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How to Succeed as an Independent Consultant Hardcover – March 22, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 4 edition (March 22, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471469106
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471469100
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #904,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

The world of consulting is constantly changing in response to shifting economic realities and new technologies. In this new edition of the classic guide How to Succeed as an Independent Consultant, expert David Zahn updates Herman Holtz’s sage advice to fit the new business landscape and take account of developments affecting the business.

No matter what your field of expertise, How to Succeed as an Independent Consultant will help you win clients through a variety of practical, proven techniques you’ll find only here. Packed with real-world, effective business-driving tactics–as well as up-to-the-minute advice on getting the most out of new technologies–this helpful guide will show you how to market yourself in new ways, soar over IRS hurdles, and grow your home-office operation into a thriving practice. Information added to this edition also addresses the special concerns of internal consultants–those professionals who work in-house, but provide the same service and expertise as outside consultants.

With helpful details and step-by-step advice, How to Succeed as an Independent Consultant will show you how to:

  • Launch your consulting career–from finding assignments to leveraging your skills
  • Use three simple rules to succeed spectacularly at your first client meeting
  • Prepare for any sales situation and avoid common pitfalls when delivering your pitch
  • Manage your finances, including insurance and taxes, so you can keep your business above-board and in the black
  • Understand the latest ideas in marketing–and how to use the Internet, e-mail, and other technologies to attract more clients
  • Write an air-tight proposal
  • Affordably produce your own press releases, brochures, and other sales and promotional materials
  • Get the best deal possible when you negotiate fees and contracts
  • Maintain the highest ethical standards for every project

Independent consulting is more popular than ever and competition is fierce. How to Succeed as an Independent Consultant gives you a head start and a lasting edge with fully actionable advice you’ll find in no other book. Updated with the help of readers just like you, this new edition is more useful, helpful, and comprehensive than ever.

From the Back Cover

The classic guide to consulting–now updated and more comprehensive than ever!

This latest edition of the independent consultant’s bible addresses all the ways the business of consulting has changed since the last edition–including new information on using the Internet for marketing and on the special concerns of internal consultants. Full of no-nonsense, step-by-step techniques for setting up your consultancy and bringing in clients, this helpful, handy guide will show you how to:

  • Find more leads and close more deals
  • Leverage technology to meet business needs and enhance productivity
  • Market yourself and your services more effectively than ever–online and offline
  • Write effective proposals that sell your ideas
  • Make a winning impression in meetings with new clients
  • Win over clients by knowing what to listen for when discussing potential projects
  • Control your cash flow and spot the warning signs of trouble
  • Excel at public speaking and give killer presentations
  • Negotiate, set fees, and draft contracts so you come out ahead
  • Deal successfully with the IRS
  • Uncover new profit centers you didn’t know about

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Jeff R. Clow on April 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This classic "instruction manual" for consultants has been well-known for years in the consulting world as a primer for people just starting out, or for those who are thinking of making the jump from working for others to working as a consultant.
However, the last edition was showing its age and I'm glad to see that this 4th edition breaks a lot of new ground while retaining the great "blocking and tackling" advice from Herman Holtz which drew raves in consulting circles worldwide.
New co-author David Zahn has taken this classic and put an afterburner jet on it and zoomed it in to this new millenium with up to date advice that resonates with clarity and strong, well grounded counsel. As I read the revised volume - which was just released in March of 2004 - I found myself nodding vigorously as he discussed cash flow (the consultant's biggest obstacle year in and year out); marketing in today's internet world; the use of email as a newsletter medium; and so many other great directional points that I realized that an experienced consultant could also benefit greatly from this new volume.
If you are reading this review, you no doubt are considering purchasing this book and you're probably wondering if it is worth the money. That's what I use these reviews for here at Amazon, and that's why I wanted to post this review as soon as I read the new edition....because I believe it can help EVERYONE in the consulting profession hone their skills to a much sharper edge.
From my perspective, the 14th chapter (How to Handle Negotiations, How to Set Fees and How to Handle contracts) alone is worth the cover price, and then the rest of the book is a remarkable bonus.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 14, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I picked this book up, not because I am a consultant, but because I am an executive at a company that uses consultants frequently. I was hoping to spot in these pages all of the "tricks of the trade" that consultants use so that I would be a smarter customer of consulting services. As someone that occasionally loathes, and infrequently appreciates the perspectives of so-called outside experts, I was pleasantly disappointed (yes, pleasantly disappointed) to see that what Holtz and Zahn are suggesting in these chapters is non-manipulative, ethical, and above board practices that in no way try to take advantage of a customer that is not as sophisticated as perhaps they need to be. I was disappointed because I wanted to be armed with ways of combatting what I perceive to be the car salesman approach taken by far too many of the consultants I have worked with in my career. Perhaps the fault is as much mine as the consultants we hired. Maybe I have to spend more time doing exactly what this book recommends consultants do when it comes to; scoping out projects, ensuring agreement on objectives, managing project timelines, and agreeing on how to fairly compensate the consultant for his or her assistance. I found this book pleasant in that it convinced me that not all consultants are cut out of the cloth of the "give me your watch and I will tell you what time it is" type. Seeing what the consultant is SUPPOSED to be doing when engaging with a client (me) and being able to compare that to what happens in my company makes me want to buy this book for a few of our most senior executives and dog-ear those pages that they need to read.Read more ›
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Storchan on September 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been reading this book and others as a reference to help me start a consulting business. I would think that someone who is going into business as a consultant would know a little about business so I skipped over those chapter. I found marketing, finding the clients, and creating the environment for the sale important. The issue on contracts and what to charge extremely important to my future. Unfortuantely I am starting a marketing and sales consulting firm and I found little to no reference on examples. This book is primarily for engineers, accounts, and attorneys.
I will always keep this book as a valued reference as I add clients to my clients.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 25, 1998
Format: Hardcover
If you're thinking about being a consultant, this book is a must read. Someone loaned us a copy of this and got us on the right track nearly 10 years ago. Without it, we would surely have been out of business in a couple years. So let us pass it on again - read this book. Understand the words. And best of luck.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bobbe Allender on March 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book when the third edition first came out. I found the information so brilliant and so helpful. It has remained a constant bottom line reference for those hard questions that have simple answers! I have referred the book to many other who were trying to establish viable consultanting businesses and were searching for all the 'questions and answers' of getting started. And more important - "how do I figure out what to charge???" When I purchased the book, please note, I was living in the highly competitive North Eastern United States!
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