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The Seven Principles of Professional Services

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The Seven Principles of Professional Services

A field guide for successfully walking the consulting tightrope

PS Principles,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

To become a successful professional services consultant, following seven best-practice principles.

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Shane Anastasi, an experienced professional services consultant, outlines seven basic principles for consulting success. He explains that consultants work in a complex environment fraught with potential for misunderstanding. Anastasi uses “walking a tightrope” as an analogy for balancing the demands of your current clients with those of the consulting firm that employs you and expects you to fulfill your jobs expeditiously and generate more contracts. Anastasi’s sound advice focuses more on how to consult and work with clients than on how to get clients or start a consulting business. He offers guidance that will be useful to service providers in many areas, even sole practitioners. getAbstract recommends his slim manual to new and veteran professional services consultants in many fields.


“Walking the Tightrope”

Unless you have a solo consulting practice, you must balance today’s client needs with the demands of the firm that employs you. Clients pay for your counsel; your employer expects you to keep them happy and generate new accounts. To walk that tightrope, follow seven principles:

Principle 1 – “Adapt to Your Environment”

To avoid frustration, consultants must understand each work environment they enter. When clients decide they want to improve their business but can’t do it internally, they hire a team of experts – the professional services firm for which you work.

To engage with clients, first get grounded in the basics of their work environment. Then, as an expert, steer your clients toward solutions. You can’t force clients to do things your way. Work with them and avoid emotionally charged situations. Be timely, but know that being a little late with higher quality work is better than being early with a substandard effort. Follow the “ABC’s – Always Be Consulting!” ABC stands for “ask questions, be engaged with their business” and offer “constructive recommendations.” Pay attention to the insights you can gain from your...

About the Author

SalesForce vice president Shane Anastasi founded PS Principles, a professional services forum. He has 20 years experience in professional services and previously worked at IBM and SingTel.

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