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How Clients Buy: A Practical Guide to Business Development for Consulting and Professional Services

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The real-world guide to selling your services and bringing in business How Clients Buy is the much-needed guide to selling your services. If you're one of the millions of people whose skills are the 'product, ' you know that you cannot be successful unless you bring in clients. The problem is, you're trained to do your job--not sell it. No matter how great you may be at yo The real-world guide to selling your services and bringing in business How Clients Buy is the much-needed guide to selling your services. If you're one of the millions of people whose skills are the 'product, ' you know that you cannot be successful unless you bring in clients. The problem is, you're trained to do your job--not sell it. No matter how great you may be at your actual role, you likely feel a bit lost, hesitant, or 'behind' when it comes to courting clients, an unfamiliar territory where you're never quite sure of the line between under- and over-selling. This book comes to the rescue with real, practical advice for selling what you do. You'll have to unlearn everything you know about sales, but then you'll learn new skills that will help you make connections, develop rapport, create interest, earn trust, and turn prospects into clients. Business development is critical to your personal success, and your skills in this area will dictate the course of your career. This invaluable guide gives you a set of real-world best practices that can help you become the rainmaker you want to be. Get the word out and make productive connections Drop the fear of self-promotion and advertise your accomplishments Earn potential clients' trust to build a lasting relationship Scrap the sales pitch in favor of honesty, positivity, and value Working in the consulting and professional services fields comes with difficulties not encountered by those who sell tangible products. Services are often under-valued, and become among the first things to go when budgets get tight. It is now harder than ever to sell professional services, so your game must be on-point if you hope to out-compete the field. How Clients Buy shows you how to level up and start winning the client list of your dreams.


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The real-world guide to selling your services and bringing in business How Clients Buy is the much-needed guide to selling your services. If you're one of the millions of people whose skills are the 'product, ' you know that you cannot be successful unless you bring in clients. The problem is, you're trained to do your job--not sell it. No matter how great you may be at yo The real-world guide to selling your services and bringing in business How Clients Buy is the much-needed guide to selling your services. If you're one of the millions of people whose skills are the 'product, ' you know that you cannot be successful unless you bring in clients. The problem is, you're trained to do your job--not sell it. No matter how great you may be at your actual role, you likely feel a bit lost, hesitant, or 'behind' when it comes to courting clients, an unfamiliar territory where you're never quite sure of the line between under- and over-selling. This book comes to the rescue with real, practical advice for selling what you do. You'll have to unlearn everything you know about sales, but then you'll learn new skills that will help you make connections, develop rapport, create interest, earn trust, and turn prospects into clients. Business development is critical to your personal success, and your skills in this area will dictate the course of your career. This invaluable guide gives you a set of real-world best practices that can help you become the rainmaker you want to be. Get the word out and make productive connections Drop the fear of self-promotion and advertise your accomplishments Earn potential clients' trust to build a lasting relationship Scrap the sales pitch in favor of honesty, positivity, and value Working in the consulting and professional services fields comes with difficulties not encountered by those who sell tangible products. Services are often under-valued, and become among the first things to go when budgets get tight. It is now harder than ever to sell professional services, so your game must be on-point if you hope to out-compete the field. How Clients Buy shows you how to level up and start winning the client list of your dreams.

30 review for How Clients Buy: A Practical Guide to Business Development for Consulting and Professional Services

  1. 4 out of 5

    Richard Newton

    There is plenty to like about and learn from this book if you are interested in selling consultancy or other professional services. It claims to be orientated to everyone from the largest firms to the sole trader, although my view is the advice is more applicable to the firm than the individual. Nevertheless there is material for the individual to learn. Nicely structured and with plenty of good anecdotes. My main criticism is that I was slightly disappointed in that I don't think it really fulf There is plenty to like about and learn from this book if you are interested in selling consultancy or other professional services. It claims to be orientated to everyone from the largest firms to the sole trader, although my view is the advice is more applicable to the firm than the individual. Nevertheless there is material for the individual to learn. Nicely structured and with plenty of good anecdotes. My main criticism is that I was slightly disappointed in that I don't think it really fulfils the promise of the title. Whilst it claims to be a client perspective I did not think it was completely client orientated. It did not walk through the way clients think about professional services, what causes them to consider and then decide to buy. It does though show you the steps you need to go through to get to sales, and stresses as I agree that it is a relationship business and as such takes a long term investment to get steady sales. So good and worth reading, but take the title with a pinch of salt.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jacek Bartczak

