Judging by feedback from readers, some of our guest interviewees’ words and ideas really resonate, so we ask them back from time to time to find out what’s on their minds. On this page, you’ll find our most popular contributors discussing a host of topics.
Think of each guest’s interviews/articles as a mini-class on that person’s topic of expertise.
Why Clients Buy
Harry Beckwith is the author of Unthinking: The Surprising Forces Behind What We Buy. His books also include the modern marketing classics, Selling the Invisible, The Invisible Touch, and What Clients Love: A Field Guide to Growing Your Business.
Beckwith heads Beckwith Partners, a marketing firm that advises clients on branding and positioning. He’s an internationally acclaimed speaker, and his books have been translated into more than twenty languages.
- Listen to my podcast interview with Harry on why (and how) clients decide to buy.
- Read my interview with Harry on personal branding strategies that every consultant should use.
- Read my interview with Harry on what clients love and how you can give that to them.
Is Flawless Consulting an Oxymoron?
For more than two decades, Peter Block has been writing and talking about how consultants can provide services and accountability to organizations and communities. His books include the classic, Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used, Stewardship: Choosing Service Over Self-Interest, and The Answer to How Is Yes: Acting on What Matters.
Block is a partner in Designed Learning, a training company that offers workshops to build the skills outlined in his books. He has published more than sixty articles on organizational change and building productive communities.
- Read my interview with Peter on becoming an “authentic” consultant.
- Listen to my podcast with Peter on becoming a flawless consultant.
Can You Inspire Client Loyalty?
Jim Champy is recognized throughout the world for his work on leadership and management issues and on organizational change and business reengineering. His first book, Reengineering the Corporation: A Manifesto for Business Revolution,, which he co-authored with Michael Hammer, sold more than 3 million copies and spent more than a year on the New York Times best seller list. He’s also the author of Outsmart! How to Do What Your Competitors Can’t.
- Read my interview with Jim on how to inspire loyalty.
- Read my interview with Jim on how to outsmart your competitors.
What If You Want to Sell Your Consulting Firm?
Paul Collins is the founder and Managing Partner of Equiteq LLP, a UK based business advisory firm on M&A to the consulting Industry. Formerly, he was the founder and CEO of the consulting firm WCI Group plc, which he built from scratch to $130m before selling his stake to private equity. He is now Europe’s preeminent authority on M&A in the consulting industry.
Paul wrote a three-part series on the issues and strategies associated with selling a consulting practice.
- How to Grow and Sell a Consulting Firm—Part 1
- How to Grow and Sell a Consulting Firm—Part 2
- How to Grow and Sell a Consulting Firm—Part 3
Key Trends in Consulting
Fiona Czerniawska is one of the world’s leading authorities on the consulting industry. She’s the founder and managing director of Arkimeda, which specializes in researching, analyzing, and consulting on the challenges facing consultants and their clients. She’s also the co-founder of Source for Consulting.
Read my interviews with Fiona:
Are you Making Things Happen?
Seth Godin has written thirteen books that have been translated into more than thirty languages. Every one has been a bestseller. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership, and most of all, changing everything.
- Read my interview with Seth: Seven Questions for Seth Godin.
- Read my interview with Seth on the next big idea in marketing.
- Read my interview with Seth on the reasons you may fail to become great.
Are You a Trusted Advisor?
Charles H. Green is founder and President of Trusted Advisor Associates, author of Trust-based Selling ®, and coauthor of The Trusted Advisor (with David Maister and Robert Galford). Green is also a speaker and seminar leader for major consulting organizations, and spent nineteen years with the MAC Group and Gemini Consulting. Green has now teamed up with co-author Andrea Howe to write The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook, a hands-on successor to Green’s classic work.
- Read my interview with Charles on the fundamentals of building trust with your clients.
- Listen to my podcast interview with Charles and co-author, Andrea Howe, on the tools and strategies to use for building trust.
Mastering the Services Sale
Ford Harding is the founder and president of Harding & Company, a firm that helps consultants, accountants, architects, attorneys, and engineers win new clients. Harding has trained professionals around the world in the art of selling and marketing services.
Harding is the author of the classic book, Rain Making: The Professional’s Guide to Attracting New Clients, Creating Rainmakers: The Manager’s Guide to Training Professionals to Attract New Clients, and Cross-Selling Success: A Rainmaker’s Guide to Professional Account Development.
- Read my interview with Ford on rainmaking for consultants.
- Read my interview with Ford on strategies for successful cross-selling.
- Read my interview with Ford on creating rainmakers.
- Read Ford’s article on when you should call or visit your client, instead of sending an email.
- Read Ford’s article on dealing with unreturned phone calls.
