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The Trusted Advisor

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  2,418 ratings  ·  170 reviews
David Maister, Charles Green, and Robert Galford--consultants on professional-service management and customer-relation issues--believe nobody can become successful as a business guru until they first gain the confidence of their clients. In The Trusted Advisor, the authors effectively build their case through anecdote and illustration, then relay a solid series of relevant ...more
Kindle Edition, 224 pages
Published December 18th 2012 by Simon & Schuster UK (first published January 1st 1998)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,418 ratings  ·  170 reviews

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Chad Warner
Aug 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chad by: Steve VanderVeen
This should be required reading for consultants and advisors. It explains that getting hired and rehired is about earning trust, and walks through many ways to build trust. There are plenty of real-world examples from the authors, three experienced consultants.

It’s logically organized, and I like how often lists are used.

I read this because I spend a lot of time interacting with clients in running my web design agency, OptimWise.

My favorite points
• Act as if you're advising your parents, not
Garrett Jackson
This book was important to me for one reason. It's summed up in this one quote, "The right to solve problems is earned by informed listening, which in turn is driven by curiosity."

It emphasized that trust, relationships and friendship require earning it. People don't want you to solve their problems unless they give you the right to solve them. That principle pretty much guides the rest of the chapters. The book addresses many different topics that I've run into with clients and supplied me with
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I should stick these two lists to my bathroom mirror, my phone, and the inside of my eyelids.

"What do good listeners do that makes them good listeners? They:

1. Probe for clarification
2. Listen for unvoiced emotions
3. Listen for the story
4. Summarize well
5. Empathize
6. Listen for what’s different, not for what’s familiar
7. Take it all seriously (they don’t say, “You shouldn’t worry about that”)
8. Spot hidden assumptions
9. Let the client “get it out of his or her system”
10. Ask “How do you feel
Gregory Peterson
Aug 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: professional service firms, consultants
Shelves: consulting
I've been a devotee of "guru to the gurus" David Maister for more than a decade. And when he wrote about the finer points of advice-giving, it became required reading for my staff. Today -- years after its first publication -- this remains a "go to" book for anyone in the advice-giving business.

Remember when management consulting firms were actually hiring people? In those distant days, the New York Times reported a trend of recruiting new consultants not from leading business schools - but
OK-ish. I sense this is a starting point for everyone who had no actual client communication experience or knows more oldschool and pushy/sales approach. Nice ideas but very general, with too little to get for someone with more experience and edgecases to handle.
Patrick Boyle
The Trusted Advisor by David H. Maister outlines the attributes necessary in order to be a successful and trustworthy advisor to the clients. In the novel, Maiser constructs orderly lists of characteristics that are required in maintaining a strong reputation and relationship. Throughout these lists, Maister discusses tactics such as gaining trust, giving advice, building relationships, ensuring a good experience, and more. The author outlined ways in which advisors are able to accomplish these ...more
Sumit Singla
As a management consultant, this book had some great takeaways for me. It is vital to be seen as a partner and an advisor, rather than only as a subject matter expert, in a client situation. That's the easiest and most sustainable way to build a lasting relationship with a client.

While following the advice in this book may not lead to your client putting your phone on speed dial, it'll get you close... :)
Oct 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very helpful. The book helps me understand the reasons behind why clients behave the way they behave. By understanding all the rationals behind their actions, it helps me better on how to approach certains aspects and different characteristics.

I would recommend any who work as consultants / advisors to various clients read this. It's pretty enlightening.
The scene is a hotel bar in Hong Kong. The cast is a group of relatively seasoned portfolio managers from various Scandinavian countries - amongst them myself. The PM:s don’t really know each other but after a nice dinner the general feeling is that the other ones are quite nice guys. In this setting I get the question “Out of all the Scandi sales you have met, which is the best one?” For those not familiar with the concept Scandi sales, it’s roughly an equity broker serving Scandinavian ...more
Aparajith Raghuraman
This book is good for those aspiring for a career in the services industry, particularly, consulting. This book primarily talks about the importance of creating a relationship with clients and how this helps drive repeat sales and cross-selling.

A little disclaimer before I highlight the pros and cons of this book: I read this book to do a book review for an elective in my B-School and owing to time constraints, I ended up speed-reading the book. My opinions stated below are based on
Gary Khan
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Entrepreneurs, Business leaders,
The Trusted Advisor by David H. Maister
A Kryptic Review…
Leading with Questions
I have spent a long time in my career accidentally becoming a trusted advisor to my clients and yet David H. Maister articulates and distils these principles with great ease. The book is well written and also well narrated (audiobook).
“There is an old saying, “It is amazing what you can achieve if you are not wedded to who gets the credit.”

Maister breaks down the chapters first explaining what being a trusted advisor actually means, and
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Trusted Advisor packs an enormous amount of wisdom about a great subject - building a professional relationship with your client through. Magister, Green, & Galford clearly write from their experience and emphasize mature advice for the advisor. The book illustrates practical scenarios and heuristics for navigating the service and corporate landscape that echoes of deeper wisdom, integrity, and honesty that goes beyond the work environment. The saying goes that checklists are written in ...more
4.5 stars
- The book is practically a nice guide on soft and communication skills in the consulting context. Nothing ground-breaking or exclusive but it is an important read to polish your thinking and behavior when dealing with clients, colleagues and supervisors.

- The best thing about this book is the "real" life examples it gives to the rules and tips it has. For example, if your client says "x".. if you reply with "y" this will happen, if you reply with "z" that will happen, better do this,
Shaurya Aggarwal
I ended up confused after reading the book - confused about whether the lists format of summering dos/donts work for me or not, whether the learnings are relevant in my profession, whether I am at the right managerial position to get the best out of this book, etc.

