If you’re a trusted advisor, you’ve gained the credibility and trust of your customers and stakeholders. Trusted advisors are very influential, and they can advise their stakeholders and help them make critical decisions. In a world where trust is hard to come by, being a trusted advisor is rare, precious, and it’s commendable. That’s why most trusted advisors are also successful leaders in their organizations.
Being a trusted advisor applies to so many roles. As a sales leader, you could be a trusted advisor to customer prospects or leads. If you were in customer success, you could be a trusted advisor to your customers. Management consultants can be a trusted advisor to their clients. A project leader could be a trusted advisor to their stakeholders.
Who wouldn’t want to be a trusted advisor!
How to be a Trusted Advisor
Be that as it may, you can’t just cast yourself into the role of a trusted advisor. It’s something that you earn through your actions and results. What really counts is perception of you as a trusted advisor. So here are some ways that you can earn the coveted trusted advisor status.
- Provide subject matter expertise. This is important because by providing subject matter expertise, you’re providing unique value to your customers and your stakeholders.
- Demonstrate empathy. When someone approaches you for advice, you should be able to walk in their shoes and understand their point of view. Empathy will better equip you to understand their unique situation.
- Put your stakeholders’ interests above your own interests. This is perhaps the best way to demonstrate that you are in it for that customer or stakeholder, and not just for your own reasons.
- Provide new, transformative ideas and solutions. This is similar to providing subject matter expertise, but now you’re taking it a notch above, and you’re actually contributing real value.
- Continue providing value at all stages and establish a personal relationship with those who seek your advice. Your relationship is built on top of the value that you’re providing.
Trusted Advisors Do Not Misuse Trust
By working on these five things, you can establish a trusted advisor relationship with your customers and all other stakeholders. As Uncle Ben once told Peter Parker, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
Ensure that you never misuse your trusted advisor relationship for furthering your own agenda. Acting on selfish motives will not only damage your trusted advisor status but will actually hurt your personal brand.
Being a trusted advisor is a beautiful thing. Earn that status with your customer. Keep delivering value and never take it for granted.