Marketing for Solo Professionals
Michael Katz translates his unique view of everyday life into useful, authentic and practical business advice. As Founder and Chief Penguin of Blue Penguin Development, Inc., Michael is a recognized expert in the area of professional services marketing.
Listen to our podcast, Michael Katz: Pricing Your Services.
Read Michael’s provocative articles on marketing, selling, and life for solo business owners:
- Stop Trying to Sell
- Can Your Business Come Out and Play
- Four Must-Haves of an Effective E-Newsletter
- 10 Really Good Reasons to Quit Your Job and Start Your Own Business
How to Sell Anything
Jill Konrath is a leading sales strategist and the author of Selling to Big Companies, and SNAP Selling: Speed Up Sales and Win More Business with Today’s Frazzled Customers. She offers practical strategies to help you reach the right client, with the right offer, at the right time.
- Listen to my podcast with Jill about how sellers can accelerate their sales process and feel good about it.
- Read my interview with Jill about the challenges and solutions of selling to big companies.
What’s a Real Leader Made Of?
Jim Kouzes is a professor at Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business. He’s also the co-author, with Barry Posner, of more than a dozen books on leadership development, including the award-winning The Leadership Challenge, A Leader’s Legacy, Credibility, and Encouraging the Heart.
- Read my interview with Jim on the practices that distinguish great leaders from all the rest.
- Listen to my podcast with Jim on the research-based reasons why people choose to follow some people instead of others.
Making Every Team More Successful
Patrick Lencioni is a consultant, best-selling author, and president of The Table Group, a consulting firm that specializes in executive team development and organizational health. He speaks and consults to a wide range of companies, including multinationals, start-ups, and non-profits. Lencioni’s books include Silos, Politics, and Turf Wars, Death by Meeting, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, and The Three Signs of a Miserable Job, Getting Naked: A Business Fable about Shedding the Three Fears That Sabotage Client Loyalty, and The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business.
- Listen to my podcast with Patrick on the competitive advantage of organizational health.
- Read my interview with Patrick on the five dysfunctions of a consulting team.
- Read my interview with Patrick on establishing (and sustaining) client loyalty.
- Read my interview with Patrick on how to diagnose and exit from a miserable job.
How to Give a Great Speech Every Time
Nick Morgan is the author of the eBook, 7 Steps to a Great Speech. Morgan, one of America’s top communication theorists and coaches, is also the author of Trust Me: Four Steps to Authenticity and Charisma, and Give Your Speech, Change the World: How to Move Your Audience to Action.
In these interviews, I ask Nick what consultants should do to design, prepare, and deliver a great speech every time.
- Listen to my podcast interview with Nick on 7 steps to a great speech.
- Read my interview with Nick on the power of authentic communication.
- Read my interview with Nick on the essentials of speech preparation.
Handling Your Most Crucial Conversations
Kerry Patterson coauthored the New York Times bestsellers Crucial Conversations and Crucial Confrontations. The first edition of Crucial Conversations , which sold 2 million copies, changed how we communicate at work and in our personal lives. He is an acclaimed keynote speaker, consultant, and chief development officer of VitalSmarts. Patterson has designed and implemented major corporate change initiatives for the past twenty-five years.
Kerry also co-authored a five-part article series on the essential aspects of managing crucial conversations. You’ll find each article in the links below:
- Crucial Conversations: Achieve Flawless Execution by Addressing Crucial Problems
- Crucial Conversations: Working with Difficult Leaders
- Crucial Conversations: Managing Setbacks
- Crucial Conversations: Negotiating & Contracting
- Bridging the Gap between Performance and Expectation
What Motivates You (and Others)?
Daniel Pink is the author of several bestselling books about the changing world of work, including Free Agent Nation and A Whole New Mind. For his book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Pink looked at forty years of research on human behavior and found a mismatch between what scientists know about motivation and what business does.
- Read my interview with Dan on what really motivates us.
- Read my interview with Dan on how we can tap our creative more easily and often.
Creating Sales Conversations that Work for Your Clients and You
Mike Schultz is co-author of the book, Rainmaking Conversations: Influence, Persuade, and Sell in Any Situation, and of Professional Services Marketing. Schultz is the publisher of RainToday.com, and president of the RAIN Group.
- Listen to my podcast interview with Mike about the skills–and mindset–you need to become a rainmaker.
- Read my interview with Mike on market-tested strategies for building your market presence and generating sales leads.
Can You Create a Client for Life?
Andrew Sobel is a consultant and a thought leader on the subject of client relationships. Sobel has spent more than twenty years advising senior executives in more than thirty countries. He’s the author of the bestsellers Clients for Life, Making Rain, and All for One. His latest book is Power Questions: Build Relationships, Win New Business, and Influence Others, which illustrates the impact of thought-provoking, incisive questions.
Listen to our podcast, Andrew Sobel: Power Questions.