role of the rainmaker is to find a dormant business problem and then create a vision of what life could be like if that problem were solved.
- Shana Lynch (March 1, 2011). "Cinequest's rainmaker is one to know". Silicon Valley BizBlog. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
- David Benoit (March 22, 2012). "UBS's New Co-Head of Investment Banking A Big Rainmaker". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
Why is Orcel so highly valued? Because he is a rainmaker who has made big deals, and a lot of fees.
- Lucia Moses (April 25, 2012). "Meredith Loses Rainmaker, Axes 80: Martin Reidy led integrated marketing unit". Adweek. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
Martin Reidy, who led the hot B-to-B unit Meredith Integrated Marketing (recently renamed Meredith Xcelerated Marketing), ....
- "Rain Dance". Indians.org. American Indian Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- Jeffrey J. Fox. How to Become a Rainmaker. Hyperion (May 17, 2000) ISBN 0-7868-6595-4
- LESLIE WAYNE (November 29, 2007). "A Fund-Raising Rainmaker Arises Online". The New York Times. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
- BERNIE BECKER (September 3, 2010). "The Presidential Rainmaker, Cont.". The New York Times. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
... the president has still been a moneymaker for Democrats...