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Learn to Develop Clients for Life

In The Relationship Strategy Program, you'll learn how to develop much sought after—but not often achieved—trusted partner relationships with your clients.

Relationship Strategy Program Curriculum Click here to enlarge.

Get the knowledge, skills,
and confidence you need to
develop clients for life.

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Group Discounts: Groups of 5 or more people are eligible for additional savings. Email us or call us at (508) 405-0438 for more information.

The Relationship Strategy Program is for those aspiring to:

  • Develop deep, trusted professional relationships
  • Become a trusted advisor to their clients rather than an "expert for hire"
  • Connect with senior executives and become part of their inner circle

This program is the result of a unique collaboration between Andrew Sobel and RAIN Group. Andrew, the world's leading authority on client relationships, has teamed up with RAIN Group leaders Mike Schultz and John Doerr to bring you this one-of-a-kind learning resource. Together, they've assembled a comprehensive set of strategies and tools to help you develop and sustain your clients for life.

Here's what some members are saying:

This course is so authentic in its approach to client relationships. I feel really confident in recommending it to my own clients. It puts our commitment to relationships on the same footing, which is invaluable. I am enjoying the prompt responses from the experts in the Questions Forum, as well as the advice from fellow course participants from all over the globe. If you want to extend your business understanding beyond your own region this is a great way to start. I also like the fact I can 'cram' for sessions on my iPad when I am falling a little behind.

Kay Drabsch | Member

This program thus far is amazingly valuable. It is connecting so many dots for me—other experiences in my career in business development and relationship-building, along with knowledge gained through other professional development investments since the early days of creating my consulting practice. Thank you!

Gail Bower | Member

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Developing Long-Lasting, Trusted Client Relationships Is Harder Than Ever

How many of your clients think of you as being essential to their growth and profits?

How many of them see you as a cost to be carefully managed?

The difference is huge. When clients view you as contributing to their growth and profits, they can't get enough of you. But when they view you as a cost—a commodity—they'll try to minimize your fees and cut you or switch to a competitor when it's convenient.

However, if you can go from being seen as a tradable commodity—an "expert for hire"—to an advisor who is part of their inner circle, you can help your clients' and your own profits soar.

Client relationships are the lifeblood of your business.

They are more important than ever to succeeding in the marketplace and having a fulfilling career. But client relationships are more difficult to build and sustain than they were in the past.

  • Clients are demanding more value in their relationships. They are being asked to do more for less by their own customers and shareholders, and that pressure is being passed on to you.
  • Client executives are more sophisticated.
  • To get more value for their money, many companies are using procurement processes for purchasing.
  • Executives are time-starved. They could fill their day three times over with people who want to meet with them.
  • Corporate clients are consolidating their use of external service providers and advisors.

All of these factors make it harder for you to develop and grow long-term client relationships.

But they also mean that it's more important than ever to have strong relationships—otherwise your expertise can rapidly become a tradable commodity.

Moving from "Expert for Hire" to Trusted Advisor

If you want to consistently develop deeper, more enduring relationships with your clients, you need to reimagine and redefine your approach.

You need to think beyond your expertise and the value you provide during a single engagement.

You must to evolve from an expert for hire to a trusted advisor who is considered essential to your client's growth and profits.

To do that, you must use new strategies, improve your skills, and adapt your behavior.

You must shift from the narrow "expert" mindset—where you are focused inward on your expertise, products, and methodologies—to the broader "advisor mindset" where you are focused outward on the client and their highest-level goals. This means going from:

  • Telling to asking powerful questions and listening
  • Being a narrow specialist to being a deep generalist—someone with a core expertise and breadth around that expertise
  • Being "for hire" to exercising independence
  • Analysis to synthesis—big-picture thinking, which clients treasure
  • Delivering contractual value to adding multiple layers of value—core value, personal value, and surprise value.
  • Building professional credibility to developing deep personal trust
  • Being reactive to being a proactive agenda setter

Making those changes will have a powerful impact on your relationships. We're going to show you how to make all of them and more in The Relationship Strategy Program: Developing Clients for Life.

Get the knowledge, skills, and confidence you need to develop clients for life.

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Are You Ready to Start Developing Clients for Life?

In The Relationship Strategy Program: Developing Clients for Life, we're going to equip you with the strategies, best practices, tools, and skill-building exercises you need to become invaluable to your clients. It's an online, module-based training program that provides you with a roadmap for acquiring clients, building deep relationships with them, and growing and multiplying those relationships over time.

