Are you a consultant? Do you want to be a “trusted advisor” to your clients?

Maybe you need to trust THEM more!

Strong client relationships are key as they create opportunities for providing more services. The pinnacle of this is: Being considered a “Trusted Advisor.”

I was a consultant and a client of consultants. My realisation: many consultants think that are giving advice, and maybe they are, but its only technical and business at best.

A “Trusted Advisor” is someone who adds the personal advice. In addition to outlining the issue and providing the options available they, the individual, goes that one step further and tells you what they would do if they were in your position.

Why is this important? People like to know that they are making the right decision. In a professional service firm, it is easy to debate issues around a table and get different views. In a corporate environment, it is a lot lonelier at the top. Knowing that a similarly qualified person would do the same thing in your position is comforting and helpful. It can be that little bit of reassurance you need – the sanity check in your decision making process.

Now to some people, and in some professions, this may seem like a risky thing to do. After all, what if it turns out that the decision is the wrong one. Can a client now blame you for giving bad advice? This is where the word “trust” comes in. Not all professional services providers are the same and likewise not all clients are the same. If you cannot trust that your client understands the difference between professional advice and personal opinion are you really going to be their Trusted Advisor.

So my advice: pick clients who are sophisticated enough to understand what a trusted advisor is and then start being more personal in the advice you give.

Firms aren’t trusted advisors – people are.


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