The Road to Becoming a Trusted Advisor
Your ability to build long-lasting authentic business relationships with your customers relies on your ability to develop their trust. This might seem like a rather obvious statement to make, so what does this really mean for us, as business professionals? Well, according to Charles Green, the author of the best-selling book The Trusted Advisor, there is an actual mechanism we can use – The Trust Equation.
With this equation, the level of trust that you hold with your clients and prospects is derived from the sum of:
CREDIBILITY + RELIABILITY + INTIMACY divided over by SELF INTEREST/ORIENTATION
Let’s delve into what this elements, and what it all means:
- Credibility relates directly to the words we speak.
- Reliability reflects directly from our actions.
- Intimacy refers to the safety and security we feel when entrusting ourselves to someone.
- Self-Orientation is really about a person’s focus.
“Trust relationships are vital to the way we do business today. In fact, the level of trust in business relationships, whether internal with employees or colleagues or external with clients and partners, is the greatest determinant of success.” – Charles Green
Becoming a Trusted Advisor: Developing Your Expertise
Via the deliberate practice of goal setting, self-discipline, and internal focus, you can become an expert in your field. Why would you want to become an expert and how does this better your business?
- Know how you create value and what you offer your client.
To be effective, you need to have a firm understanding of your business, your client’s business, their competitors and the market challenges they face. YOU need to be an expert!
- You need to be able to see the world through their eyes.
You should endeavor to keep up with the needs and interests of your clients, to engage in conversation with them and sometimes to even lead.
- When you bring REAL expertise to the table, they won’t need to manage you.
Remember, that you are not just selling a product or service, but a solution. You are the person who will carry this through to the end! You are a subject-matter expert, so they will trust you to get it done!
A Shortcut to Building Expertise
For many sales professionals, who are less experienced, the quickest way to develop expertise, is to understand the application of your offering inside your clients’ business.
The suggestion is, to endeavor to understand both the successful and unsuccessful implementations of your service offering in your clients’ business. The result should be, a deeper understanding of the circumstances that result in positive-vs-negative experiences.
From this, you can help them avoid risks and scenarios that would result in a poor end result.
If you would like to learn more or share your thoughts with us, please reach out to us at [email protected]