Your membership includes 26 interactive online lessons available 24/7, a broad curriculum that covers all key client relationship topics, monthly live Q&A coaching calls, exercises, best practices, tools, checklists, FAQs, quizzes, and much more.

You'll discover how to:

  • Evolve from being an expert for hire (a commodity) into a trusted partner
  • Become more relevant to clients to get more quality face time
  • Build trust with skeptical clients
  • Earn a spot inside your client's inner circle of trusted advisors
  • Deal with a client who doesn't want a relationship
  • Manage a relationship crisis and recover from past mistakes
  • Earn higher fees for your services
  • Stay in touch when there's no business
  • Manage your time effectively for building long-term relationships
  • Create institutional relationships
  • Get through to and build relationships with top executives
  • Generate more leads from existing relationships

The program is broken into four core modules, each covering one of the basic stages of relationship development. Here is the curriculum:

Relationship Strategy Program Roadmap to Developing Clients for Life

Get the knowledge, skills, and confidence you need to develop clients for life.

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  • Satisfaction Guarantee: Test-drive the course for 30 days and see how it feels. If you don't like what you see, we'll refund your first month's tuition.
  • Group Discount Program: Have a group of five or more people in your organization that would benefit from The Relationship Strategy Program? Contact us for information on group membership discounts. Email, or give us a call at (508) 405-0438.

Praise for the program leaders:

Andrew Sobel's understanding of how long-term client relationships are formed is unparalleled.

Diana Brightmore-Armour | CEO, Corporate Banking, Lloyds Banking Group

John Doerr and Mike Schultz are skilled at drawing out the elements in people that allow them to grow.... And RAIN Group's program helps them to improve on their own so that each time they have an experience with a potential customer, they are using that to inform their next experience. Now, by applying the skills learned during the training and coaching, [our professionals] are able to use their own stories effectively in conversations with prospective customers.

Dave Shaby | Senior Vice President, Bright Horizons

Here's What You'll Learn to Help You Develop Clients for Life

The Relationship Strategy Program gives you the knowledge and skills you need to develop, grow, and sustain meaningful client relationships.

This step-by-step program puts you firmly in charge of your future, giving you a proven, research-based framework you can rely on to help you develop rewarding, mutually-profitable client relationships. Twenty-six interactive lessons unfold over four months, with one or two lessons released each week. You'll receive an email each time a new lesson is released.

Some participants follow our pace as we release the lessons, while others find they get busy with clients or want to spend more time on a particular topic and thus take longer to complete the program. We designed the training so you can go at your own pace, knowing that all the valuable content is there for you when you're ready.

Here's what you'll learn in each module:

Module 1: Building the Foundations of Clients for Life

Learn to develop your core network and establish the foundation you need to develop clients for life. You'll learn how to build your relationship capital and identify the "critical few" relationships that will really power your career and your client relationships. You'll learn to ask power questions that engage clients during every interaction with them. You'll learn strategies for building relationships in the c-suite and with senior decision makers.

In this module, you'll learn how to:

  • Differentiate yourself in the marketplace and in the eyes of your clients
  • Evolve from being an "expert for hire"—a commodity vendor—to a trusted client advisor
  • Assess your current client portfolio and your relationship-building strengths and weaknesses
  • Become a thought leader who understands and adds value to your client's agenda of critical goals and priorities
  • Build a powerful network of clients and other supporting relationships that will drive your success
  • Build a value-added, staying-in-touch program for your key relationships
  • Use thought-provoking "power questions" to understand your clients' key issues, passions, and challenges
  • Move up in the organization and build relationships with senior economic buyers
  • Deal with clients (and others) who don't seem to want a relationship
  • Stay in touch when there's no business
  • Connect to clients' highest-level goals and aspirations
  • Get more high-quality leads from existing clients

Module 2: Moving from Contact to Client: Creating Buyers

Learn how to turn a contact into a client. We give you a comprehensive system for creating buyers, including how to accelerate trust, make winning sales pitches, and turn a project into a relationship.

In this module, you'll learn how to:

  • Turn a prospect or existing client into a buyer
  • Be a trusted advisor in the very first meeting with a client
  • Achieve four critical goals in your meetings
  • Answer the question, "How are you different?"
  • Handle price push-back and other common client objections
  • Satisfy the eight preconditions that must be present before you submit any proposal
  • Create a value-added, engaging live presentation that is perceived as a "working session," not a sales pitch
  • Strengthen and accelerate the trust-building process early on in your relationships
  • Regularly and systematically move from a single transaction to a long-term stream of revenue
  • Get a meeting with the highest-level decision maker

Module 3: Growing Client Relationships

Learn to grow your relationships by adding multiple layers of value, taking advantage of a dozen different growth catalysts, and building more personal relationships with clients.

