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Showing 1-10 of 20 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
on August 28, 2013
The scene is a hotel bar in Hong Kong. The cast is a group of relatively seasoned portfolio managers from various Scandinavian countries - amongst them myself. The PM:s don't really know each other but after a nice dinner the general feeling is that the other ones are quite nice guys. In this setting I get the question "Out of all the Scandi sales you have met, which is the best one?" For those not familiar with the concept Scandi sales, it's roughly an equity broker serving Scandinavian clients. Without hesitation I answered with a name of a person who had left his job as sales a few years ago and I instantly got the reaction "Exactly!" Many can vouch for the fact that the character of Finns, Swedes, Norwegians and Danes are quite different. How come we all thought of the same person? It boils down to trust.

In general PM:s don't trust investment banks. They can trust certain persons at banks and they value the information provided but they know that, if you're not a giant like Fidelity, BlackRock or Capital, an investment bank will choose the shortest way to the money - if they can get away with it. As you never know if you'll be around in one year's time the number one motivation for a sales is the bonus that is just two months away, not the long term relationship. Then there was this one sales that seemed genuinely interested in his individual clients, who listened to what they had to say on the important stuff like investment philosophy and processes - not just whether they thought (guessed) the market would go up or down the next few months - and who in his daily morning mail thought like a PM (albeit one with a short time horizon) not just as someone who was passing on research from his own firm. As a matter of fact this guy distributed material from other sources if he felt it more relevant for the clients and, famously amongst the clients, even took it on himself to (in writing!) discuss which ones of his firm's IPOs might turn out to be good investments and which might be a really bad deal. If you know anything about the fee structures in investment banking you realize that this last client service is totally unheard of. A sales is supposed to toot the horn of all IPOs no matter what. And yes, he got into trouble with his employers more than once but was, at least for a while, protected by the fact that the clients loved what he did and by the business he brought in. He wasn't selling. He was working together with the clients - even at the risk of his own bonus and job - to solve their problems and naturally by doing that got more business than his competitors.

The Trusted Advisor is the book that this guy didn't have to read, but for most persons who are in the business of giving advice it could do wonders. Building trust is less about technical expertise as this is something that most competitors deliver - it's more about things like listening more and talking less, about loving your area and actually liking the client, to help the client to reach a solution instead of showing off your own brilliance, to never lie in order to gain a quick buck and much, much more. The authors are management consultants and so is the target audience, but it's obviously equally useful for investment bankers, research analysts or equity sales representatives. The authors have written a book on the interpersonal aspects of delivering an advisory service, on how to build trust. Buying a service is more of an emotional decision than an objective one. The authors present an obviously unscientific but still very useful "Trust Equation" where trustworthiness is the function of high scores regarding credibility (i.e. functional expertise), reliability and intimacy and a low score on self-orientation from the advisors point of view. The bulk of the book then presents a five step process for building trust with a client. There are techniques involved but they aren't manipulative. To build trust you must be genuinely interested in the client and take a "we-not-me approach".

If your profession is about giving advice read this book before too many of your competitors do.

This is a review by investingbythebooks.com
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on July 8, 2001
Here is a good book, that clearly and accurately describes how to master a difficult skill. As an IT consultant I found this book to be immediately helpful in furthering my consulting skills.
This book takes the reader through the entire process of moving from "Subject Matter Expert" to Trusted Advisor. It accurately describes the benefits of this role for any professional rendering services. This might help one to justify training in this area to one's superiors.
I was continually impressed with the how the book dealt with the topic of honesty. Clearly we all strive to be trustworthy, however when that alone is the goal one might be prone to dishonesty to create an illusion for the client to trust. I felt this book gave real guidance on how to proceed, without having to walk a fine line.
I find this book to be of most value to an experienced professional/consultant, looking to hone an skill. It is of less value (but certainly some value) to new-comer to these types of skills. A better book for a new-comer would be "Managing the Professional Services Firm" by David Maister. That said, this book is worth much more than ~[price], buy it.
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on January 11, 2007
this is a nice easy read with some good basic principle-centered advice about being a trusted adviser to others. i'm not a consultant or in a true services role, but still found this helpful. it emphasizes some basic things about working with people that we all know but forget and adds some interesting suggestions.
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on January 22, 2007
This is a good read and worth while for everyone not just Advisors. Some of the examples don't really work for me like the girlfriend who puts on an Egyptian evening just to get invited along on a free business trip but generally I felt the authors have done a good job. I particularly liked the Trust Equation.
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on August 23, 2011
If you would map out the four types of possible business relationships following 2 parameters (breath of business issues and depth of personal relationships) you would notice that trust-based relationships goes the deepest (followed by relationship-based, needs-based and service offering-based relationships, in descending order).

