When thinking about what it means to be a trusted advisor, I am often reminded that we overcomplicate things.

Recently my daughter was diagnosed with a relapse to her cancer. She had less than 5% chance of relapse, and so this was obviously a sad and shocking turn of events.  There are things that happen when we are under pressure, and finding a beacon of hope is usually the second thing we do, the first is blame someone else! In this instance, I could have said the doctors were wrong, they missed something and now I do not trust them or the data. But instead, I remembered they were there with us the whole time during the first treatment cycle, and they were always able to add value to our experiences, helping us navigate the unknown, giving us things we couldn’t get on our own from Google or friends or our own talents. SO, instead of blaming them, I went to them and their expertise- they were and are my trusted advisors.

 

How does this relate to what we all do, day in and day out?

  1. To be trusted you have to SHOW UP
    1. Doing what you say you are going to do, when you say you are going to do it is KEY in gaining trust and becoming the GO TO person with your customers
    2. Being there when things go well AND when things go poorly as a true partner
    3. Making sure your customers know you are there for them, when the odds are good and bad
  2. To be an advisor you must add VALUE
    1. Value based interactions are key to success in this business- you have to make sure you know not just the WHAT but the WHY you are doing things.
  1. Meetings to review data we can all pull ourselves are not valuable- Talking about what that data shows us, how we are going to use it to be better and what we can do to evolve our solutions – now that is valuable
  2. Ever want to know if something you are doing for and with a a client is valuable- stop doing it and see if anyone cares! Example, I have a team that we send a daily report to, before we started sending it the team was ranting about its need, 6 months later, we stopped sending it and nobody cared- it didn’t have the value it needed. So we revamped the report, checked with our internal customers, and made it more useful.
  • Being busy isn’t valuable- being effective and impactful are. Are you busy or effective?

 

We will not always be right or perfect, and sometimes that 5% chance will come to fruition. But when it does, will your customers (internal, external, or prospective) come to you with blame or as the beacon of hope?  I believe firmly if you SHOW UP, ADD VALUE and are the SME in the room giving them something they can’t google- you will have a very positive outcome- just like we will with Vara in her battle.

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