The Topic of Trusted AdvisorGary Heusner5/16/2012
Overview of this Presentation Review what this presentation is not about Provide an understanding of the Trusted Advisor Concept Discuss the ramifications of being a Trusted Advisor Review some real world situations that provide insight into the mind set of a Trusted Advisor
This Presentation is not… A disciple’s approach to sell other’s book. A detailed review of all of the concepts espoused by the referenced experts and their materials. A beginning of a movement A new concept A new way of selling An attack on what we are all doing today A viewpoint on the way all relationships should be driven
This Presentation is… A very brief overview of elements of being a Trusted Advisor that I think are truly relevant to IT services companies working with their clients. Designed to show the differences between the relationship levels we operate at with our clients. About the difficulty with making a transition to being a Trusted Advisor A reflection of the personal challenges and rewards I have encountered in changing my thinking and behavior to better serve my clients.
Where did this come from Colleagues, peers, clients and noted experts Personal Experiences Working to improve as a person
Background Technology Leadership background Leadership background Painful lack of Trusted Advisor Background Learning to use new muscles and learning to pick myself back up again each time
Levels of Relationship Trusted Advisor Partner Consultant Problem Solver Vendor
Highlights The following slides highlight some significant models, tools and implications of being a trusted advisor.
Trust EquationTrust = Reliability + Credibility + Intimacy + Character Self OrientationWhat Does this Mean for All of Us?
Trust Principles Focus on the other Collaborative Approach Medium to Long Term Relationship Perspective A Habit of being TransparentAre you aware of these ideas before you engage a co-worker or a client?
Consulting Service ValuesFrom Lencioni Getting Naked Humility Selflessness Focus on the other Transparency A Habit of being Transparent Collaborative Approach Medium to Long Term Relationship Perspective
Trust Creation Process • “Let’s Talk about…Engage • “Tell me more…” Listen • The Rational and the Non-Rational • “It sounds like issue is…”; “Maybe it’s just me but…<emotional issue>.”Frame • Rational and Emotional framing not blaming • “Let’s Imagine…”Envision • Target, what it looks like, how will we know when we get there • “I suggest we…”Commit • Jointly describe actionable steps and implied commitments for both parties
Trust Skill Set Listen Improvise Know Partner Yourself Risk
Lencioni’s FearsFears that Inhibit Service and I would contend prevent us from being a trusted advisor Fear of losing the business Fear of being embarrassed Fear of feeling inferior
Fear of Losing the Business Tell the kind truth Always consult instead of sell Give away the business Enter the danger
Fear of Feeling Inferior Honor the client’s work Make everything about the client Do the dirty work Take a bullet for the client
Fear of Being Embarassed Ask dumb questions Make dumb suggestions Celebrate your mistakes
So What? Far more depth than this Part of a journey Let’s review some situations
Situation Zero – Level Set You are not sold out for 12 months.You could always use more business to provide for your staff and family. You are in business development and/or engagement management roles, or maybe you are the owner.
Situation #1 Client calls your office asking for your services to start next Wednesday for a project. If you can’t start on Wednesday you can’t win the business. This might be tough to pull off, but maybe if you stretch you can do it. What do you do?
Situation #2 You are trying to get to trusted advisor status for a client you’ve been with for 6 months.You arrange a lunch with 2 division heads with the goal of getting to know their problems and issues better and to raise their perception of you. First thing one division head says as you sit down is “<your name here> I have an opportunity for you!” What do you do?
Situation #3 An existing customer asks to go to lunch. At lunch they explain they have an idea for a new innovation group and they want to leverage your partners, who provide similar services to yours to start it up. What do you do?
Situation #4 Smaller client has a critical time sensitive initiative. They ask if you can get started right away and catch up on the paperwork later. You’ve been burned before by other clients in this situation. Whether or not you can actually do this without signoff is a question. What do you do?
Situation #5 You have just finished an engagement.You want to talk about next opportunities. Client calls and says it is not right and that something is off. You check with your team and this was not in the scope or the SOW, but it had been talked about conversationally. To fix it will take 2-3 additional days for a project that was 10 days in length. Client pulls out the “When I was a lawyer, we honored contracts…” speech. What do you do?
Situation #6 You just signed an SOW for some work that will help your company. You are excited. When asked, your client is visibly not excited and says that things could be improved and that it is always a long game but they are holding in there. What do you do?
Situation #7 What’s a situation you have encountered? What would we do? (Group think)
References Green C. H. & Howe A. P. (2012). The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook: A Comprehensive Toolkit for Leading with Trust. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Maister D., Green C.H. & Galford R.M. (2000). The Trusted Advisor. New York, NY: Free Press Lencioni P. (2010) Getting Naked. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass Lee G. & Elliot-Lee D. (2006). Courage the backbone of leadership. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass