Customer Reviews


25 Reviews
5 star:
 (18)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Answers to Fulfilling a Professional's Dreams!
Every professional I know feels uncomfortable about the fact that at some point in the future they see no revenues coming in, after current assignments and contracts are completed. In private discussions, many professionals have told me how deeply they ache for the security of having long-term client relationships. Many find it difficult to attract new clients, don't...
Published on October 11, 2000 by Donald Mitchell

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Identifies the foundations for great relationships
This is a great book for anyone who wants to take his or her client relationships to the highest possible level. I am intimately familiar with a vast amount of literature on selling, but nothing I've read does as good a job at getting to the heart of what really creates lasting relationships. Clients for Life is interesting, entertaining, and successfully blends...
Published on September 13, 2000 by Sal Benti


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Answers to Fulfilling a Professional's Dreams!, October 11, 2000
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
Every professional I know feels uncomfortable about the fact that at some point in the future they see no revenues coming in, after current assignments and contracts are completed. In private discussions, many professionals have told me how deeply they ache for the security of having long-term client relationships. Many find it difficult to attract new clients, don't enjoy that role, and know that it is time-consuming and costly.
Anyone who feels that way should definitely read this book. Primarily drawn from the experiences of the authors and of top advisors they interviewed, the answers ring true for me. Having been a management consultant for 30 of the past 33 years, all of my long-term relationships had the qualities described here.
The book outlines the characteristics that clients are typically looking for. These include:
Balancing detachment and dedication to the client's cause to act in selfless ways (you are especially warned against the 45 minute hard sell for the next assignment at the end of the current one.)
Becoming empathic with your client at such a level that you pick up on tiny, unspoken clues about what is on their minds
Moving beyond being a specialist into becoming a deep generalist so that you can help connect the perspectives of your specialty to adjacent issues
Seeing the big picture so that you can help synthesize solutions that no one else would have thought of
Improving your judgment so that you can sift the winning options from the losing ones (this section is particularly well done)
Acting from conviction by operating from your values rather than your self-interest
Having earned a deep level of trust you can draw on based on the integrity and competence you have shown in the past
The authors make these points very well by contrasting the role of experts (the one-time assignment of a specialist in a narrow area) with advisors (the broader role). For example, professionals often make the mistake of focusing on presentations and reports while clients often most value working sessions and one-on-one discussions.
There are also many examples in the book of great advisors like Gertrude Bell, David Ogilvy, George Marshall, Peter Drucker, Henry Kissinger, and Harry Hopkins. These role models help make the points clearer.
The authors also have a good section on evaluating whether or not you should want to have a long-term relationship with certain clients.
Now having praised the book, let me also point out that I disagree with the book's premise as it relates to management consulting. In my experience, it is bad for clients and consultants to focus on lifelong relationships.
Let me explain. Here are the problems from the client's point of view. First, if the consultants have done a good job, the company should at some point have learned how to do what the consultants do. Second, the firm is obviously larger than the consulting firm in most cases, and the expertise of the client should grow faster than the consultants. That means that the consultants should run out of relevant, needed expertise at some point. Third, if your clients are wildly successful as a result of your collaboration, they surpass their goals quickly and retire. As Peter Drucker has often said to me, "Don, the last person the new CEO wants to see is you if you have been close to the old CEO." The reason for that is because the new CEO wants to create her or his own mark. Peter Drucker has advised working for every other CEO in a company if you want to have a long-term relationship. Well, CEOs stay in their jobs about 7 years, and that is decling. That's not a lifetime. Finally, the time and money the client spends with you is time and money that they cannot spend with another consultant who may have expertise they need more than yours. I have seen famous, brand-name firms stay on too long in such circumstances and do great harm to their clients.
Now, let's look at the same question from the consultant's point of view. Peter Drucker's first client was General Motors, for example. Yet his biggest contributions have come in assignments for organizations like the Girl Scouts and churches, which came late in life. If he had stayed with only his first clients, even as large and interesting as they were, he would have cut off his opportunity to do his best work. I think that consultants should always be looking for where they can make the most positive contribution. That may not be in a lifelong relationship, and will usually not be.
Also, it is new clients who push you the most because you don't know exactly what is going on. When I look back on assignments, I find that I have usually learned the most from working with a client in the first 6 months. If I had stopped taking on new clients, 90 percent of the ideas I have developed would never have occurred to me.
So for me at least, this book points me in the wrong direction in pursuing the lifelong relationship. I suggest you ask yourself whether it does you or not, as well. On the other hand, it is always good to find ways to be more valuable to clients, and creating what could become a lifelong relationship through being a better advisor is commendable. The book can help you with that goal, as well.
Be a great advisor to your clients, regardless of the length of the relationship!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Valuable guidance on an important topic, May 19, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Clients for Life: Evolving from an Expert-for-Hire to an Extraordinary Adviser (Paperback)
I am responsible for managing large corporate accounts, and this book has dramatically changed my perspectives in terms of how I view my role with clients.In Clients for Life, the authors have succeeded brilliantly at a difficult task: defining the essence of long-term, value-added relationships and the characteristics of professionals who succeed in developing them. This is by far the best and most sophisticated book I have read on the subject of client relationships. It is genuinely insightful, beautifully written, and full of entertaining, relevant anecdotes about working with and advising clients. Sheth and Sobel organize the book around the key attributes of professionals who are able to become great advisors to their clients and develop lifetime relationships with them. They describe these qualities with depth and freshness, and their model rings true. Many people talk about "big picture thinking," for example, or "integrity," but the authors actually define these things in a meaningful way and clearly demonstrate how you can improve yourself. Each chapter profiles a famous historical advisor who was especially skilled at dealing with clients. Much of what I have read on client relationship management has tended to be either simplistic and focused on "techniques" or else overly academic. Clients for Life, in contrast, is a breezy read yet very rich and thoughtful in its approach-it'll make you think hard about your own personal and professional development. I highly recommend this book to anyone who manages clients (corporations or individuals, for that matter) or large customer relationships.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read Mitchell's Review First, May 16, 2001
Don Mitchell's review is first-rate. I agree completely with his reasons for praising this book, and, I agree completely with his (and Drucker's) comments about so-called "lifelong relationships." If you are looking for some rock-solid advice to achieve "breakthrough" relationships with clients, Sheth and Sobel provide it. But as Mitchell and Drucker correctly point out, it is possible but highly unlikely that those relationships can be sustained indefinitely, especially now when change is the only constant and occurs at ever-increasing velocity. Give careful thought to the word "breakthrough" because it has so many relevancies to today's competitive marketplace. When in pursuit of a prospective client, first you have to break through clutter to become visible; then you have to break through other clutter to differentiate yourself from the competition; then overcome other clutter to begin the new relationship; finally, you have to break through still more clutter to sustain that relationship. (Think about juggling handgrenades in a minefield at 2 AM...during an electrical storm...while wearing a blindfold.) Sheth and Sobel offer a wealth of information as well as sound guidance. Much of what they share can also help with the formulation of customer recapture strategies. But take no one and nothing for granted. The "life" of a customer relationship should not be measured in terms of years; rather, in terms of how effectively you nourish that relationship while you have it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential for any consultant., May 3, 2005
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Clients for Life: Evolving from an Expert-for-Hire to an Extraordinary Adviser (Paperback)
As a consultant, this book helped me focus on behaviors aimed at building a long-term practice rather than simply going from success-to-success. I say this not to toot my own horn (yes, I've had failures too) but rather because most decent consultants actually do OK--clients are generally happy. We appear to succeed on a regular basis. The great consultants, however, are the ones who build vocal followings...and that's where the value of this work rests.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Important Issue with Insightful Guidance, August 27, 2000
By A Customer
In Clients for Life, the authors have succeeded brilliantly at a difficult task: defining the essence of long-term, value-added relationships and the characteristics of professionals who succeed in developing them. This is by far the best and most sophisticated book I have read on the subject of client relationships. It is genuinely insightful, beautifully written, and full of entertaining, relevant anecdotes about working with and advising clients. Sheth and Sobel organize the book around the key attributes of professionals who are able to become great advisors to their clients and develop lifetime relationships with them. They describe these qualities with depth and freshness, and their model rings true. Many people talk about "big picture thinking," for example, or "integrity," but the authors actually define these things in a meaningful way and clearly demonstrate how you can improve yourself. Each chapter profiles a famous historical advisor who was especially skilled at dealing with clients. Much of what I have read on client relationship management has tended to be either simplistic and focused on "techniques" or else overly academic. Clients for Life, in contrast, is a breezy read yet very rich and thoughtful in its approach-it'll make you think hard about your own personal and professional development. I highly recommend this book to anyone who manages clients or large customer relationships.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will transform your role with clients, October 2, 2000
By A Customer
This is one of the most fresh, insightful and frankly interesting business books I've read in a long time. It goes to the heart of how you add value with your clients, using highly original examples and frameworks that include some fascinating profiles of famous advisors like JP Morgan and David Ogilvy.I found the chapter on judgment ("An Eye for Winners") the clearest and most thought-provoking discussion of this subject I've ever come across; other chapters on trust, independence, big-picture thinking, and the pitfalls of client relationships were equally penetrating. This book is about much more than keeping clients--it really describes how to become a great contributor to any type of business relationship, whether with a client, a boss, or as a mentor to someone. This is a gem of insight that can help readers transform their role with clients.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Practical ideas built on thoughtful perspectives, September 17, 2000
