The Trusted Advisor

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9780743204149: The Trusted Advisor
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In today's fast-paced networked economy, professionals must work harder than ever to maintain and improve their business skills and knowledge. But technical mastery of your discipline is not enough, assert world-renowned professional advisors David H. Maister, Charles H. Green, and Robert M. Galford. The key to professional success, they argue, is the ability to earn the trust and confidence of clients. The creation of trust is what earns the right to influence clients; trust is also at the root of client satisfaction and loyalty. The workings of trust are even more critical in the new economy than in the old.

Maister, Green, and Galford enrich our understanding of trust -- yet they have also written a deeply practical book. Using their model of "The Trust Equation," they dissect the rational and emotional components of trustworthiness. With precision and clarity, they detail five distinct steps you must take to create a trust-based relationship. Each step -- engage, listen, frame, envision, and commit -- is richly described in distinct chapters. The book is peppered with pragmatic "top ten" lists aimed at improving advisors' effectiveness that can be put to use instantly. It also includes a trust self-diagnostic in the appendix.

This immensely readable book will be welcomed by the inexperienced advisor and the most seasoned expert alike. The authors use anecdotes, experiences, and examples -- successes and mistakes, their own and others' -- to great effect. Though they use the professional services advisor/client paradigm throughout the book, their prescriptions have resonance for other trust-reliant situations -- selling, customer relationship management, and internal staff functions like HR and information technology.

The result is a tour de force -- brilliant, penetrating, unique. It is essential reading for anyone who must advise, negotiate, or manage complex relationships with others.

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Review:

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

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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