Summary of The Trusted Advisor

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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. getAbstract recommends it to consultants and professional service providers. We trust you’ll know what to do with it.

About the Authors

David H. Maister also wrote Managing the Professional Service Firm and True Professionalism. Consultant Charles H. Green and corporate executive Robert M. Galford both taught at the Columbia University and Kellogg business schools, and published articles in the Harvard Business Review. Green’s work appeared in Management Horizons, and Galford has written for The Boston Globe.



Trust and Confidence

Times have changed. At one time, being a professional automatically carried a certain prestige and clients could assume that almost any professional was solid. However, things have changed. The notion of embedded trust has been damaged. These days, professionals often find that they need more client access, more ways to cross-sell and more opportunities to show the quality of their work (beyond price considerations). Many clients treat professionals as untrustworthy, because they question the advisors’ motives or do not see them as experts.

To break out of these boundaries, you must become a "trusted advisor." This requires developing an ever-deepening relationship with each client. As such a relationship evolves, the client will involve you in a broader range of business issues. Along the way, you can progress from being a subject-matter expert, to being an associate with expert knowledge and additional valuable specialties. Moving from one level to the next is an evolutionary process, but once you become a trusted advisor, your client will openly discuss both personal and professional issues with you.

At this level, you will often be the...

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