The grand visions of the new economy encouraged many consultants to adopt an impatient and dictatorial manner. With little regard for their clients' cultures or competencies, they often urged companies to adopt ambitious strategies and transform their organizations. But in this follow-up to Sobel's coauthored Clients for Life, we get a refreshing reminder that sheer brainpower and eloquence are less important than we might thing. Sobel tells his fellow consultants that to win repeat business, they should focus on building relationships with clients and leveraging the resources at hand. He regards relationship building not as a necessary chore but as the foundation for advancing all truly useful advice-only by gaining clients' complete trust, he insists, can consultants hope to have any influence. And he says that rather than driving new ideas, consultants should aim at adding sophistication and depth to clients' existing ideas and capabilities. To keep from dominating the conversation, he points out, consultants need to be secure with themselves about their necessarily limited role. While slavish adherence to this modest prescription could lead to organizational stagnation - and leave consultants vulnerable when companies change leaders - it's a sensible starting point in today's chastened economy. (Harvard Business Review, March 2003)
Making Rain: The Secrets of Building Lifelong Client Loyaltyby Andrew Sobel
Professionals who work with clients or large accounts can create lifetime relationships based on these well-researched secrets. Based drawing from extensive interviews with client executives, Making Rain offers a series of provocative insights on how to shed the expert-for-hire label and develop long-term advisory relationships. Exploding the popular myth of the
Professionals who work with clients or large accounts can create lifetime relationships based on these well-researched secrets. Based drawing from extensive interviews with client executives, Making Rain offers a series of provocative insights on how to shed the expert-for-hire label and develop long-term advisory relationships. Exploding the popular myth of the "Rainmaker," a dated and dysfunctional figure that clients no longer welcome, Andrew Sobel argues that any professional can learn to "make rain" on an ongoing basis with existing clients by developing a special set of skills, attitudes, and strategies. These innovative tips and techniques from a recognized leader in the field of professional services will enable any consultant, salesperson, or service professional to create enduring client loyalty.
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Meet the Author
ANDREW SOBEL is a leading authority on the skills and strategies required to build enduring client relationships. A noted business strategist and popular speaker, his clients have included such prominent companies as Citigroup, Cox Communications, Fulbright & Jaworski, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Hewitt Associates. He is coauthor of the acclaimed book Clients for Life, as well as dozens of articles on relationship building and loyalty. Formerly a senior vice president of one of the world's largest management consulting firms, he is now President of Andrew Sobel Advisors, a strategy consulting and professional development firm. He earned his BA at Middlebury College and holds an MBA from Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business.
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