A Dragon Walks into a Meeting

A Tactical Guide to Client Management

by John Brown and Fred Fuller

Whether you were just thrust into a client-facing role or are already in one and want to hone your skills, A Dragon Walks into a Meeting presents valuable tips, tricks, and tools for client management success. Focusing on everything that happens after the sale, including some of the hardest pitfalls and challenges in business, John Brown and Fred Fuller share tested and proven methodologies, including:

  • Unwritten rules of the job
  • Practical tactics you can use today
  • Critical skills to execute with clients
  • Philosophical underpinnings for client management
  • Illustrative stories designed to provide clarity and application

Relationship management (and how to handle sticky client situations) may not be covered in business school, but don’t worry. John and Fred are here to teach you what they wish they’d known when they started.

Paperback: $15.99
eBook: $9.99

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Where to buy

Bookshop.org Barnes & Noble Locally with IndieBound Powell’s Books Amazon

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Genre: Business, Business Leadership
ISBN: 9781945783074, 9781945783081
Publication: August 26, 2020
Length: 166 pages

Downloads and Resources

Podcast & Blog

John and Fred continue discussing client management in their podcast, Account Management (A Tactical Guide to Success), and blog. The podcast is available from PodBean, Spotify, iTunes, Google Podcasts, and other podcast platforms.

For more information, visit John and Fred’s website.

Discussion Questions

Reading with your book club or planning to discuss the book with your client management team?

Check out our Questions and Topics for Discussion!

Media Kit

A Dragon Walks into a Meeting Advance Information Sheet

A Dragon Walks into a Meeting Media Kit

For more information, please contact us.


“Brown and Fuller’s book focuses on a crucial but often under-examined function within any business that relies on recurring revenue from an existing client base. Imminently readable, their book uses real-life anecdotes to illustrate an overarching framework for client management while supplying practical everyday advice. Whether you want to know how to say “No” to a client, or how to handle a thorny client-entertainment situation, Brown and Fuller address it.

I’d recommend it for those new to client management, but those who have lived through a career of managing clients (and have the scars to prove it) might also pick up some useful ideas.”

– Chris Millner, Financial Technology Executive and Consultant

“Brown and Fuller have deep expertise in account management and bring that to bear in this entertaining book. It is light-hearted but full of useful insights, practical advice, and great stories and examples. I recommend it for anyone who regularly manages business clients, whether they are experienced or just starting out.”

– Amanda Setili, President, Setili & Associates and author, Fearless Growth and The Agility Advantage

“John and Fred have done a remarkable job of providing useful and comprehensive advice for anyone serving clients. They offer meaningful real-life examples of how to handle virtually any situation that can arise when dealing with client matters, showing that skillful client management is both an art and a science. I wish I’d had a resource like this when I was a relationship manager!”

– Jeff Weikert, Chief Strategy Officer, Abe AI

“I’ve been in the client management hot seat, and I’ve helped to design and execute training for sales and client management professionals across my career, and for the first time there is a book that provides the critical foundations to confidently enter into client meetings and be prepared to handle its many complexities. It doesn’t matter if you are new to the client management profession or a seasoned professional, this book contains all the tips and tactical how-tos to be prepared for the unpredictable and provide success for you and your client. It should be a part of any organization’s client management onboarding or training program.”

– Darren McAdams, VP, Strategy, Technology, Operations, a global media content & technology company

“Having done client management at the individual and executive level for the better part of a decade, this is a must-read for new client managers, and a great tune-up for those of us who have been doing this for a while! Unlike the average business book that crams 50 pages of content into a 400-page, 27-step ‘simple’ process, A Dragon Walks into a Meeting centers on three jobs and is something you can breeze through in a night or two. Better yet, the easy writing style and subtle humor actually make this one of the few enjoyable business books I’ve read.

For new client managers, Chapter 3 on Managing Tasks and Demands is a valuable guide through all of the tactical things your manager might forget to tell you and that you’re too green (or embarrassed) to ask. For us vets, Chapter 1 does a great job reframing our perspective away from managing entities, contracts, and scoring the most wins, and reminds us that the things we are managing are actually people and therefore must be managed as such.”

– Brandon Horne, GM, Head of Partnerships & SaaS, Greenlight Financial Technology

“John and Fred are expert client managers, having worked with the most complex and demanding customers while at growing tech companies. This book is full of practical advice and implementable tactics for both those new to client management and seasoned veterans.”

– Jim Morgan, Chief Financial Officer, CallRail

“With A Dragon Walks into a Meeting, Fred and John have created a highly readable guide for those new to the field of account management. If you’re looking to learn more about this important part of running a business (or are an experienced account manager looking for new tricks), I highly recommend this book.”

– Jardon Bouska, Chief Operations Officer, Safe-Guard Products International, LLC

“John and Fred are among the best in the business in managing and growing client relationships. I have personally witnessed them handle some of the most challenging client situations and relationships with the strategies and tactics they outline in this book. This is not only a must-read for people who are client facing, but also anyone who is interested in forming and maintaining any professional relationship.”

– Joe Schab, COO, Leasequery

“A Dragon Walks into a Meeting could not have been better timed. In a world that has gone 100% virtual, it’s time to relearn how to reconnect and be a better human again. This book’s forgotten insights on how everyone must learn to build relationships and sell is helping me rethink how I can help our business grow. We have 2,250 people in 38 countries selling for Microsoft, Cisco, and Google, and there is a way to make selling a nutritive, sustainable activity that is not transactional.”

– Shannon Copeland, COO, N3

“This is a great read for anyone interested in how to engage clients and how to ensure they are looking at their client relationships with a client-first mentality.”

– Melissa Jankowski, SVP, Global Strategy and Innovation, FIS

“Having managed many account teams, I can tell you that Fred and John deliver fantastic advice that any practicing account manager can implement today. They cover the topic well and deliver it with humor and great real-world stories.”

– Craig Potts, Former CEO, Assurance Software

“John Brown knows client management. He was my first ‘teacher’ and literally is the reason I got into the profession that has driven my career. I can recall going through many of these situations with John first-hand. Having the principles documented in this book will be an excellent learning tool for new client executives as well as a good reminder for experienced professionals. John’s the perfect balance of intellect, EQ and relationship focus, and he does so in the most genuine way possible.”

– Barry Danz, Account Management Senior Executive

“John and Fred know how to keep calm and carry on, even when the client is dropping bombs and breathing fire.”

– Lynne Laube, CEO & Co-Founder, Cardlytics

“The authors distill their years of front-line experience managing clients into what is an essential resource for anyone new to account management. Written in a highly accessible style, it offers practical, simple-to-follow advice for navigating even the most challenging client situations.”

– Rob Shields, CEO/Founder Acadia Shutters, Inc.