In a recent post, I talked about building trust with clients.
When it comes to becoming a trusted adviser, no one has better advice and counsel than David Maister.
Here are my favorite seven characteristics and suggested questions that make them come to life:
- Focuses on the client rather than themselves and has enough self-confidence to listen without prejudging and enough curiosity to inquire without supposing an answer. Is that a typical solution, but the impact you achieved wasn’t expected?
- Focuses on the client as an individual, not as a person fulfilling the role. How can I be more flexible to help you meet your requirements and meet your budget?
- Believes that a continued focus on problem definition and resolution is more important than technical or content mastery. Maybe this requires another perspective on the issue and would it make sense to consider an alternative approach?
- Shows a strong “competitive” drive aimed not at competitors; but are constantly finding new ways to be of greater service client. What do you think would happen if we looked at this challenge from an influencer’s point of view as well as the primary target market’s beliefs and behaviors?
- Consistently focuses on doing the next right thing, rather than on aiming for specific outcomes. If we completely agree that we will get that impact soon, how should we plan for sustaining that impact all year and next year?
- Views the methodologies, models, techniques and business processes as means to an end. If they work, they are useful. If not, they are to be discarded for this client. Just because this system has worked for someone else doesn’t necessarily that it will work for you, so what if we start with a blank slate and go from there?
- Believes that both selling and serving are aspects of professionalism. Both are about proving to clients that you’re dedicated to helping them with their issues. We are prepared to focus on this problem now. When we all feel comfortable that we been successful, will we be able to approach you on building success for your other pressing problems?
So, how do you become a trusted advisor in your business relationships?
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