Honestly, I am still unsure on the answers to all my confusions, but I do feel that certain aspects are highly relevant for me in my role. This book is a good reminder of certain basics one should consciously keep in mind to build or
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd describe it as The Speed of Trust set in the specific context of becoming a consultant/advisor to a person or group (i.e., client). Like the Speed of Trust, not much is rocket science, but I suppose the degree of learning from this book depends on the type of person you are going into it. I would think it would best serve a) people just starting out in their careers who may not yet realize the value of establishing trust in any relationship or b) those perhaps not so early in their careers ...more
Cyrus Molavi
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Some advice from client relationship experts that are clearly not writers. The focus of this book is on building trust, and the core idea is worthwhile. They express their framework using a simple equation, and use the variables to communicate how no single attribute can earn you trust.

There is a decent amount of value here, but a lot of the material they're trying to cover is not easily taught. Talking about soft skills can only take you so far--they must be practiced. And while the authors
Jason Ong Wicky
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is good and contain solid advises which I do not disagree with in general.

Some negative points is that it is quite repetitive and the book is not fantastically written. Sometimes, stuff are written in a numbered list (bullet points) so it reads like a textbook rather than a book filled with flowery wonderful passages to make you like it. However, the writing is still very decent.

You also may not learn anything new or ground-breaking or even memorable. There is no shortcut to being a
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To build trust, a person must be willing to 'give' in order to 'get'.

Trust is a two-way relationship, in order for a trust relationship to evolve, it needs a combined effort from both parties; the advisor needs to integrate his/her content expertise with his/her organizational and interpersonal skills. The client, in turn must positively reciprocate and participate in building up the relationship.

The trust equation is a useful scientific framework for those who like to mathematize the
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very worthwhile read! Key takeaways:
- expertise matters, but being a trusted advisor means being a partner and equal on a joint journey, not knowing all
- it’s more than ok, it’s GOOD to say when you don’t know something. It shows you are more concerned with the truth than looking good
- expand use of envisioning step
- being a good listener is a skill that takes practice. Follow the steps
- review the lists in the back to get a great Cliff Notes of the content
Marko Pacar
Cant argue with majority of the arguments laid out in this books, but most of them are just common sense for anyone with any advisory background and experience (or life experience in general, for that matter) and it reads more like a collection of pop-business advice that you often stumble upon on various business blogs such as HBR and similar. Still, a quick, easy and solid read, especially for those who are looking to get into advisory, in one way or another. ...more
jordan camille ferguson
This was required reading for my grad school course in Consulting.

It’s packed with practical, yet insightful advice on building solid, trusting relationships with clients of any temperament. I was skeptical of some of the advice because as a black woman I am aware that I can not employ the same tactics as white men in most professional situations and get the same outcome, but I still enjoyed reading it. I plan to proceed with caution when applying these lessons to my own career.
Sarah Carr
I have very mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, there are aspects of it that are incredibly useful and practical, from the CRIS formula to very specific things that one can say or do to increase trust with clients. On the other hand, parts of it were very, VERY consultant-y and the book dragged along at times (thus my very long time to read it).

In short, if you can find a Cliff Notes version or a talk about the subject, I would recommend that more than the actual book.
Trey Malone
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's been a long time since I've read anything in the "self-help" genre, but this book provided a few strong nuggets that I found very relevant for working with businesses. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone likely to provide expert advice to companies for a living - but believe that the advice transcended that relationship and also provided a broad context for understanding trust in any kind of professional relationship.
Barrett Brooks
A good read for a new client services professional

This is a good starter read for client services professionals working to sell and deliver on services through trusting relationships with clients. The main drawback to the book is the format and flow — the number of lists is overwhelming and can make the chapters feel as though they’ll never end despite their relatively short length.
Stephen Davis
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel this is a book that all advisors and experienced salesmen should read. Personally, this book took me some time to read and I felt it was very dry at times but the content is invaluable. I would suggest a new employee read this book and re-read it again in 15 years. I read this book 12 years into my career and will re-read it again in another 10. Furthermore, I feel every book should have an appendix like this one. A listing of all important topics is essential.
Jul 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The trusted advisor is a must read not just to Salesman but every Entrepreneur including doctors, or Geez to everyone.
The book not just offer the methods you can use to save your sales pitch but also analyze customer behaviors which takes this book to another level.
In next 10 years this book would be still relevant.
(What?! You never read this book before? Pfff... you know it has all the relevance info right?)
Apr 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So many lists! Even though a few parts can get a bit hokey ("as clearly demonstrated by the trust equation this dimension has gone from a 7 to a 3...") there's a wealth of good information here about maintaining a service mindset, earning the right, the value of framing and envisioning, etc. Not the most readable field book in my opinion but still full of handy insights for consultant types.
Daniel Almeida Leon
It's simply an okay book. Way to driven for layman's eyes although it possesses a simple yet effective message : listen. I feel the author made it imperative to sort of invent these common sensical rules and scenarios by overanalysing situations. The premise of the book however remains true, but the way in which it is presented reads more like a comic than a serious piece of literature.
Feb 03, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, nonfiction
This is a book that focuses on helping those in the professional services industry become less focused on being content masters and more focused on building trust with their clients. Good listening, curiosity by way of asking good questions, empathy, humility, and taking risks are some of the trust advisor traits shared in this book that most resonated with me.
Dec 03, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some good advice on how to earn and keep your client's trust. None of this was groundbreaking... listen, do what you say you will, be more interested in them and how to solve their problems than you are in making money... etc.
Still a good read, and a good reminder to all professionals that your technical work is only part of your total competency.
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