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The Trusted Advisor Paperback – October 9, 2001

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Editorial Reviews Review

David Maister, Charles Green, and Robert Galford--consultants on professional-service management and customer-relation issues--believe nobody can become successful as a business guru until they first gain the confidence of their clients. In The Trusted Advisor, the authors effectively build their case through anecdote and illustration, then relay a solid series of relevant suggestions applicable to both would-be consultants and those already active in the field. Among their most potent suggestions is a practical, five-step development process that encourages outsiders to engage clients by focusing attention on the issues and individuals at hand; listening both to what they say and what they leave unsaid; framing the immediate problem from their perspective; envisioning with them how a solution might appear; and committing jointly to the actions and resources that will bring it about. Also particularly useful is the examination of trust-building during four phases of a client-advisor alliance: at the time the relationship is consummated; during the assignment; after the assignment; and when "cross-selling," or establishing affiliations with the customer's associates. Boosting its utility, the book is filled with concise, easily adopted tips like "return phone calls unbelievably fast" and "always tell the truth and not what the client wants to hear." --Howard Rothman --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Carl Stern CEO, Boston Consulting Group An invaluable road map to all those who seek to develop truly special relationships with their clients.

Tom Peters author of The Professional Service 50 This is a brilliant -- and practical -- book. In our "world gone mad," trust is, paradoxically, more important than ever.

William F. Stasior senior chairman and former CEO, Booz-Allen & Hamilton This book is engaging, enjoyable, and absolutely on target. It is packed with truth. The Trusted Advisor will guide success not just in the advisory professions but in leadership and life as well.

Professor Charles Fombrun Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University The Trusted Advisor gets to the heart and soul of the advice business. This path-breaking book is a must-read.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (October 9, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743212347
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743212342
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
According to the authors, "The theme of this book is that the key to professional success is not just technical mastery of one's discipline (which is, of course, essential), but also the quality to work with clients in such a way as to earn their trust and gain their confidence." The authors provide "a new understanding of the importance and potential of trust relationships with clients, and show how trust can be employed to achieve a wide range of rewards. We examine trust as a process, which has beginnings and endings, which can be derailed and encouraged, and which take place across time and experience. We analyze the key components of trust and the process which trust involves in a relationship." To give you at least some idea of what this book addresses, here are the questions answered in Part One ("Perspectives on Trust"):
What would be the benefits if your clients trusted you more?
What do great trusted advisors all seem to do?
What are the dynamics of trusting and being trusted?
How do you ensure that your advice is listened to?
What are the principles of building strong relationships?
What attitudes must you have to be effective?
Do you really have to care for those you advise?
In the final chapter, the authors include "The Quick-Impact List to Gain Trust" and then an Appendix in which they duplicate all of the checklists previously provided. I rate this book so highly for twqo reasons: First, because the content is rock-solid, anchored in a wealth of real-world experiences which the authors generously share; also because they explain HOW to gain and then sustain the trust of everyone with whom you do business.
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a book filled with helpful checklists, valauble to anyone in the consulting field. In an eminently readable style, the authors show us not just the requirements to be a trusted advisor but also how to be a better consultant and how to improve our interpersonal skills. We read different phrases (that, I assume at least one of the authors use) that show us how to raise contentious issues in a non-threatening way (eg, "Let me play the devil's advocate and try to convince you .." and "This will feel risky to you but ..") It's the type of book we need to dip into on a regular basis to remind ourselves of those "little things" that make a big difference when dealing with clients. An easy but most valuable read.
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39 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Silberman on July 27, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My introduction to David Maister came from the former managing director of Burson-Marteller's Tokyo office, who recommended True Professionalism. That book became one of the "required readings" for my training company's staff. Since True Professionalism, I've read Managing the Professional Service Firm and found it heavy, over-detail-oriented and difficult to apply. Now comes The Trusted Advisor (with other authors) and I can say without a doubt this best book on trust development I've read--putting real meat in those abstract concepts like "credibility." His chapter where he introduces the equation where Trust = Credibility + Reliability + Intimacy, all divided by Self-orientation, would be worth the price of the book. No, there probably is nothing new under the sun, but Maister in this book (and in Practice What You Preach, another gem) provides the keys to create better results for clients, and shows us how to turn those keys to start the engine. If there were 10 stars to give, I'd rate this a 10.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By James Ward on May 25, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Will you use everything in this book? Probably not. Will it remind you of some of the things you have forgotten to do to be a trusted advisor - absolutely!

Best part is you'll get nuggets of information- which is all you can expect of any book. And you won't feel like the book has been written to sell you on their service.

Well done and well worth the read.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By J. Murphy on January 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
Whether you are in sales, are an attorney, or providing any kind service or intangible, this is a great book. If you think you've read all the client oriented, consulting oriented "sales and success" books - but haven't read this ... then you are never going to be at the top of your field. This book is about bringing real authenticity to the relationships with your clients. Client executives can smell a sneak or a fraud a mile away. Today, business is more competitive than ever, making losing a client relationship a crime. Knowing how to keep a client, build a relationship and continue nuturing it, is an art. Maister points to great examples and gets you to thinking ... "if only I'd done that ..." or "next time I'll ...". This is a thinking persons book, one to be reviewed over again through the course of your career, but only if you want to be among the "trusted few" with seasoned, senior executives. Other great books along this line I recommend are: any of Maisters books, Patrick McKenna's material (see their web pages too), and Clients for Life by Andrew Sobel.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Leong on November 8, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good and practical book. I think every professional should read this book. It is not about being an advisor; it is about how to built and earn trust. As a professional, I was trained to focus on my specialized areas and thought that the technical competency and costs were the only two factors to get a business. It is true but not enough to survive in today's fast changing and competitive market. This book is a good reminder that trust is actually the most fundamental thing we need. Ironically, it was not taught in school or most of the professional training.

The key take-away for me were:

1. Trust is personal, not business. However, personal is not equal to "romance".
2. After listening, don't jump to action. Instead, earn the right to advise first and do the "envisioning" together.
3. A relationship manager can help build institutional trust between companies.
4. Clients like to hear from us even after a project work. Give a client a call once in a while to show them we care about them and treasure our relationships.
5. Trust is the anchor for any business. It has to be earned, not given.
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