Interview with business writer David A. Fields

In today’s hot seat is David A. Fields and he’s
chatting with me about his new business book, The Irresistible Consultant’s Guide to Winning Clients.
Best-selling author and acclaimed
speaker, consultant, and mentor David A. Fields works with individual
consultants and consulting firms across the globe that are eager to accelerate
growth, increase profit and create lucrative, lifestyle-friendly practices. He
has guided consultancies ranging from one-person startups to the consulting
divisions of some of the world’s largest companies.
David still advises
corporate clients too. After climbing the ranks to become a partner at a
prestigious consulting firm in Connecticut, David co-founded Ascendant
Consulting, where he has attracted clients such as Abbott Laboratories, Church
& Dwight, FMC, Warner Home Video, and many others.
He also leads the Ascendant
Consortium, a unique, “general contractor” model in which David acts as both a
client and consultant on the same project. The consortium now includes more
than 150 consultants whose clients are a Who’s Who of the global business
world. The Ascendant Consortium was a breakthrough for David professionally,
and in this model high-dollar, high-margin projects are the norm.
David received his
Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Carnegie Mellon. (Go plaid!) He is a
hockey fanatic and eats egregious amounts of chocolate.
Welcome, David. Please tell us about
your current release.
The Irresistible Consultant’s Guide to Winning
demystifies the process of
creating a sustainable, reliable, lucrative new-business engine. While the book
was written for consultants, other service professionals and salespeople have
found it to be an invaluable resource.
Many sales-related books
sound good in theory, but somehow the techniques don’t work for the average
reader. Especially if the reader doesn’t view himself as a salesperson. My goal
with this book was to pack it with practical techniques that every consultant
could successfully implement to build their own practice.
Importantly, the book also
distinguishes between selling and winning business. Classic sales gambits have
little place in the world of building long-term client relationships. On the
other hand, there’s a proven, six-step process to attracting clients who will
pay handsomely and stay for a lifetime. That process is detailed in The
Irresistible Consultant’s Guide to Winning Clients.
What inspired you to write this book?
Independent consulting—be it
in solo shops or boutique firms—is a fabulous profession. I believe independent
consultants are an extraordinary resource for businesses of all sizes and I
have a passion for helping those who choose to lead small firms.
My expertise is the business
of consulting and how to create high-value projects. I built a business around
that expertise, and for years I sold projects for other independent consultants
in my role as leader of the Ascendant Consortium. However, there’s a limit to
the number of projects I could sell for others consultants, so I started
teaching other professionals to win large, high-value projects on their own.
If the principles I taught
hadn’t resonated or worked for other consultants, I would have dropped the
coaching piece and continued focusing 100% on my own, successful practice. That
exact opposite happened. My writing, coaching and mentoring helped other
consultants break through the limits of their practices and achieve their
aspirations. With that backdrop, I wrote The Irresistible Consultant’s Guide to
Winning Clients so that far more practitioners can experience the success that
those I’ve worked with directly have enjoyed.
What exciting story are you working on
My next book is Same Rain,
Bigger Drops
. After you learn how to win projects, also called “making rain,”
the next step is to learn how to make every project you win more lucrative and
higher value
My intention is to follow
Same Rain, Bigger Drops with a book called Discovery. One of the underpinnings
of my approach to business is that we are successful only to the extent we
attend to other people and strive to understand them. To understand others, you
must master the art of “discovery,” and I believe that deserves a book of its
When did you first consider yourself a
Am I a writer? (jesting) I was a consultant who writes
until I found I had produced a fresh, enjoyable article every week for over two
years. At that point, looking back, I realized that perhaps I’m not simply a
consultant who writes; perhaps I am a writer.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day
like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to
Gosh no! I’m a full-time
consultant, coach, and mentor. I do write quite a lot, though. I have to write
a certain amount every week because my “tribe” expects a new article weekly,
and the only way to get a new book out is to treat writing like a precious
What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
For a “serious” business
writer, I’m fairly irreverent. I like to pepper my articles with puns, silly
food references, and my hand-drawn illustrations. (If you can call
stick-figures illustrations)
As a child, what did you want to be
when you grew up?
I don’t recall wanting to
grow up. The entrepreneurial spirit was alive in me pretty early though, and I
happily sold homemade cookies from a roadside stand with my sister.
Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?
Two, core principles I teach
my clients may be surprising to your readers who aren’t business-oriented. The
first is that business isn’t about you, it’s about them. The second is that
wealth isn’t a function of how much money you have, it’s a function of how many
rich, vibrant relationships you enjoy.
Website | Twitter | Book site

Thanks for being here today, David!

One thought on “Interview with business writer David A. Fields

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