The Trusted Advisor
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84 of 90 people found the following review helpful
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. This book will be especially valuable to small-to-midsize companies whose success or failure is primarily (if not entirely) dependent upon client relationships based on trust. Buyers have lots of choices. It is not enough for them to trust what you sell. Others may well offer the same product or service. They must also trust you, the seller. And here's the key point: It is imperative that customer trust your advice as they consider a purchase from you but, ultimately, your customers must have so much confidence in you that they will also seek your advice on other matters which have nothing to do with what you sell. So-called "customer satisfactioon" is achieved on a per-transaction basis. As Jeffrey Gitomer correctly asserts, your objective should be "customer loyalty." The authors of this book explain HOW to achieve it and then HOW to sustain it.
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2000
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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38 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2001
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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2005
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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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2002
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
on November 8, 2010
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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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2000
The book provides very useful information for organizations dedicated to providing professional services. From lists to review and to applicable references, this book is worth the time to read. Often books of this nature prophesizes without a granular approach, this is not the case with The Trusted Advisor.
For me, it is a reference for mentoring as well as day to day practice.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
An experienced colleague recommended this book to me at a conference. The title simply does not do this book justice but I bought it anyway. If you ever wondered how some consultants and professionals do such a good job obtaining and keeping clients, then READ THIS BOOK.
I have recommended this book to all my clients and they agree. More importantly, very few so-called "advisors" do what this book explains clearly. Tremendous resource for any professional but many very powerful techniques to help you close contracts without sounding like a used car salesman. The case studies and examples hit home and force you to stop and think about your own style.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2005
The answer for most consultants would be more business from that client with a lower cost of sales.

Maister, Green and Galford's book emphasizes the importance of trust in a client relationship, but the book goes beyond that to give the consultant practical advice on building a trust-based relationship with clients. If you read the five-page chapter 22, The Quck-Impact List to Gain Trust, you'll find dozens of practical techniques to help build a tighter, trusting bond with your client.

The authors cover a range of situations that consultants face with thoughtful suggestions on how to manage those situations while maintaining a trusting relationship. One chapter describes the different client types you'll find as a consultant and how you can work with them. The charaterizations of difficult clients is accurate, entertaining and the advice is solid.

This is a well-researched and easy to read book. If you're in consulting for the long-haul, read this book--more than once.

Michael McLaughlin, coauthor with Jay Conrad Levinson of Guerrilla Marketing for Consultants.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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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