    In the last 2 years I learned people who overuse sentences like "our company is unique" or "in our industry, it works differently" very often keep repeating the same things over and over again - and those things aren't mind-blowing. It is not academic research - just private observations. At the very beginning, the author shows why professional services shouldn't be sold like simple products - his comparisons were tangible, that was a good aspect of the book. Then, he listed many sales techniques In the last 2 years I learned people who overuse sentences like "our company is unique" or "in our industry, it works differently" very often keep repeating the same things over and over again - and those things aren't mind-blowing. It is not academic research - just private observations. At the very beginning, the author shows why professional services shouldn't be sold like simple products - his comparisons were tangible, that was a good aspect of the book. Then, he listed many sales techniques that won't work in selling professional services. After that author's tips came - they were like a worse version of techniques which he criticized earlier. Well, known good practices described many times also in techniques which in his opinion are adequate for selling consulting. Maybe I didn't understand something but im my opinion the author wasn't consistent. If I'm wrong and he was consistent then for sure he didn't provide any fresh sales tips. If you already read a couple of good books about sales - just remember that in selling professional services happy clients and referrals are the game changer and pick an another book from your "to read list".

  3. 4 out of 5

    André Fonseca

    I was surprised to see that a small book that I bought at an airport came to be such an excellent reading... All work comes from Relationships, Referrals, Reputations. Practice like you're the solo guy in your storefront while still being a team player. Narrow your niche appropriately. Make cold calls. Always strive to be the the first, the best and the biggest. Make yourself aware so that clients understand what you do. Be mindful that there is a timing for everything. Connect with your client' I was surprised to see that a small book that I bought at an airport came to be such an excellent reading... All work comes from Relationships, Referrals, Reputations. Practice like you're the solo guy in your storefront while still being a team player. Narrow your niche appropriately. Make cold calls. Always strive to be the the first, the best and the biggest. Make yourself aware so that clients understand what you do. Be mindful that there is a timing for everything. Connect with your client's interests and needs. Establish a relationship of mutual trust. Work with and handle your with heart. Solve your clients' problems. Always make great work. Earn their respect. It is indeed exciting to be part of a team that really effects change.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Roxanna

    Though there is nothing earth-shattering and everything to despair about, the book does nicely summarise what most consultants already know about business development - that selling consulting work is all about your network and building relationships (perception of competence and trust) with whoever in the organisation is senior enough and have the budget to purchase it from you. There are simply no shortcuts though you may get lucky and get some random clients every now and then. Therefore, som Though there is nothing earth-shattering and everything to despair about, the book does nicely summarise what most consultants already know about business development - that selling consulting work is all about your network and building relationships (perception of competence and trust) with whoever in the organisation is senior enough and have the budget to purchase it from you. There are simply no shortcuts though you may get lucky and get some random clients every now and then. Therefore, some of the "tactics" mentioned in the book does seem a bit patronizing - "research", "cold call", "target your advertising" were just too run of the mill for my taste. What I did like about the book was the chapter called "a chain is as strong as its weakest link" containing a self diagnostic test about where to improve one's "rainmaking" abilities and those four pages alone were the gems worth reading through the entire book for. I only wished that the authors expanded on each of these points in the diagnostic and wrote about tactics on improving these instead.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Chris Jeon

    This is a basic intro to business development for consulting services. It outlines how selling consulting services is different than selling products and how a different approach must be taken to be successful. As someone new to this world, I thought the information contained in the book was helpful. However, it only scratched the surfaces of business development, so go ahead and skip it if you're a veteran. I still recommend the book to someone who is looking to learn about business development a This is a basic intro to business development for consulting services. It outlines how selling consulting services is different than selling products and how a different approach must be taken to be successful. As someone new to this world, I thought the information contained in the book was helpful. However, it only scratched the surfaces of business development, so go ahead and skip it if you're a veteran. I still recommend the book to someone who is looking to learn about business development and how to get clients in the consulting/services industry. It's an easy read and I read through it in about 2 days.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Maciek Wilczyński

    Authors combine 50 years of professional consulting experience to explain how to develop business partnerships in management consulting business. If you're in this industry, you clearly see they're indeed consultants: MECE structured, to-the-point and framework-based. They provide reader with actionable 7 steps to understand sales in management advisory services. I loved the cases from Dominic Barton (ex-McKinsey Managing Partner), KPMG and AT Kearney. If you have the consulting firm and would l Authors combine 50 years of professional consulting experience to explain how to develop business partnerships in management consulting business. If you're in this industry, you clearly see they're indeed consultants: MECE structured, to-the-point and framework-based. They provide reader with actionable 7 steps to understand sales in management advisory services. I loved the cases from Dominic Barton (ex-McKinsey Managing Partner), KPMG and AT Kearney. If you have the consulting firm and would like to assess the way you connect with client, check this test: https://howclientsbuy.net/assessment/

