How do you become a more trusted advisor? With so much changing in business today what does it take for you to become the most trusted advisor? My clients have many advisors. I believe many will be adding more as new advisory practices begin to show up in their accounting, financial, and legal firms.
We live in a complicated world at a complicated time in history, When I talk with my fellow advisors I’m always surprised by how their roles are changing and constantly evolving. Like doctors all of them specialize in helping our clients do the right things.
The problem is many of these trusted advisors don’t play well on teams You ask how I know this? Its simple. Many of the team members never meet at the same time with the client, ever!
I believe there are three reasons for this:
- They are expensive, they charge a lot for their time.
- They are experts in their field and have limited exposure to other fields of expertise
- They can’t agree on much of anything. They can be arrogant, self-important, individualists who don’t play well with others.
This means most will never become the client’s most trusted advisor. Now if you’re still reading this, it means there’s still hope. You understand the importance of being part of your client’s team. You are curious, interested, and open to learning new things. You also know how to compromise and play well with others. But what can you do to become your client’s most trusted advisor?
It took me a very long time to learn what I share today. It has served well me in advising many top leaders in many fields. I like to tell stories, but I get paid to watch and listen. Let me share what I learned from many of the world’s most trusted advisors.
I believe the most trusted advisors are individuals who understand these 12 simple ideas and execute them. They are easy to understand but can sometimes be very hard to implement.
- Trusted advisors are paid to reduce risk for their clients. They know how to help their clients understand what they are dealing with.
- Trusted advisors understand human nature. They are very good at reading other people and their agendas. They can read people very quickly.
- Trusted advisors understand people will typically work in their own best self interest no matter what they say or appear to do.
- Trusted advisors understand it’s their client who should stand out, not them. This doesn’t mean they can’t stand out on their own, but they understand how to support their clients in both good and bad times.
- Trusted advisors can look at a larger number of factors impacting their client’s interests. They help the client focus on what’s important and not urgent. They are always helping clients set priorities.
- Trusted advisors are bridges to the right people at the right time for their clients. They can be very protective of their clients while providing a wide range of options to consider.
- Trusted advisors understand their clients’ strengths and capabilities. They understand how to help clients leverage strengths and mitigate risks.
- Trusted advisors know how to navigate in challenging times. They are curious and always learning new things to keep themselves growing.
- Trusted advisors can bring out the best in other advisors by navigating through curiosity in areas they don’t have experience in. They are very good at helping people find unique solutions in their areas of specialization. They are maximizers of human potential.
- Trusted advisors are very good at understanding the competitive landscape of their clients. They are good at evaluating an organization’s culture and possibilities.
- Trusted advisors are emotionally intelligent. They understand their clients’ hot buttons and their own.
- Trusted advisors have integrity and a well-developed set of values. They have well defined boundaries.
When you look at the list who do you see? How would you rate yourself in these critical areas? You might notice I don’t have many technical capabilities on the list. Next week I’ll share why! See you next week.