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4.5 out of 5 stars13
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 23 January 2010
The first chapter or two are a bit long winded as the author explains in some depth his concept of "value based consulting" (which really translates as charging based on what your input is worth to the client bearing in mind your desire to build a long term relationship.)
Please stick with this book as it gets better as it goes on and it really does cover all the bases.
There is not all that much in this book about how to be a consultant - the clever matrixes to impress clients, the buzzwords and all that.
But what this book is really about is how to be better at marketing yourself as an independent consultant and how to earn big fees from doing so and lots of repeat business.
As Weiss says, "You might be OK as a consultant, but I bet you could market yourself a lot better."
I was not disappointed by the book.
Just a word of caution: UK consultants may find it harder than US ones to get clients to pay for e.g speaking gigs and the like (as a UK consultant and author of the top book in my sector I have found UK clients are rather tight in the wallet dept) but if you bear that in mind, plus some other cultural differences you will still do very well with this book.
I cannot wait to put it into practice.
Of the two other consulting books I have reviewed here I have to say this one definitely is the pick in terms of level of detail and quality of advice.
It's funny at times too.
I love the way he is so scathing about the likes of speakers agents, life coaches, lawyers (obsessed with hourly billing), the latest internet time wasters like Facebook (hirers of consultants don't trawl the net or hang out on LinkedIn) and daft self published books.
There are lots of punchy asides which I enjoyed and the book is great about how to get around and avoid the various blockers of business - procurement depts, HR, lawyers and other assorted gatekeepers who can all too readily say "No" but cannot cut you a cheque.
A priceless book which I have now read three times and is pretty well thumbed.
There is some work that you'll never get and this book cannot help ou there - the UK local authority's labyrinthe systems and tenders processes are impossible to break into, no matter how smart you are at what you do (unless of course you know someone) but for all other work, this is a great guide for a consultant.
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This is not a bad book but I have heard all of it before. The part on the process has remarkable resemblance to the work of Schein and Druker, the part on marketing gravity is basically the same stuff that I have read on the much better book by CJ Hayden Get Clients Now (I am not aware who was published first, but CJ Hayden has a more approachable and effective style and approach). The part on sales and objections is basically a summary of what you can easily find on old style sales book (circa 1979/1980). Basically this is a condensed version of bits and pieces that you can find elsewhere, all in one book. Anything groundbreaking? No.

Interesting the chapter on Value Based fees even if the tone of the author is very narrow minded as he deems professionals like lawyers and accountants as morons because they do not adopt this billing method (clearly AW is not aware that in some countries these highly regulated professions cannot charge extortionate rates as local legislation imposes cap that if not respected would lead to the professional being struck out). I found the part on office equipment redundant and patronising (as well as totally out of touch with reality as when the latest edition came out people were not using faxes or PDAs anymore as it was very old technology). It is an OK starting point but - unlike the author is trying to say - his view is not gospel.

What i found really off-putting is the bragging non-stop attitude and parvenue style (he keeps on talking about his expensive cars and in all honesty, who cares??). I find AW style arrogant, obnoxious and he gives me the idea of someone that has to scream his self perceived grandiosity to the world in an attempt to convince people of his credentials. I pass on AW's books. IMO they are just a reshuffle of a couple of ideas that have lost traction in 1980. There is a massive difference between confidence and cockiness: AW comes across as cocky - very off putting.

If you want a modern approach that works and are not interested in bragging non stop I suggest to read Brand Against The Machine instead. It is not aimed specifically at consultants, but the framework is applicable to consultants as well. Unlike AW's book, it is modern, clear and not written by an inflated bragger. Other much superior books aimed specifically at consultants/professional services are Marketing the Professional Services Firm: Applying the Principles and the Science of Marketing to the Professions by Laurie Young and Rain Making: Attract New Clients No Matter What Your Field.
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on 18 August 2014
I LOVE this book. It has given me such confidence and clarity when starting my biz. It is the perfect counter to all those doubtful voices you hear when you start out. It is also full of extremely practical advice. I am so pleased to have read it at the start of my biz as it's already helped me sidestep some traps.
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on 10 November 2012
Of course you won't achieve success in any career just by imitating someone else, but it pays to take notes on how they achieved what they did. It helps when their story is told in a way that highlights the important points and makes it easy for you to find what can be transposed to your exeperience and what not. This is a very readable book with a good balance between general principles, strategic guidelines and practical minutiae that can go as far as what equipment you must have in your office to start a solo consulting business. Not everything is appilicable by everyone everywhere, and results may vary depending on your style and circumstances, but I've found lots of useful advice that I could easily apply with good results.
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on 27 October 2015
I loved this book - gave me a list of new ideas and approaches. I'm not a consultant but will use many of the ideas for different ventures I'm involved with.
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on 14 April 2014
Very good, as I have found Alan's other books I've read. I would recommend it to anyone who is thinking of starting, or has recently started in consulting.
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on 16 May 2015
It has several practical materials; however, I was expecting more details like examples of when you have to use each thing
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on 23 February 2010
I went into consulting back in late 2008 and I wish I had this book back then. Alan Weiss has been around for a while and gives you the inside track on how to make it in the consulting world. Excellent advice especially considering the current climate for consulting.

Consultants must have a databank of knoledge at their disposal. This book represents a major part of it in my opinion.
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on 22 April 2014
An excellent book and despite buying it second hand, it arrived in near perfect condition.
Delighted - highly recommend this book and the service provided by its seller.
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on 17 September 2013
A great book. Don't be put off by stereotypes, racism, the fact that he's a self promoter. Alan has a gift for communication and clear thinking. He distils his approach in this book. Worth far more than the cost. If you actively sell yourself or your service, buy, read and put into practice this book.
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