Consulting-in-a-Book: The Ultimate Desk Reference for Engineers and Scientists

A Unique Approach to Training

This book contains hundreds of concepts, techniques, tools, and ideas for improving the performance of consulting engineers and scientists. The book focuses on the four key performance skills: business development, client service strategies, mindset, and problem solving. Material is included for lower to mid-level staff as well as senior personnel and management.

Here are a couple comments about the book:

To say I’m impressed it is putting it mildly. A very excellent effort and well worth reading.

Dennis Rubin, former Sr. Vice President GZA Environmental

I very much agree with your objective of using the book for regular, ongoing lessons and most importantly, application. This is an excellent resource for a manager to develop a group’s mindset, toolset and skill set for success in consulting.

David Gaboury, CEO Terracon

The book is an ideal vehicle for an in-house training. It can be used in a variety of ways, including:

Training Method #1

Provide copies of the book for selected staff (either lower level to mid-level, or senior level). Hold weekly lunch or “brown bag” meetings (prior to a meeting, assign a chapter or section for reading). Discuss the material with a Supervisor or Manager.

For example, let’s assume that the topic of marketing psychology was selected for a training session.

  • 1

    Pre-work: the staff reads the market psychology chapter before the training session.

  • 2

    During the training session, the manager/supervisor conducts a discussion of the topic. For example, the discussion could include the elements of persuasion, how to increase desire and conviction, the basics of psychological influence, or psychological triggers.

  • 3

    At the second training session on marketing psychology (other topics might be interspersed between the marketing psychology sessions), discuss how the elements of persuasion can be used in a proposal or presentation. Or, talk about how psychological triggers can be used in proposals. In other words, dig deeper. Ask the staff to apply at least one of these techniques before the next session on this topic.

  • 4

    At the third training session on marketing psychology (this may occur one month or more after the second session to allow time for implementation), review the basic concepts of market psychology and then ask the staff to report back on their experience applying the techniques. It is important that you return to the same topic to cement the training.

SCT provides a Manager’s Guidebook for the topics in the book.

 Each Guidebook contains color slides of the material (using visual aids in training dramatically increases retention), suggested “workshop” ideas for training sessions, and a variety of templates and checklists that support the subject (as an example, there is a list of twenty psychological cues in the Marketing Psychology chapter).

There are many significant benefits to this approach to training:

  • Deliberate and constant professional development is the very best way to raise confidence, competence, and performance levels.

  • Strong learning environments are characterized by exceptionally high staff engagement.

  • Training makes money (more success techniques used) and saves money (reduced turnover).

  • This type of training does not impact billability.

  • The cost is minimal. Simply purchase the book for all staff. There is a small fee for the Guidebooks. So, the training cost per employee is about $25. Compare to other training methods, which are not repetitive.

  • Frequent training sessions gives managers an opportunity to influence habits and instill the importance of learning new skills.

  • Weekly training increases camaraderie and puts some peer pressure on staff to apply their new skills.

  • Weekly training is by definition, repetitive. Repetition is a key to learning.

  • Note that the managers/supervisors must attend these training sessions so they demonstrate commitment to the training, and are in a position to reinforce the training.

The key to success is not about doing many things, but mastering the four key skills all consultants must have.

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Training Method #2

Simply purchase the book as a desk reference for the staff and senior personnel. Encourage the staff to use the book as a reference. Hold periodic lunch meetings to discuss the book. Management uses the book for stimulating learning and application. Reward implementation (successful case histories or stories).

Training Method #3

SCT offers live two-hour webinars via Go To Meeting on twelve different topics that are addressed in the book, but at a deeper level. Management can focus on a specific topic for emphasis, and to address learning gaps.

For more information, call Dan Predpall at 805-451-7658 or email to

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