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The Trusted Advisor Paperback – October 9, 2001
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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 Audible Audio Edition 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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I like the part about high achievers and experts tend to focus a lot more on technical aspects. Buyers tend to be looking at things at emotional level and there is a way to understand that and bridge that. At least be sensitive about it. I had opportunity to think and reflect more on this book and based on other materials I am reading and listening, I am much more calm in what I do for the clients. I am able to offer a lot more by trusting them first from my side and do it more with confidence and results are getting even better than before and comfort level is much higher.
The authors have done a good job of envisioning at the beginning of the book and explain this in one of the chapters about the importance of it instead of rushing from problem definition to the commitment part and implementation. It is worth taking extra time to do this right and know the five step process to build the trust. It is easy to understand and follow the book. The Trusted Advisor
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.
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.