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The Trusted Advisor by David Maister and Charles Green & Robert Galford “An invaluable road map to all those who seek to develop truly special relationships.

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Presentation on theme: "The Trusted Advisor by David Maister and Charles Green & Robert Galford “An invaluable road map to all those who seek to develop truly special relationships."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Trusted Advisor by David Maister and Charles Green & Robert Galford “An invaluable road map to all those who seek to develop truly special relationships with their clients Carl Stern, CEO: Boston Consulting Group

2 To the DCA Client Services team -the theme of this book is that professional success is not just technical mastery (which is essential), but also the ability to work with clients in such away as to earn their trust and gain their confidence. I look forward to our “onward and upward” journey! Jim Theme

3 Overview Part I: Perspectives on Trust The authors define trust, the concept of “Trusted Advisor”, and provides the “rules of the road” & practical suggestions/illustrations Part 2: The Structure of Trust Building A “how to” on trust building, engagement, framing, envisioning, and commitment Part 3: Putting Trust to Work Applications of the concepts and techniques P.S. The authors are quite fond of lists!

4 Part 1 Perspectives on Trust

5 What is a Trusted Advisor? The Evolution of a Client-Advisor Relationship Valuable Resource Subject Matter Expert (SME) Trusted Advisor Depth of Personal Relationship Breath of Business Issues SME plus Affiliated field

6 What is a Trusted Advisor? Make no mistake…all four types add value to the client. The Trusted Advisor model adds the all-important human dimension of “trust”, “openness”, “understanding”, and “safe haven ”. The Evolution of a Client-Advisor Relationship

7 Describing a Trusted Advisor Focus on the client/individual rather than themselves Focus on problem definition & resolution Motivated by internalized drive to do “the next right thing” What’s effective for “this” client - not methodologies, techniques etc Seeks out client-contact experiences and takes personal risks Selling/servicing is in the name of helping clients with their issues While technical mastery is “cost of entry”, the human element drives the engagement clients work with people they like!

8 If I am the client, “trusting” you requires: You will do what you say you will do Your actions will match your words You will exhibit true caring and insight You provide ongoing evidence that my interests are as important as yours

9 How to Give Advice Act as if you were advising your own parents respectfully and with care as to “how” you say it Turn assertions into questions Instead of “this is the best solution”, try my other client’s do “X” for the following reasons. Do you think the reasons apply here? Use the Socratic method You are the expert guide in the process of reasoning the problem client’s answers helps them feel that the solution was their idea! Lastly, interact in a style most comfortable for the client

10 Rules of Romance: Relationship Building Key Principles: Go First (give a favor to earn a favor) Be prepared/do your homework. Show a sincere interest (small gestures) Ask good questions Say what you mean Show appreciation (not fawning) Use compliments (not flattery) A primary goal of relationship building is to create oppor- tunities to demonstrate you have something to contribute!

11 “…The only way to influence someone is to find out what they want, and show them how to get it” The Importance of Mindsets Dale Carnegie

12 The Mindset Overview From: Rational, driven, fear of failure high achieving, process- oriented, inwardly-focused “content experts” To: A real focus on the client (duh!) Self confidence/patience to NOT always rush to a solution A profound curiosity and empathetic listening skills An ability to “inhabit” the relationship – not “control” it A proclivity to “connect the dots” – a TA hallmark!

13 Part 2 The Structure Of Trust Building

14 The Trust Equation ComponentRealmExampleBottom Line Credibility WordsI can trust what she says about… Content expertise + “presence” Reliability ActionsI can trust him/her to…Dependable + consistent Intimacy EmotionsI feel comfortable discussing this… Emotional closeness Self- orientation MotivesI can trust that he cares about… Client before self (we, not me) T = C + R + I S

15 More on the Trust Equation Credibility – what you bring to the table & how you look, act, talk, think. Firms “sell” competence, buyers “buy” on the basis of emotion Reliability – best exemplified by FedEx (unerring comfort level that they can be depended on to deliver the goods…on time) Intimacy – the real “differentiator”. Involves the risk of getting closer/more personal. Trusted Advisors live hear Self-Orientation – impossible to achieve TA status when selfish, talking over clients, desirous to be “right”, look intelligent etc.

16 Engage The Development of Trust Engage Listen Envision Frame Commit

17 The Development of Trust StepActionAdvisor “Language”What Client Feels Engage Attention is focused Interest + concernIt may be worth talking to this person about… Listen Acknowledge and confirm understanding + empathyI am being heard and understood… Frame Issues stated clearly/rationally Perspective + candorYes, that is exactly the problem here… Envision Alternate reality sketched out PossibilityNow that would be a great outcome, wouldn’t it…? Commit Steps agreed-to Joint ExplorationI’m with you. Let’s do it…

18 More on the Development of Trust Engagement Show the client you know their world/brand/marketplace Pick the right topic at the right time (timing & key concerns rule!) Give them a reason to say “yes” (concern, follow-up, smarts) Leverage equity you have based on work you have done (upsell!) Great Listeners: Probe for clarification……Listen for the story…….Empathize…...Spot hidden assumptions……..Ask “how do you feel about that” DON’T interrupt, talk over, ask stupid questions, etc. Do’s and Don’ts