In this module, you'll learn how to:

  • Deliver value during each step of the relationship-building process
  • Add multiple layers of value, including core value, personal value, intangible value, and surprise value
  • Grow your client relationships on a regular basis by leveraging 20 ”growth catalysts”
  • Implement a vibrant client planning and development process to develop clients for life
  • Build business breadth around your core expertise
  • Cultivate three levels of knowledge that will enable you to see interconnections and converse easily at any level of the organization
  • Decide which relationships to invest in
  • Build relationships with clients who are much older or younger than you
  • Broaden a client's perception of your capabilities
  • Unseat an incumbent competitor
  • Balance dedication with detachment and objectivity so you can earn trusted advisor status
  • Get to know your clients as people and build a more personal, intimate relationship with them

Module 4: Maintaining and Multiplying Relationships

Learn strategies to not just maintain but also to multiply your client relationships. We set out techniques to improve your big picture thinking and thought leadership, and we demonstrate how you can become a "person of interest" that top executives would like to have at the table with them—both the dinner table and the boardroom table.

In this module, you'll learn how to:

  • Unleash a steady stream of high-quality referrals from current clients
  • Become a gateway between your client's needs and the full resources of your organization
  • Jumpstart your thought leadership development
  • Create immediate thought leadership by making your implicit knowledge explicit
  • Build your branded expertise around key ideas that you become known for
  • Add value in every conversation
  • Synthesize critical issues and become a big-picture thinker
  • Become the kind of person that a top executive would like to have at both the boardroom table and the dinner table
  • Further deepen your best relationships and partner with your clients in innovative ways
  • Recover from a service/quality failure or other crisis
  • Deal with leadership turnover at your client's organization
  • Expand your client network up, down, and sideways
  • Be perceived as an intellectual and social peer to senior executives
  • Implement a system for your ongoing relationship-building efforts to ensure a steady stream of client opportunities

Enduring client partnerships are essential to financial and reputational success, and Andrew Sobel delivers powerful insights about how to systematically cultivate and sustain them.

James Bardrick | Managing Director and Co-Head, EMEA Banking, Citigroup

When we first engaged the RAIN Group, we had a modest goal of incrementally improving performance across 30 reps. Once we started working together, it became apparent that we would be going on a much more significant journey with them. While we have done a number of things to improve internally, RAIN Group helped us structure positive change through sales training, better hiring practices that included upfront assessments, and continued consulting around management issues. With RAIN Group's help, we have transformed our sales organization into an engine for company growth! Business development activity and results almost immediately improved. One would hope for this result after sales training. However, it has been many months since the initial training, and we are seeing continued improvement with sales up 31%. RAIN Group continues to help us make the right moves and continues reinforcement training activities, and things just get stronger. A true change agent, they are a big part of our success.

Fred Hernandez | Director of Marketing, Modern Postcard

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What Your Membership Includes

  • 26 Training Lessons: This is an online, self-paced learning program. New lessons are released each week over the course of four months until you complete the four core modules. Lessons are designed to not only give you the core concepts of the topic, but to also provide you with the specific how-to information you need to go from understanding to action. Lessons are delivered in text, video, and MP3 audio for your convenience and learning preference.
  • Monthly Q&A Coaching Calls with Instructors: The monthly Q&A Coaching Calls are one of the cornerstones of this program. The calls provide you with direct access to program leaders to work through your challenges as they arise. We'll dig into issues you face and provide specific feedback and suggestions for your unique situation.
  • Assessments and Application Exercises: Yes, we know professionals like tests and homework about as much as high school students like them, but developing clients for life requires some hard work on your end. Following each lesson, assignments will be available for you to download and complete to help you apply the lesson content to your business relationships quickly and easily.
  • FAQs and Best Practices: Each lesson includes answers to frequently asked questions, as well as checklists of best practices. These supplemental materials are designed to clarify and reinforce key concepts.

Why Listen to Us?

The Relationship Strategy Program is a collaboration between Andrew Sobel and RAIN Group leaders Mike Schultz and John Doerr.

