"An entertaining and practical guide to building lifelong client loyalty, Making Rain is profoundly insightful as well as motivating. A must–read for all professionals who aspire to distance themselves from their competitors by growing client relationships that are stronger, deeper, and more valuable–for them and for their clients."
–Dale Gifford, Chief Executive, Hewitt Associates
"Few understand the advice business like Andrew Sobel, and his well–written book, Making Rain, is overflowing with insight and sage advice on how to create value for clients and earn their enduring loyalty."
–Jim Robbins, Chief Executive, Cox Communications
"This is a book that is both fascinating and fun. Brilliantly written, meticulous in detail, and penetrating in analysis–anyone who wants to master the art of being a professional advisor will benefit from it."
–Sir Brian Pitman, Senior Advisor to Morgan Stanley and former chairman, Lloyds TSB Group
"In a world where managers seem to churn over more frequently than inventories, Andrew Sobel′s new book, Making Rain, is a welcome respite, a savvy guide to lasting client and customer relationships."
–Stan Davis, author, It′s Alive and Blur
"Making Rain appeals to everyone in business, not just in professional services. Andrew Sobel highlights how the interaction of relationships, longevity of trust, innovative ideas, and expertise combine to produce results and long–term loyalty. An excellent read that is full of insights."
–Sir Win Bischoff, Chairman, Citigroup Europe
"In Making Rain, Andrew Sobel demonstrates a deep understanding of how resilient client relationships are formed and why some professionals are pulled in closer and closer by their clients while others, just as skilled technically, do not establish such relationships. His description of the attributes of extraordinary advisors is a must–read for leaders of professional services firms."
–Steven B. Pfeiffer, Chairman, Fulbright & Jaworski LLP
PART I: BREAKING THROUGH AS AN EXPERT.
The Loyalty Equation: Three Factors That Determine Your Client′s Loyalty.
Are You an Extraordinary Advisor?
Breakthrough Strategies for Experts.
Building Trust in the First Ten Minutes.
More Important than Your 401(k): Building Your Relationship Capital.
Benjamin Franklin′s Secret Weapon.
Why a Client Might Like You.
The Myth of Meeting Client Expectations.
Leonardo da Vinci: Why Lutes and Madonnas Matter.
Finding the Hidden Creases: Influencing Your Clients.
Part One Summary: Are You Breaking Through as an Expert?
PART II: MOVING INTO THE INNER CIRCLE.
I Love My Guru and Other Client Pitfalls.
The Relationship Masters.
The Doubting Mind.
The Deep Generalist and the Branded Expert.
How to Identify Client Needs.
The Power of Size: Developing Large, Multi–Year Client Relationships.
The Right Foot: Four Ways to Start a Relationship and Position It for the Long Term.
Five Ways to Grow Your Client Relationships.
Are Clients Meeting Your Expectations?
Part Two Summary: Are You Moving into the Inner Circle?
PART III: SUSTAINING RELATIONSHIPS YEAR AFTER YEAR.
Sustaining and Multiplying.
Merlin: Working a Little Magic with Your Clients.
Five Steps to New Business with Old Clients.
The Rothschild Bankers: The Power of Unique Capabilities.
Cultivating the Attitude of Independent Wealth.
Managing Client Relationships during Uncertain Times.
Developing Relationships with Foreign Clients: Try Not to Commit These Gaffes.
Becoming a Firm That Makes Rain: How Great Organizations Build Clients for Life.
Part Three Summary: Are You Sustaining Your Relationships Year after Year?
PART V: GETTING STARTED: A SELF–ASSESSMENT.
Do You Have the Ability to Make Rain? Two Assessment Tools for Individuals and Organizations.
A Pantheon of Client Advisors.
The grand visions of the new economy encouraged many consultants to adopt an impatient and dictatorial manner. With little regard for their clients′ cultures or competencies, they often urged companies to adopt ambitious strategies and transform their organizations. But in this follow–up to Sobel′s coauthored Clients for Life, we get a refreshing reminder that sheer brainpower and eloquence are less important than we might thing. Sobel tells his fellow consultants that to win repeat business, they should focus on building relationships with clients and leveraging the resources at hand. He regards relationship building not as a necessary chore but as the foundation for advancing all truly useful advice–only by gaining clients′ complete trust, he insists, can consultants hope to have any influence. And he says that rather than driving new ideas, consultants should aim at adding sophistication and depth to clients′ existing ideas and capabilities. To keep from dominating the conversation, he points out, consultants need to be secure with themselves about their necessarily limited role. While slavish adherence to this modest prescription could lead to organizational stagnation – and leave consultants vulnerable when companies change leaders – it′s a sensible starting point in today′s chastened economy. (Harvard Business Review, March 2003)