  7. 4 out of 5

    Samuel Taggart

    Definitely changed the way I thought about business development. I had desperately been trying to learn "sales" and I always had this feeling that what i was learning wasn't the right way to go about things. This book is the answer. You can't sell consulting the same way you sell widget, yet that is what most sales books and sales trainings focus on. If you are a consultant, don't waste your time with those. Read this book! Definitely changed the way I thought about business development. I had desperately been trying to learn "sales" and I always had this feeling that what i was learning wasn't the right way to go about things. This book is the answer. You can't sell consulting the same way you sell widget, yet that is what most sales books and sales trainings focus on. If you are a consultant, don't waste your time with those. Read this book!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    A good read for anyone in the business of consulting and professional services. Makes a clear distinction between selling a physical product and a service you provide. Discusses realities on whether the client is ready for such services. Professional Services should never be priced the same as commodities.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mithun

    I like second half of the book for better insights than the first half. It is a good read, but the lack of real case studies has made the book to be more on theoritical side. And I wish the book has highlighted best examples in the market place and common resources that are handy for professionals in the marketplace.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Grossman

    Very helpful framework for understanding the mindset of consulting and service clients. My only criticism is that it’s a bit dry, but the content is incredible. My internship uses this as part of their business development tracker and it makes tons of sense. Worth the read because it helps you understand the client’s point of view.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Saman

    I liked the way this book explained everything about B2B sales, and whatnot. Unlike other business books, it sticks to one idea, and shows you how that one idea works, and how you can get the best out of it. It's simply written, greatly comprehensive, and on to the point every time. Definitely recommend it to freelancers, consultants, coaches, and agencies. I liked the way this book explained everything about B2B sales, and whatnot. Unlike other business books, it sticks to one idea, and shows you how that one idea works, and how you can get the best out of it. It's simply written, greatly comprehensive, and on to the point every time. Definitely recommend it to freelancers, consultants, coaches, and agencies.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Harsh Vardhan Passari

    A book every SMB Business Owner running a Professional Services firm should read. Also applicable for Marketing/BD Managers of larger firms. Tom and Doug have structured the approach based on proper research, in additional to drawing from their own experiences.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Renato Beninatto

    Excellent book. It's the book that I always wanted to write. I have been recommending it to everybody. Excellent book. It's the book that I always wanted to write. I have been recommending it to everybody.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mike Lau

    Great insight into professional services marketing and understanding clients.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Matthew S.

    Excellent book for Business Development professionals specifically in Consulting Services. The knowledge economy continues to grow and this is the playbook for thriving. Great read!

  16. 4 out of 5

    John

    Exceptional read for anyone in marketing/sales -- but especially valuable for anyone selling professional services.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sue Foxley

    worth reading if you are in professional services. Better to read than listen on Audible as I did - the "voices" that the orator puts on for different quotes are hideous. worth reading if you are in professional services. Better to read than listen on Audible as I did - the "voices" that the orator puts on for different quotes are hideous.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amos Famouscookies

    The authors try to describe the path that clients use to evaluate and purchase professional services. The ideas are simple to understand and possibly apply.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Deane Barker

    Really great overview of selling and marketing professional services. I don't know that there's much new here, but the authors do have a seven-step model that might help a lot of people clarify their marketing efforts/plans. In the end, the book is an endorsement of network effects -- know more people, do more things, and you'll get more business. Really great overview of selling and marketing professional services. I don't know that there's much new here, but the authors do have a seven-step model that might help a lot of people clarify their marketing efforts/plans. In the end, the book is an endorsement of network effects -- know more people, do more things, and you'll get more business.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Steven Hall

    Simplifies much of the literature on Solution Selling and debunks the hype associated with traditional sales vs. Professional Consulting. Focus on Trust and building Relationships was a great reminder on how to move into the Trusted Advisor role. The tools sprinkled throughout the book and the assessments at the end are good tools to integrate into an overall account management plan.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey

    Good insights - I am trying identify actions I need to take 7 steps a client must take before buying is useful. I like the maturity assessment as an actionable tool as a first step.

  22. 5 out of 5

    David

    Best diagnosis of challenges professionals (e.g., consultants) face when promoting to a sales role. Also how the funnel based sales method is completely wrong for professional advisory service. Unfortunately, the approach it recommends are pretty obvious and doesn't have any great insight. Best diagnosis of challenges professionals (e.g., consultants) face when promoting to a sales role. Also how the funnel based sales method is completely wrong for professional advisory service. Unfortunately, the approach it recommends are pretty obvious and doesn't have any great insight.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Andy Yeh

  24. 5 out of 5

    Geir Beinset

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kevin McDonagh

  26. 5 out of 5

    seth

  27. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

  28. 4 out of 5

    Roman

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ben

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ambrož

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