The Consulting Bible - Alan Weiss

The Consulting Bible - Alan Weiss

Find out how to start your career as an independent consultant, using business management techniques and consulting strategies.

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If you consider becoming a consultant, this book will help you make the right decision because it presents simply and straightforwardly the fundamental ideas of a professional in that area. Alan Weiss has developed a practical guide to running a business: "The Consulting Bible".

Using valuable tips and guidance from years of experience in the field, dealing with customers, charging higher fees, expanding your business through licensing, creating new opportunities, and revenue sources.

According to John Zenger, CEO of Zenger Folkman, this book is:

"An incredibly comprehensive collection of wisdom on the ways to succeed in a consulting business. Experienced consultants can get valuable tips in this book and who are starting their careers will not be able to stop reading."

Got interested to know more about it? Stay with us in this summary and get into the consulting world!

About the book "The Consulting Bible"

The book "The Consulting Bible", released in 2017, was written by Alan Weiss and shows methods and techniques of the consulting service, ranging from strategy and service positioning even more operational issues.

This work is composed of 336 pages and 15 chapters that are divided into 5 sections: "Genesis: consulting as a profession"; "Exodus: consulting as a business"; "Deuteronomy: methodology of consulting"; "Acts of the Apostles: Implementing Consulting Methodologies" and "Proverbs: Success of Consulting".

About the author Alan Weiss

Alan Weiss is an American born in 1946, in New Jersey. He is a consultant, panelist, and author. He created the Summit Consulting Group, a consulting company. Among the group's customers are Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, New York Times, Bank of America, and Allianz Insurance.

His services have already been provided to more than 500 organizations. Weiss gives more than 30 speeches a year at major US business events. In addition, he has published about 40 books and 500 articles.

To whom is this book indicated?

The techniques, ideas, structure, and experiences described here can be used both for the associate and for specialists in large consulting companies. This is a bible to take you to the promised land, where you are totally free, susceptible to victories and defeats, for which you will be solely responsible.

Alan Weiss will show you how to become brilliant in the art of fascinating and advisory clients, in order to enrich your life and the lives of the people around you.

Main ideas of the book "The Consulting Bible"

Among the content presented in the book, we've gathered the best strategies so that you can develop skills in the consulting field.

  • The role of the consultant is to improve the client's conditions;
  • All customers know what they want. Few customers know what they really need. This difference is the value added by the consultant;
  • We live in a litigious and judicialized society. It's unfortunate, but it's true. Not protecting our assets, including the intellectuals, is like leaving the house unlocked, with piles of newspapers at the door, inviting the thief to enter the empty house;
  • You deserve to be happy and successful. Achieving these goals by helping others to be happy and successful is a great and wonderful privilege.

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[Book Summary] The Consulting Bible - Alan Weiss

Overview: The role of the consultant

Consulting - such as advice, suggestion, recommendation - has always been present in social relationships, since human beings began to live in society.

The job of a consultant basically involves improving the customer's situation. As soon as they leave the client, their condition must be better than the previous one. Otherwise, the consultant failed.

"And the client, what is it?" Well, the client is the one who authorizes the payment, with the budget itself. Weiss calls this person an "economic buyer".

Unlike many people think, the customer is the buyer, that is, a physical individual, not an organization (General Electric and Boeing for example).

According to the author:

"The loyalty of the consultant is for the economic buyer, the person whose condition must be improved (The consultant can only waive this loyalty if he finds that the buyer is in an ethical or legal conflict with the organization)."

Looking now for the "need" of buyers. It can be seen as:

  • "Pre-Existing Needs" - these are the essential needs of the company, today and tomorrow. Customer relations, market growth, strategy, conflicts, and so on;
  • "Created Needs" - Alan Weiss says that "all customers know what they want, but few know what they need". Often, clients hire the services they want, but not those they need.

To better understand this idea, let's observe a dialogue between client and consultant:

Client: We want a leadership training program. Can you develop this program?

Consultant: Yes, but why do you want it?

Customer: Once people come to the district manager, our staff turnover goes up a lot. It is obvious that the occupants are not prepared for the job.

Consultant: That's a possibility. But frequent travel, management pressures, and management of administrative demands can also be sources of strong stress and dissatisfaction, right?

Client: It's true.

Consultant: Shouldn't we then investigate the real reasons and formulate appropriate responses? The training itself may not contribute much.

Finally, Alan Weiss makes it clear that one of the main failings of unsuccessful consultants is to accept the wishes of clients as if they were real needs;

  • Anticipated needs - With globalization, social change happens much faster than decades ago. The consultant must anticipate the next needs of the clients. Some examples may be outsourcing services, team coordination, and internal security for computers.

Overview: How to build and improve the company presence

We will address two aspects of a business, legal and financial. Starting with the legal with regard to the constitution of the company.

For a start it is recommended that you create a legal entity aiming to exercise an organized economic activity for the circulation or production of goods or services, with originality and belongs own so that it does not mix with a partner.

Alan Weiss advises to:

"Always turn to lawyers and accountants specializing in corporate and tax law, and who are familiar with the activities of small professional services companies."

They will guide you to the best options, looking from your point of view, your goals, and the gains you crave.

Moving on, we have the finances. This aspect can bring you many complications, so it is important to be careful here.

The first step is not to confuse personal finance with the company's finances. According to the author:

"Hire a competent autonomous accountant or an accounting firm duly registered with the Regional Accounting Council (CRC), to keep up the company's bookkeeping. Open separate bank accounts for the company and keep them segregated from your personal bank accounts."

Stay updated on the market and be flexible to changes. Be moderate, no misery, and excesses.

What do other authors say about it?

In the book "Mindset", the author Carol S. Dweck says that the world is divided between people who are open to learning and that are closed to it. And this trait affects everything in life, from its world view to their interpersonal relationships.

While the author of "Traction", Gino Wickman, explores how successful entrepreneurs have a compelling vision and well defined for their business. In addition, they know how to communicate this message to employees. From this, a guideline is created to be followed by everyone within the organization, always used to develop solutions and guide strategic actions.

Finally, Cristiane Corrêa, in the book "Sonho Grande", complements the idea of personal strategic planning and stresses the importance of maintaining a process of continuous improvement to reach its objectives.

Okay, but how can I apply this to my life?

  • Evaluate your talents, passions, and markets;
  • Concentrate your time, resources, and energy on the convincing presentation of your added value to those who can afford it;
  • Stand out for excellence and fulfill promised, then gather testimonials, approvals, and references;
  • Minimize the intensity of work and maximize the added value and, consequently, the fees;
  • Focus on emerging markets of the highest value, from the qualitative, non-quantitative point of view;
  • Create and disseminate intellectual property in your market, in a continuous and consistent way, protecting all your work and building strong brands;
  • Maximize the net worth of the business and define the best way to exploit it;
  • Give back to the general community and to the specific profession by offering money, time, and intellectual contributions;
  • Always remember that true wealth is free time and that there is always a bigger boat.

Tomorrow may be the beginning of a new phase, profession, or behavior. The career of a consultant is noble in the sense that the purpose of this work is to improve the situation of our clients in exchange for equitable remuneration.

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Book 'The Consulting Bible'