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Let Customers Rain In

Get out your umbrella--hiring a rainmaker can make profits pour.

This story appears in the January 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Michael Lacey is in the business of IT consulting, not creating weather. But the 38-year-old Plymouth, Minnesota, entrepreneur knows that hiring employees who can make it rain is critical to the continued success of Digineer Inc., the 87-person company he founded in 1998. Three years ago, Lacey brought on a new salesperson he felt would be a rainmaker--someone with a marked ability to attract and retain customers.

The company's rapid expansion since then--sales growth of more than 80 percent a year to the current level of $14 million--is due largely to the direct and indirect effects of adding that rainmaker, Lacey says. "If I had hired another salesperson, a good salesperson but not a great one, we would have grown," he says, "but I don't think it would have been as explosively."

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