What is a Trusted Advisor?
One of the phrases I hear a lot is, “Trusted Advisor”. It is one of the cornerstones of every customer success management process, and is a heavily used phrase in the 21st century business world, but what does being a trusted advisor actually mean? And what does a Trusted Advisor do?
I have always believed that trust is earned, and is something that you must prove rather than simply say. Trust is the operating system of society in a way. We may love a product or service, but we simply cannot do business with companies/individuals who we cannot trust.
Speed of Trust
I once attended a seminar in San Jose, with the renowned business strategist Stephen M.R Covey, and he ran us through an exercise called “Speed of Trust”, and how trust affects two measurable outcomes, namely Speed and Cost.
When trust goes down within a business relationship, then speed automatically follows. Everything takes longer, and as a result: Costs increase. When you are presenting to a customer following a breach of trust, it can take longer to get decisions made, as they will want to treble check what you are saying and get multiple opinions on what is being proposed.
Covey defines trust as a: Pragmatic, Tangible, Actionable Asset that we can create, as opposed to a soft, illusive quality that you either have or don’t have.
As a Customer Success Manager, we are being entrusted with the outcomes, that an organisation is going to have with the product or service that we have provided and is something not to be taken lightly.
ISDM Trusted Advisors
ISDM’s focus has always been on building, long term sustainable partnerships, as opposed to a single transaction supplier. This is achieved through taking a genuine interest in the customer’s hopes and desires, and how they want to advance their operation, and how we can play a key role in that.
As a vendor-agnostic organisation, we have the unique advantage of using our knowledge to select hardware and software, that can work to solve some of the customer issues. This means we can check off as many of the requirements as we can, based on the expertise that we have.
When you work with people that you trust, you can get more done and not have to second guess what they are telling you.
How Our Trusted Advisors Work
I have always been a naturally curious person, and when a new customer approaches us, my first thoughts are always: What are your desired outcomes? And how do you think this product or service will get you there?
I trust in the ISDM Solutions team, in my organisation, to identify and champion the best of breed, so I know that when we are working to uncover the needs of an organisation, we have thoroughly analysed the requirement and are presenting a suitable and sustainable proposition, that satisfies their needs. I can build a proposal, that I believe in for the customer relationship going forward, backed by sound technical expertise.
Governments have fallen, when there is a trust deficit, so how can you expect your organisation to survive if people don’t trust you?
How to Become a Trusted Advisor?
I would encourage anyone who wishes to be a trusted advisor, to question what they will do to earn this title.
For myself, to be a trusted advisor, I aim to:
- Use my experience and knowledge to the betterment of the customer.
- Continually enhance my subject matter knowledge, to deliver up to date and relevant information to the customer.
- Be a reliable resource, and aim to deliver on my commitments.
- Put the customer first, and understand not every interaction will result in a PO or Consultancy work.
So next time someone you come across brands themselves a “Trusted Advisor”, don’t be afraid to ask them what they are going to do for you, to justifiably earn that title. If you want to learn more about ISDM and how we work as trusted advisors, contact us today.
Written by Stephen Carlisle