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The Trusted Advisor

David Maister, Charles H. Green, Robert M. Galford

Publisher: Free Press, 2004 , 240 pages

ISBN: 0-7432-1234-7

Keywords: Consulting, Sales


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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 one's 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. To demonstrate the paramount importance of trust, the authors use anecdotes, experiences, and examples — successes and mistakes, their own and others' — to great effect. The result is an immensely readable book that will be welcomed by the inexperienced advisor and the most seasoned expert alike.

Table of Contents:

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  • Part One: Perspectives on Trust
    1. A Sneak Preview
      What would be the benefits if your clients trusted you more?
      What are the primary characteristics of a trusted advisor?

    2. What Is a Trusted Advisor?
      What do great trusted advisors all seem to do?
    3. Earning Trust
      What are the dynamics of trusting and being trusted?
    4. How to Give Advice
      How do you ensure your advice is listened to?
    5. The Rules of Romance: Relationship Building
      What are the principles of building strong relationships?
    6. The Importance of Mindsets
      What attitudes must you have to be effective?
    7. Sincerity or Technique?
      Do you really have to care for those you advise?
  • Part Two: The Structure of Trust Building
    1. The Trust Equation
      What are the four key components that determine the extent of trust?
    2. The Development of Trust
      What are the five stages of trust-building?
    3. Engagement
      How do you get clients to initiate discussions with you?
    4. The Art of Listening
      How can you improve your listening skills?
    5. Framing the Issue
      How can you help clients look at their issues in a fresh way?
    6. Envisioning an Alternate Reality
      How can you help clients clarify what they're really after?
    7. Commitment
      How do you ensure clients are willing to do what it takes to solve their problems?
  • Part Three: Putting Trust to Work
    1. What's So Hard About All This?
      Why are truly trust-based relationships so scarce?
    2. Differing Client Types
      How do you deal with clients of differing types?
    3. The Lieutenant Columbo Approach
      What can we learn from an unorthodox winner?
    4. The Role of Trust in Getting Hired
      How do you create trust at the outset of a relationship?
    5. Building Trust on the Current Assignment
      How can you conduct your assignment in a way that adds to trust?
    6. Re-earning Trust Away from the Current Assignment
      How can you build trust when you're not working on an assignment?
    7. The Case of Cross-Selling
      Why is cross-selling so hard, and what can be done about it?
    8. The Quick-Impact List to Gain Trust
      What are the key things you should do first?
    • Appendix: A Compilation of Our Lists
      A comprehensive summary and list of concepts, insights, tips, and tactics.


The Trusted Advisor

by Roland Buresund last modified 2009-06-13 11:51

Rating: ******** (Very good)

A very interesting book, that I believe touches on very valid subjects. It is an OK book to read, but no bestseller, and some examples are extremely American in outlook, which makes them seem very strange from an European standpoint. But don't let this scare you away (even though the book would need some humour and some more compelling writing) as it is interesting if you're in the Consulting or Sales business, or need to interact with these kind of people (as most people do). Granted, most of the authors points can be found elsewhere, but very seldom collected in one accessible book, so I believe this book is worth the money and the time I invested in reading it. Even if I had few AHA moments, it managed to keep my interest, and I was even disappointed when it ended, as I was expecting more :-)

In short, well worth reading.

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