By 
Nils Tcheyan (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
Sobel and Sheth have distilled a great deal of information into a few meaningful concepts with practical ideas for applying them. Professional relationships are full of complexity, whether it is with a client, boss, or subordinate. The authors have looked at the work of professional advisors throughout history, and identified the essential ingredients and dangers in client relationships. I liked the approach they take, stressing excellence, integrity, and continual learning as the foundation, and going further into looking at the essential need for independent judgement built on a solid understanding the businesses they advise. The framework they provide is not easy-- it's original and challenging to carry out. The book is well written-- it moves quickly, weaving real stories as context for the insights the authors provide. I think anyone who works in the professional services area will take a lot of ideas from this book that can be applied.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Book is a Classic, June 18, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Clients for Life: Evolving from an Expert-for-Hire to an Extraordinary Adviser (Paperback)
Clients for Life sets out seven key attributes or skills needed to evolve from an "expert for hire" to a client advisor. It is based on extensive interviews, conducted by the authors, with corporate executives and top CEOs about their most valuable outside professionals. The authors nicely contrast the expert for hire and the client advisor. For example: Experts tell, advisors ask great questions and listen; experts are specialists, advisors are deep generalists who have both depth and breadth; experts have professional credibility, advisors go further and build personal trust; and so on. There is a chapter on each of these attributes and transitions. I've worked with
clients for many years, and everything in Clients for Life rings true. I'd go further and say that this is one of those paradigm or mindset-shifting books. You cannot think about yourself in the same way after reading it. It raises a lot of questions about how we position ourselves with clients, and provides some good answers. Clients for Life is beautifully written. It is
honestly a must-read for anyone in fields like financial services, professional services, or who even manages large accounts in any industry.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Identifies the foundations for great relationships, September 13, 2000
This is a great book for anyone who wants to take his or her client relationships to the highest possible level. I am intimately familiar with a vast amount of literature on selling, but nothing I've read does as good a job at getting to the heart of what really creates lasting relationships. Clients for Life is interesting, entertaining, and successfully blends practical examples and cases with higher-level concepts. As head of global sales & marketing for a technology company, I manage large, sophisticated Fortune-500 accounts, and I found a great deal of original, immediately-usable insight in this book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars CLIENTS/ CUSTOMERS - THE BACKBONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!, December 28, 2001
By 
Sandra D. Peters "Seagull Books" (Prince Edward Island, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I have been a professional counsellor for over thirty years, both in business management and psychology, and the one constant that can always be depended upon is change. People change, times change, technology changes, and those who want to stay in the game and win, must be prepared to accept change, keep up with it, and run with it. "Clients for Life" is a well-documented, factual outlook at how to best serve the clients one has and how to hold on to them for however long it is feasible to do so. In my line of work, on the psychology side, there are no shortage of clients but some are short-term and continually change; others are long-term. Rather than become focused on the revenue that comes in each and every month, I found if one concentrates on the clients' needs and focuses on doing the best one possible can to fulfill that need, the revenue takes care of itself!
As the author quickly points out, not all existing clients/customers will last forever. Some die, some relocate, some will try the competition, and depending on the type of business, not everyone will continue to NEED your service or product on a regular basis. Most of the suggestions provided in this book are very general and apply to almost to any type of professional business; but in my opinion, other suggestions are targeted to more specific professions - it is not a one hundred percent, one-shoe-fits-all approach. For example in this province, doctors, psychologists, lawyers, accountants, etc. are prohibited by law from advertising their services, with the exception of business cards. In business management and training, however, one can freely advertise their services. Clients come through word-of-mouth and referrals from other professionals. Word-of-mouth goes a long way, and if existing clients are happy, they will indeed refer your services to others, who in turn will continue to refer your services. As a result, the client base continually escalates but, as this book indicates, a certain portion of your client base will definitely change.
In general, the book is well written and contains some sound and practical advice for developing trusting, professional realtionships. In any profession, one first must earn the respect and trust of the client before a win-win relationship can develop, and any information learned that will allow one to do that will be of great benefit down the road.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Clients for Life: Evolving from an Expert-for-Hire to an Extraordinary Adviser
$15.99 $14.39
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.