Over the last decade there has been a unprecedented drop off in trust in our world. Business, governments, the press, society as a whole – all have been found lacking. When Charles Green wrote his first book – The Trusted Advisor (co-written with David Maister and Robert Galford in 2000) – I doubt even he realised how pertinent his laser-focus on trust would become.
Achieving trusted advisor status is the holy grail for any professional. In this new book The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook Charles and co-writer Andrea Howe go deeper. They look at how to build trust not just at the individual level but across organisations too. Proving that trust is not a soft, fluffy concept they show measurable benefits for those that become trusted – more sales, easier relationships, faster and better decisions, commitment and loyalty inside your organisation and out.
I loved Charles’ first book – it was staple reading for anyone entering the consultancy sector; I learned a heap from his second, Trust-based Selling – it identified approaches that in my sales roles always worked best. And now he’s completed his trilogy. The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook is more hands on than the others. Packed full of worksheets, quizzes, coaching tips, stories and action points, this valuable manual shows us how to walk the talk and apply the principles and models he shares.
Favourite takeaways from this book
The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook is superbly written and structured and very comprehensive. It looks at trust-based marketing, networking, business development and relationship building – pitching, pricing, cross-selling, selling to the C-Suite are all covered. There is a section for leaders on building and running a trustworthy organisation – how to train and develop a culture of trust.
Here are a few of my favourite takeaways:
- Trust-building is a learnable skill, based on fundamental principles and behaviours.
- If you want to be trusted make it not about you: focus on the other for the other’s sake, not just as a means to your own ends.
- Curiosity trumps knowing – it builds relationships. The act of listening and being curious will set you apart.
- You have to earn the right to be right. Build relationships first.
- There’s no trust without collaboration, reciprocity and partnership, and also without taking a risk.
- On sales: Don’t always be closing, always be collaborating. I love that.
Trust and Valuable Content
As Charles explains in the book, you can demonstrate you are trustworthy long before you land the job. Our approach to marketing with valuable content aims to do just that. Building trust by giving value means moving away from the self-oriented approach to marketing that has been the default strategy for so long. Freely sharing your knowledge with the number one goal of helping others to solve their challenges and be more successful will serve your business too. There’s inspiration for our own book here (thanks Charlie and Andrea!).
“Let me check my ego at the door, and simply be there to help others the best I can.”
Charles and Andrea urge us to ‘get messy’ with their book. They’ve packed in so much value that I know my copy will be a favourite – dog-eared and scribbled on, dipped into again and again.
Whether you are a sales person or marketer, a consultant, professional adviser or business leader, whether your organisation is large or very small I highly recommend that you READ THIS BOOK. It improves our ability to build our business (and personal) relationships and engender trust in what we do. For we can’t do business without trust.
- The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook by Charles H. Green and Andrea Howe is available from Amazon, released in the UK 30 November 2011.