All For One: 10 Strategies for Building Trusted Client Partnerships


Corporate clients are demanding more value from their external advisors, and consolidating their business around a smaller number of firms. These trends are forcing a variety of service providers—from consulting firms to large banks—to confront a series of difficult challenges:
  • How do we create an ‘all-for-one, one-for-all’ culture in which the whole is greater than the sum-of-the-parts and we succeed in leveraging our global network to ...
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Corporate clients are demanding more value from their external advisors, and consolidating their business around a smaller number of firms. These trends are forcing a variety of service providers—from consulting firms to large banks—to confront a series of difficult challenges:
  • How do we create an ‘all-for-one, one-for-all’ culture in which the whole is greater than the sum-of-the-parts and we succeed in leveraging our global network to deliver value to clients?"
  • How do we mobilize the right people, resources, and ideas—across a multitude of organizational and geographic boundaries—into each and every client relationship?"
  • How do we evolve from a trusted advisor to a trusted partner and build multi-year, institutional relationships?

All for One answers these questions with an innovative and comprehensive model for developing enduring, institutional client relationships—what Andrew Sobel refers to as Level 6 Trusted Client Partnerships. It offers readers ten specific strategies that are thoroughly supported by case studies, best practices from leading firms, and implementation tools. The individual professional is principally responsible for five of these strategies, while the firm—the institution—must support and drive the other five. When you successfully execute against all ten of these building blocks, you develop long-term, professional-client partnerships that provide great value to the client and high levels of personal satisfaction and profitability for the service provider.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
All for One is thought provoking and actionable, making it a valuable roadmap for building trust and mutual benefit between clients and advisors.
Ralph W. Shrader, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Booz Allen Hamilton

In All for One, Andrew Sobel takes an important, further step in defining great client relationships by eloquently describing how to build trusted partnerships.
Sir Winfried Bischoff, Chairman, Citigroup

All for One is a goldmine of best practices. Five years’ scrutiny of 50 major service-based relationships—combined with the author’s deep expertise on what makes service firms successful—make Andrew Sobel’s guidance accessible, credible, and invaluable.
Edward E. Nusbaum, Chief Executive Officer, Grant Thornton LLP

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470380284
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/20/2009
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 549,078
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Sobel is a leading authority on the skills and strategies for building enduring client relationships. He is the author of Making Rain and coauthor of Clients for Life, and his work has appeared in a variety of publications including the New York Times and the Harvard Business Review. As President of Andrew Sobel Advisors, he helps organizations build lifelong client partnerships. His clients range from major public companies to leading professional service firms. A former senior vice president at Gemini Consulting, he earned his MBA at Dartmouth's Tuck School. To learn more or contact Andrew directly, please visit

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Table of Contents

Part One: A Roadmap for Building Trusted Client Partnerships.

Introduction: Transforming Your Client Relationships.

1. Reaching Level 6: Trusted Client Partner.

2. Employing Ten Integrated Strategies.

Part Two: The Individual Strategies.

3. Strategy One: Becoming an Agenda Setter.

4. Strategy Two: Developing Relationship Capital.

5. Strategy Three: Engaging New Clients.

6. Strategy Four: Institutionalizing Client Relationships.

7. Strategy Five: Adding Multiple Layers of Value.

Part Three: The Institutional Strategies.

8. Strategy Six: Targeting the Right Clients.

9. Strategy Seven: Building a Client Leadership Pipeline.

10. Strategy Eight: Promoting Collaboration.

11. Strategy Nine: Listening to Clients.

12. Strategy Ten: Creating a Unique Client Experience.

Part Four: Commonly asked Questions.

13. Answers to the Most Commonly Asked Questions About Client Relationships.

14. Conclusion: Implementing the Ten Strategies.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 6 of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 13, 2009

    If your goal is to build great client relationships - buy this book!

    If your goal is to build great client relationships as a trusted partner (giving you long lasting, challenging, profitable good work) then Sobel has written the book for you. The author was a senior VP with Cap Gemini and wrote previously Making Rain, and Clients for Life both of which are also excellent sources for the service professional. There is too much in the book to summarize in this review - but he has lots of great information at He is a good clear writer and this is a book to read a few times - once to glean and then again to savour. He could be a good example for top producer salespeople anywhere.

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  • Posted April 9, 2009

    A great read that covers new ground

    So many books on networking and client relationships have flooded the market in the last five years that I am a real skeptic that there's much new to say. We don't need to be told that relationships are important and that we have to build trust with clients.

    All for One is different, and in it Sobel takes a new slant. It has so many good ideas that it's hard to summarize everything in one sentence, but if I had to it would be this: Service firms must get better at building long-term, institutional partnerships with their clients; and to do this they need to develop an interconnected set of individual and organizational capabilities. The book lays out what these capabilities are in about ten core chapters, and I learned something important in every one of them.

    Sobel's writing is clear and well organized, and his examples are excellent. The chapter on value is especially interesting, and it includes a variety of examples of professional firms that have developed innovative ways of generating new ideas for clients. His chapter on collaboration in services firms is also fascinating. It starts by looking at the evolution of human collaboration, and then sets out a clear and convincing framework of three drivers of collaboration. His examples are wide-ranging and intriguing, ranging from the Beatles (the whole was greater than the sum-of-the-parts) to the US Military Joint Forces Command (getting different service branches to work together seamlessly). I give it five stars without hesitation. If you want to go from selling small projects to building multi-million dollar client relationships, this book shows you how.

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  • Posted April 5, 2009

    The Authoritative Guide to Building Large, Institutional Client Relationships

    Sobel's new book, All for One, is a comprehensive guide to building large-scale client relationships-to moving beyond trusted advisor to trusted partner. I am a big fan of Sobel's previous books, especially Clients for Life, and All for One does not disappoint-in fact it sets the benchmark for how you develop the people and create the organization required to develop and grow what he calls "level 6" trusted partnerships.

    The premise of the book is that the organization that surrounds the rainmaker is as or more important than the rainmaker himself, and that to build trusted client partnerships you must develop a highly collaborative culture that takes a long-term view of client development. Sobel notes that many large companies are reducing the number of consulting firms, law firms, banks, etc. that they are willing to deal with, and they are demanding more value from these service providers. Advisory firms, on the other hand, have developed such complex organizations that they are having trouble creating a whole that is greater than the sum-of-the-parts. By getting the right people and ideas to flow easily into each of your client relationships, and institutionalizing them, you create value for both sides.

    Sobel sets out ten main strategies in the book. They include becoming an agenda setter, building individual relationship capital, engaging effectively with c-level executives, going from individual to institutional relationships, adding multiple layers of value, building a client leadership pipeline to develop and support relationship managers, building a culture of collaboration, and creating a truly unique client experience. Each chapter is very logically presented, practical, and contains a great deal of fresh material-with few exceptions this is a highly original, rather than derivative, book. The last chapter is excellent, and it lays out a series of commonly asked questions, with answers, about building client relationships (ranging from "How do I make more time for long-term relationship building?" to "How can I build relationships with procurement managers?"). What really brought the book to life and made it so useful for me are the real-life examples, quotes, and short case studies.

    Sobel has done his homework, and he cites best practices from a wide variety of companies including well-known ones like Booz Allen, Bain, Ernst & Young, IBM, Lloyds Banking Group, as well as smaller and highly innovative firms that readers may not be familiar with such as ZS Associates, Parthenon Group, and ERM. If you work with clients, this book really should be on your bookshelf.

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    Posted January 23, 2010

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    Posted January 19, 2010

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    Posted January 24, 2010

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