A rainmaker is a person who can do one of two things:
- bring in new business or produce results, especially through the use of influence, connections, etc.
- cause rain either by magic (for example, some Native American groups) or by science (for example, by seeding the clouds with chemicals such as silver iodide from an airplane).
One can see how the second, older definition spawns the first; whether the desired result is literal rain or the end of a figurative "dry spell
," the person who can make things happen and achieve it is useful. The business use of the word is more common than the literal one these days and has spread through many different industries. In fact, there is a book on sales
called How to Become a Rainmaker: The Rules for Getting and Keeping Customers and Clients
by Jeffrey J. Fox. Because of its connotations of success
, "Rainmaker" appears in the names of many businesses, including: a post production and visual effects facility in Canada, a publicity firm specializing in indie rock, a research company specializing in workplace issues, a maker of legal software, a legal management company, a recording studio, and a telemarketing company -- and that's just the first page of Google results. (Rainmaker Art, however, was probably meaning to evoke the earlier meaning, since that company deals in Native American art.)