19 More on the Development of Trust Framing the Issue Rational: Crystallize/distill the client’s issues into a problem definition Emotional: take the risk to surface hidden emotions/contexts. I’m probably thinking of this all wrong, but… I really don’t know how to say this, so I hope you help me, but… etc. Envisioning an Alternative Reality: Explore how things can be, what it will look like, why it is of benefit etc. Energizes (let’s go for it) and comforts ( we can do it) client in a big way. Do’s and Don’ts

20 More on the Development of Trust Commitment: Ensure client understands need to solve problem and is committed to do what it takes (resources, time, money) to achieve the goals. Create a proposal that spells out what needs to be done…when ….at what costs…and communication of key milestones/deadlines. Managing Client Expectations: It is IMPERATIVE the client knows what they can and cannot reasonably expect from us AND what they and we must do. Better said: ensure they know precisely what they are agreeing to! Do’s and Don’ts

21 Part 3 Putting Trust to Work

22 What’s So Hard About all of This? The Biggest Mistake? Jumping ahead in the trust process to “offering solutions” before the initial steps are completed. The Biggest Fears/Risks? In a word…insecurity (me and not we-focused) → Not having the answer Having the wrong answer Not knowing all the facts Being confused/appearing stupid Revealing ignorance Misdiagnosing

23 1. Analyze what is different about the client and what you and your company uniquely offers Differing Client Types: Guiding Principles Engage 2. Know client’s personal motivation, personality, and how the organization affects their needs/views/actions 4. Figure out how you might truly like this client as a person 3. Seek client’s need to achieve or stand out or just get it done 5. Figure out which elements of the trust equation are key!

24 Differing Client Types Type #1: The “Just the facts, ma’am” client Speak in the client’s language (brief, concise features and benefits) Type #2: The “I’ll get back to you” client Make sure you have one-page summary and agree to a call-back date Type #3: “You’re the expert, dummy” client Give three reasonable options to move forward (and price points) Type #4: The “You don’t understand” client Align/ask for his help and promise the relevant solution once you do Type #5: The “Let’s go through this again” client Either dense or needs more details – either way hold this clients hand! Some difficult client types and how to respond:

25 Differing Client Types How highly does your client REALLY value you… …for your objective, unbiased, clear opinions & insights? …for your track record with him & integrity in doing what what you said you’d do? …for the fact that he can talk to you about just about anything? …as a trusted advisor and friend?

26 Part 2 The Structure Of Trust Building


28 The Lt. Columbo Approach It’s all about: Style, instinct, character and not “method” Putting the person “at ease” Dismissing the seriousness of his capabilities Subordinating his ego to the service of the client Making the client’s inhibitions and concerns vanish And, of course…he always wins. Remember the one-eyed detective with the rumpled raincoat? He embodied many characteristics useful for Trusted Advisors

29 The Role of Trust in Getting Hired The Premise: It’s not about “selling”, its about “getting hired” New Clients: The Seller who succeeds has to convince the client what it would feel like to be in a great relationship together Existing Clients: After a successful engagement, the service team has a real advantage in “upselling” – the client is acutely aware of the great relationship and you as Trusted Advisor. Conclusion: Great service is the best way to get hired!

30 The Engagement Process means being “Engaged” “….Serving a client does not just mean going away, doing the work, and coming back with a wonderful product/ service. We must keep clients up to date, continue to get their feedback, and built their input into the deliverable” Building Trust on the Current Assignment

31 Know how they plan to use what they contracted for Keep clients “in the loop” regarding progress made Regularly communicate, share information, & be responsive Make small commitments and keep them Meet deadlines (with passion and enthusiasm) Be a Trusted Advisor when its time to deliver results Building Trust Principles:

32 Re-earning Trust Away from the Current Assignment Do more things “on spec” (work in new areas) Help lead their thinking and strategy development Share new ideas, learnings, and ways to “connect the dots” Help them see how they compare with others in the industry Tell them why competitors are doing what they are doing Nurture the “relationship” not manage the “account” Relationships can’t be taken for granted! To continue to earn their business, here is a “What Clients Want” list:

33 The Case of Cross-Selling Three Cross-Selling Types… EXPAND DIVERSIFY BROADEN Client Relationship Business Issues After a successful engagement, the service team has a real advantage in “upselling” – the client is acutely aware of the great relationship and you as Trusted Advisor.

34 The Quick-Impact List to Gain Trust 1. Listen! (and paraphrase) 2. Empathize (understand, don’t have to agree) 3. See what they are feeling (acknowledge & connect) 4. Build a shared agenda (we, not me) 5. Take a point of view (stimulates reactions/give and take) 6. Take a personal risk (increases intimacy) 7. Be curious about their business (shows you care!) 8. Ask good questions (always) 9. Give away ideas 10. Return calls immediately (trust-creating!) 11. Emulate Lt. Columbo (enough said!) 12. Relax your mind (no need to prove yourself every 10 seconds!) Here they are – the TOP 12!

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