At Cortech we value the views and opinions of our partners and customers as well as encourage engagement and discussions around a variety of different subject matters.
One of the latest topics is trusted advisors – what does the term mean, what makes a trusted advisor and what are the benefits of being and having one?
What is a Trusted Advisor?
In basic terms, a trusted advisor can be an individual or company that has extensive knowledge and experience in a given field and is able to develop a collaborative partnership with customers and become a strategic partner. They provide tailored and trusted advice and guidance that allows their customers to meet their business needs and objectives.
In order to explore this subject further Cortech recently ran a poll on our LinkedIn channel, where we asked our followers “In your opinion what are the key characteristics of a trusted advisor?”
63% of the voters all agreed that the key traits are:
- Credible and reliable
- Active listener
- Client focused
So, these characteristics are clearly key requirements to being seen as a trusted advisor, but it also takes commitment!
What does it take to become a Trusted Advisor?
Earning the status of a trusted advisor takes time and commitment; effective relationships need to grow and be built on solid foundations. Yes, trusted advisors need to be credible, reliable and always have their customers’ best interests at heart, but they also need to be honest and challenging when necessary.
As David Maister puts it in The Trusted Advisor*, “There is no greater source of distrust than advisors who appear to be more interested in themselves, than in trying to be of service to the client. We must work hard to show that our self-orientation is under control.”
Bona fide trusted advisors are authentic, genuine, and real; transparency is a critical factor for building long-term successful relationships. Offering valuable insight, being an active listener, showing a vested interest and learning about the problems customers are facing with their current solutions will help gain trust, which is the first step to building the bond and confidence required.
What are the benefits of a Trusted Advisor relationship?
A trusted advisor can help steer a partnership in a direction that will benefit both parties in the long term. They can help their customers better understand how to use the trusted advisor’s products or services most effectively, and they have the potential to upsell or cross-sell if their customers could benefit more from anything else they do not currently purchase.
The trusted advisor can also build a sustainable competitor advantage for themselves; competitors can look to copy anything a business does, but they cannot easily copy relationships that have been built on certitude. True customer loyalty is a key differentiator in business because it represents something incredibly personal.
In conclusion, being seen as a trusted advisor does not happen overnight and at the heart of this earnt status lies trust. Everything we do in business should lead to developing trust with customers and partners and to become a trusted advisor you must be willing to earn this. Trusted advisors will share best practices and create added value for customers. Removing business function from being seen as just a transactional relationship, a trusted advisor will become embedded in their customers’ organisation and aligned to their values. A trusted advisor is much more than just another vendor, they are a confidante and partner, and it is the strength of the relationship and trust this brings which makes trusted advisor status so important to both parties.
Cortech’s service support and product provision are based on the development of client relationships, building long-term mutually beneficial associations that allow both businesses to grow and develop because of the trust that has been formed. We believe becoming a trusted advisor to our customers allows us to better serve their needs and understand their specific requirements regardless of the sectors they operate within.