Relationship Strategy Instructors

Andrew Sobel helps companies and individuals build clients for life. He is the most widely published author in the world on the topic of business relationships, and his bestselling books include Power Questions, All for One, Making Rain, and Clients for Life. His clients include many of the world's leading companies, such as Citigroup, Ernst & Young, Booz Allen Hamilton, Hess, Cognizant, Deloitte, Experian, Lloyds Banking Group, Bain & Company, and many others. Andrew's articles and work have appeared in publications such as The New York Times, USA Today, strategy+business, and the Harvard Business Review. He spent 15 years at Gemini Consulting where he was a Senior Vice President and Country Chief Executive Officer, and for the last 15 years he has led his own consulting firm, Andrew Sobel Advisors. He is a graduate of Middlebury College and earned his MBA at Dartmouth's Tuck school.

Mike Schultz is Co-President of RAIN Group and a world-renowned consultant, speaker, and expert in sales training and performance improvement. He's a bestselling author of Rainmaking Conversations and Insight Selling and delivers dozens of keynotes and seminars per year for clients and at leading industry conferences. His articles and work have been featured in a variety of publications such as Business Week, Inc. Magazine, and Fast Company. Mike and RAIN Group have worked with many of the premier companies in the world, including Ernst & Young, Fidelity Investments, Bank of America, Harvard University, Oracle, DHL, and hundreds of others.

John Doerr is a leading authority on the skills and strategies that make for sales success. As Co-President of RAIN Group, he has consulted with, trained, and coached thousands of sales professionals, leaders, and business executives helping them improve sales performance. He is co-author of bestsellers Rainmaking Conversations and Insight Selling. He has worked with organizations such as Rothstein Kass, Oracle, BDO, Bright Horizons, London Business School, DHL, Informatica, Deltek, and many others to improve sales results.

Few understand the advice business like Andrew Sobel.

Jim Robbins | Former Chief Executive Officer, Cox Communications

John Doerr and Mike Schultz helped grow my company's sales at a double-digit pace in past years, so I've recommended the RAIN Selling methodology to many business owners and continue to do so today.

Mike Cooch | Founder and CEO, Kutenda

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RAIN Group's online training has made our sales process more effective, given us a common language to use in conversations, and boosted the confidence of our engineers and scientists. We exceeded our stretch sales goals for Q1 2012!

Lucy Servidio | Senior Vice President, Capaccio Environmental Engineering, Inc.

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.

Steven B. Pfeiffer | Chair of the Executive Committee, Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P.

What's the Cost?

Typical professional training programs cost thousands of dollars per person, may require extensive travel, and often teach you strategies that are overly theoretical and don't necessarily work for your business. They are also one-off events rather than continuous learning experiences that endure over time and help put the new skills into practice.

Not only are we going to give you implementable strategies that work specifically for developing meaningful and lasting client relationships, but we're doing it at an affordable price.

Tuition for the program is $199/month. The curriculum is self-paced and typically takes four months to complete, but you stay enrolled for as long as you'd like access to the program content and membership benefits.

No airfare, no hotel, no car rentals. You'll be able to take this training at your own pace in your home or office.

Please Note: The program is a monthly, recurring subscription. Once enrolled, your credit card will be billed automatically every 30 days until you notify us to cancel.

[Andrew] consistently provides illuminating and practical insights.... The rich experience Andrew has developed in working with leading organizations around the world helps his clients unleash their own creative thinking and build their own trusted advisor relationships.

Don Lowman | Former Managing Director and Board Member, Towers Perrin

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Satisfaction Guarantee

Still not sure if the program's for you? Test-drive The Relationship Strategy Program: Developing Clients for Life for 30 days and see how it feels.

We think you're going to find the information is world-class, the worksheets show you how to apply what you've learned, the coaching calls give you exactly what you need to get to the next level, and that the experience isn't just worth the modest cost, but it's also worth your time and attention.

If you don't agree, let us know within the first 30 days of your membership, and we'll provide you a full refund—no questions asked.

If you decide the program's no longer working for you, you can cancel at any time and you won't be charged again. But we don't expect that to happen. In fact, most of our members stay on longer than the four months it takes to complete the program. If, once the core four modules of the program are complete, you decide you want continued access to the ongoing coaching calls every month and the bonus material, you're welcome to continue to renew your membership as long as you'd like.

Get the knowledge, skills, and confidence you need to develop clients for life.

Sign Up Now 30-Day Money Back Guarantee

P.S. Additional discounts are available for groups of five or more people. Contact us for information on group membership discounts. Email, or call us at (508) 405-0438.

Monthly Renewing Subscriptions are non-refundable after 30 days. You may cancel your monthly renewing membership at any time during the month. If you choose this option, your subscription will expire 30 days from the last payment. Any amounts paid prior to your cancellation will not be refunded.