The Consulting Bible: Everything You Need to Know to Create and Expand a Seven-Figure Consulting Practice Paperback – Apr 5 2011
|New from||Used from|
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.
From the Back Cover
A comprehensive guide to becoming THE sought-after thought leader and expert
At a certain point in your career, you realize that you could put your knowledge to better use by extracting yourself from the shadow of the corporate world and striking out on your own. The Consulting Bible is the comprehensive guide to succeeding in the flexible and rewarding profession of solo and boutique consulting.
Bestselling author and celebrated consultant Alan Weiss delivers his field-tested advice so that you can:
Learn the nine components of a winning proposal
Establish value-based fees and protect that value
Create testimonials and references, and establish long-term leverage
Acquire know-how for providing coaching, conflict resolution, negotiation, crises management, and dozens of other interventions
Develop supreme communication skills
The value you provide as a consultant can be reciprocal and exponential, leading you toward true wealth, defined here as discretionary time and not only dollars in the bank.
"An amazingly thorough compilation of distilled wisdom regarding the elements for success in consulting. The most experienced consultant will harvest many valuable tips, and the newcomer won't be able put it down."JACK ZENGER, CEO, Zenger Folkman, and bestselling coauthor of The Extraordinary Leader, The Inspiring Leader, and The Extraordinary Coach
"Alan Weiss is a genius marketing consultant who understands the business from the inside out. Apply his years of knowledge and experience to achieve the consulting business of your dreams. Follow the advice of this expert, and success is in your immediate future."Dr. NIDO QUBEIN, President, High Point University; Chairman, Great Harvest Bread Co; and Recipient, Horatio Alger Award for Distinguished Americans
"If you're a solo practioner or boutique firm principal, you can't afford not to have The Consulting Bible on your desk, earmarked, highlighted, and well worn. It's a must-read, and I can see this book in your future." DANIEL BURRUS, author of Flash Foresight and Technotrends
About the Author
Alan Weiss, PhD, is recognized as "one of the most highly regarded independent consultants in America" by the New York Post and a "worldwide expert in executive education" by Success magazine. His firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients such as Merck, Hewlett-Packard, GE, Mercedes-Benz, and over 500 other leading organizations. He is also the bestselling author of Million Dollar Consulting and forty other books.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
He also approaches consulting from his personal model, which is no doubt successful. However, not everyone can just name a 5 figure fee for service. Since he abhors hourly fees, there is no advice in the "bible" on hourly fee consulting.
Contingency fee consulting is also never mentioned, even though all the big firms are engaged in it. The shift of big firms to this fee structure is huge and has implications for firms of all sizes. This form of fee structure was largely non existent in the eighties and nineties, so that may explains Weiss failure to discuss it in the 'bible."
So it is not the bible in its coverage of consulting. It offers some advice you may not be seeking, and provides little insight into today's marketplace.
As to all the positive reviews, I am sure Weiss has his followers. He does give some excellent advice in how to get testimonials, and apparently follows same.
I was taken aback at how dated his commentaries are. Weiss came of age in consulting in the 80's and 90's, and it shows. By his own admission he was fired as president of a consulting firm in 1985. He obviously worked his CEO Rolodex for a long time, but I suspect all his contacts have long since retired, and it seems their replacements don't return his calls. He's also getting long in the tooth (he'll be 70 in a few years.)
As others here have noted, he contradicts himself constantly, and clearly hasn't engaged with corporate clients in quite some time. Some of his hypothetical, manipulative scenarios would have him shown the door (if he even got in) in no time. One of his blind spots - he is very dismissive of others who he perceives can't help him. That's not very smart - especially corporate gatekeepers. Those people can, and will, do everything they can to torpedo you if you talk down to them - and yet there is no need to do so. He is in life as he writes - I once overheard a phone conversation he had with the staff of one of his clients - I couldn't believe how rude and condescending he was.
Consulting has changed dramatically since Weiss was in it. I've known, lots of consultants (and others who sell into the corporate environment) - dating back almost as long as Weiss. But only one consultant that is in the 'claimed' billing level of Weiss - and that consultant really doesn't do any of the things Weiss suggests. In other words, independent consulting is highly individualistic, and often due to unique circumstances. To say otherwise is naive and misleading.
Weiss has some tidbits, but much of what he says represents a bygone era. He also carefully constructs his fawning audiences so he never gets rejected. One thing he really doesn't touch is corporate penetration strategies - how to proactively get in the door to investigate opportunities and propose services. That skill set is absolutely necessary to enter new areas or keep your practice current. He admits as much, but doesn't tell you how to do it. (His techniques simply put you in the pool of all the other self-proclaimed 'experts'.) I suspect this is because he can't do it. But times have changed, and that kind of hand-to-hand is what is necessary these days. You won't find any guidance in Weiss' books on that - his books are more like Dale Carnegie or Anthony Robbins.
You need to look elsewhere for today's consulting skills.
In my opinion, it is best to approach this book with an open mind. Weiss explains precisely how to attract clients, build trust, craft proposals that get accepted more often than not, command exceptional fees, and what is necessary for building a seven-figure practice. But to do so, one must discard concepts that don't work: marketing oneself as a commodity, offering cookie-cutter/bundled solutions, responding to Requests for Proposals, and most notably - billing by units of time rather than offering fees based on value.
Weiss has not only established his own multi-million dollar consulting practice, but is responsible for helping more consultants achieve seven-figure incomes than Harvard Business School.
While any single component of the book (how to write effective proposals, marketing gravity, value-based fees) would easily justify the purchase, the book is much greater than the sum of its parts. The completeness of this guide combined with the well-established authority of the author make this a must-read for anyone seeking to improve their clients' situations.
First, to give due credit, there is some good material and advice in here. I did benefit from his advice on subcontracting and retainers. I haven't seen advice on those consulting topics much elsewhere, and his advice was insightful and practical. He also addressed ethical issues in consulting, which was good. I also decided to refine my approach to initial discussions & proposals with prospective clients based on his advice - so he deserves credit there, too. And for those starting out in consulting, the author does address fundamentals such as incorporation and insurance.
But he also fills the book with topics that don't belong in such a book. We consultants don't need a book on consulting to lecture us on work/life balance any more than plumbers need a book on plumbing to tell them about that issue. The author also devotes a good deal of space to organizational development, conflict resolution, and other matters that most consultants DON'T consult on. Those were of no use or interest to me. His advice on some issues, such as copyright notices, was inaccurate and long out-of-date.
And then there was the author's use of figures (charts, graphs, etc.). He used them frequently and poorly. Not only were most of the figures unnecessary and unclear as to their meaning, the author had the audacity to re-use them in multiple instances!
In apparent attempts to be clever, much of his writing was unclear. (At the very least, an editor should have corrected that.) And some of his advice on consulting was simply BAD. For example, he says flat fees are the way to go, as opposed to charging for your time. That's simply wrong. Granted, in some situations flat fees can be used effectively, but in many situations they are inappropriate. He also advocates behaving and communicating in ways that are so aggressive and tactless as to be obnoxious and counterproductive. There are plenty of other instances in the book like that where the author's advice is simply - as I said - BAD.
"The Consulting Bible" brought new ideas and several pieces from Alan's previous works all into one, self-contained "bible" of a book.
I've been consulting in the Alternative Financial Services (AFS - payday loans, car title loans, check cashing...) space since 1997 and Alan's thoughts and templates have been invaluable.
No matter what industry you're in, GET THIS BOOK and his others!
Jer Ayles-Ayler Trihouse