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The Trusted Advisor Paperback – October 9, 2001
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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.
About the Author
David H. Maister, one of the world's leading authorities on the management of professional service firms, is the author of several successful books, including Managing the Professional Service Firm, True Professionalism, and Practice What You Preach, and coauthor of The Trusted Advisor.
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The core of the book is the trust equation:
Trustworthiness = (credibility + reliability + intimacy) / (self-orientation)
1. Credibility: Listen empathetically for rational and emotional issues to help clients frame the problem then partner with them to craft a detailed solution with carefully managed expectations.
2. Reliability: Deliver consistently and excellently on projects, mindful of small touches along the way.
3. Intimacy: Communicate as you would with a close family member or friend, sharing and working through professional, and where appropriate, personal issues.
4. Other-orientation: Always work (transparently) in your client’s best interest
One last thing, when asking a client for referrals, ask in a way that speaks to their self-interests first, not that of the seller. So many times, I read these books with so called tricks to get the client to set up an intro or give up a name. It's all about doing your homework throughly before you ask for anything from the prospect or the client.
Cold calling is not dead. The type of calling where you don't even sound like a real person, that's dead.
I have found this simple equation to be most useful in gauging the strength of relationships built over the years. It also explains how frustratingly easy it is to lose the trust we've built up. Those who have difficulty maintaining long term solid relationships with friends or clients would do well to check their self-orientation. It is highly likely, if you're honest with yourself, that you are pretty much motivated by your own self-interest and that will come through to clients and friends - regardless of the words you speak or protestations to the contrary.
I wish I had come across this book (and the follow-on book by Charles Green, Trust-based Selling) years ago. It would have explained much about the success I had with clients as well as the failures that I suffered. This book will move the successful mentor/coach from the level of conscious incompetent to conscious competent and on to the ultimate goal of unconscious competent.