Reading is important.
A simple answer, ideas in = ideas out.
If you consistently feed your brain good ideas, you’ll excel at coming up with good solutions for your business. Here are the top books we recommend for consultants.
1.) The Trusted Advisor
In today's fast-paced networked economy, professionals must work harder than ever to maintain and improve their business skills and knowledge. But technical mastery of one's discipline is not enough. The key to professional success is the ability to earn the trust and confidence of clients.
2.) Flawless Consulting
Flawless Consulting is a great guide to honing your consulting skills.
It tackles most of the challenges consultants face, including more guidance on how to ask better questions, dealing with difficult clients, working in an increasingly virtual world, how to cope with complexities in international consulting, case studies, and guidelines on implementation.
3.) Million Dollar Consulting: The Professional’s Guide to Growing a Practice
The advice of Alan Weiss has helped many consultants optimize marketing strategies, make their business attractive to potential clients, and learn how to raise capital. It covers concepts that are specifically for consultants like how to set your fees and value based pricing.
4.) The Challenger Sale
Based on an exhaustive study of thousands of sales reps across multiple industries and geographies, The Challenger Sale argues that classic relationship building is a losing approach. Every sales rep in the world falls into one of five profiles, and while all of these types can deliver average sales performance, only the challenger delivers consistently high performance.
Instead of bludgeoning customers with endless facts and features about their company and products, Challengers approach customers with unique insights about how they can save or make money. They tailor their sales message to the customer's specific needs and objectives. Rather than acquiescing to the customer's every demand or objection, they are assertive, pushing back when necessary and taking control of the sale.
5.) Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In
Based on the Harvard Negotiation Project, this book is all about problem solving, conflict resolution, and how to negotiate. The authors break down their method into 4 easy steps: separate the people from the problem, focus on interests not positions, invent options for mutual gains, and insist on using objective criteria.
6.) How to Win Friends and Influence People
Written by famed author and lecturer Dale Carnegie, this book focuses on the people side of doing business. It analyzes how to get people to like you and how to persuade someone to agree with your way of thinking.
If you’ve read this, you probably agree with it being on the list. If you haven’t, go get a copy!
7.) Accounting for Dummies
Bookkeeping will become more involved as your business grows. This easy how-to guide is invaluable to understanding accounting basics that are vital to running a business. Make sure you have at least a general idea of how and why you need to keep track of your accounting.
8.) The Alchemist
Although a work of fiction, this book is littered with parables and metaphors about life and achieving your “personal legend”. Centered around the adventure of a shepherd in Spain, this story is about being able to see opportunities in your path and finding the treasure you’re searching for. This book is a common recommendation for entrepreneurs and business owners.