This work covers trust-based relationships in a very systematic way, works out a trust process-model and illustrates on how making it work. The trust process-model with 5 stages (engage, listen, frame, envision and commit) is nicely explained and illustrated. Most of it will sound very familiar; still this work gives it a nice context and the overall structure of this book makes it a very pleasant read.

Part 1 - Perspectives on trust
Part 2 - The structure of trust building
Part 3 - Putting trust to work

If you would just scan through the contents of this book, it would give you a good idea of the added value. A very interesting read!

Contents
Introduction
How to use this book

Part 1 - Perspectives on trust
1) A sneak preview: What would be the benefits if your clients trusted you more? What are the primary characteristics of a trusted advisor?
2) What is a Trusted Advisor? (What do great trusted advisors all seem to do?)
3) Earning Trust (What are the dynamics of trusting and being trusted?)
4) How to give advice (How do you ensure your advice is listened to?)
5) The rules of Romance: Relationship building (What are the principles of building strong relationships?)
6) The importance of mindsets (What attitude must you have to be effective?)
7) Sincerity or technique? (Do you really have to care for those you advise?)

Part 2 - The structure of trust building
8) The trust equation (What are the four key components that determine the extent of trust?)
9) The development of trust (What are the 5 stages of trust-building?)
10) Engagement (How do you get clients to initiate discussions with you?)
11) The art of listening (How can you improve your listening skills?)
12) Framing the issue (How can you help clients look at their issues in a fresh way?)
13) Envisioning an alternate reality (How can you help clients clarify what they're really after?)
14) Commitment(How do you ensure clients are willing to do what it takes to solve their problems?)

Part 3 - Putting trust to work
15) What's so hard about all this? (Why are truly trust-based relationships so scarce?)
16) Different client types (How do you deal with clients of differing types?)
17) The Lieutenant Columbo approach (What can we learn from an unorthodox winner?)
18) The role of trust in getting hired (How do you create trust at the outset of a relationship?)
19) Building trust on the current assignment (How can you conduct your assignment in a way that adds to trust?)
20) Re-earning trust away from the current assignment (How can we build trust when you're not working on an assignment?)
21) The case of cross-selling (Why is cross-selling so hard, and what can be done about it?)
22) The Quick-impact list to gain trust (What are the key things you should do first?)

Appendix: A compilation of our lists
Notes and references
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Being trusted by their clients separates successful advisors and consultants from the corporate consigliores. But how does a qualified advisor become trusted? Authors David H. Maister, Charles H. Green and Robert M. Galford provide methods you can use to reach the inner circle. They break trust into its component parts and reassemble those pieces into a viable, practical model, complete with suggested conversations. That may sound a little robotic, but with practice, an advisor can make the transition from outside technician to habitué of the inner sanctum. This readable book includes a useful appendix and a list of quick references. We recommend it to consultants and professional service providers. We trust you'll know what to do with it.
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on October 13, 2013
There's the old saying, "Common sense, ain't".

The Trusted Advisor is full of common sense ideas, reminders, and explanations as to why we are not more trusted by our clients. Purchased originally in kindle format, I've already ordered the print version to 're-read, highlight, and review.

Additionally, this book provides new insights to break through current issues with new and existing clients. Well worth the read.
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on August 22, 2013
I am very new to the Consulting Field, and this book has taught me sooooo much. A must read for anyone with Consulting Responsibilities. So far I've learned the qualities that make a good Consultant are exactly opposite of what I would have guessed. Buy the book for your own good.
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on June 8, 2015
Very good in parts. Very redundant in parts. Good beginning, average middle and good end. Also very good charts and summaries at end of book.
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on July 1, 2013
Technical, but valuable. This book will call you to task on your weaknesses. I have nothing else to write. Thanks
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