How to be Perceived As A Trusted Advisor
I developed this list with managing partners from accounting practices in a half-dozen countries while working with them in Atlanta this week. I think it applies to all professional services firms’ principles, and to all entrepreneurs who seek to be a “trusted advisor.” (My thanks to Norman Same of Sydney for setting up this work, which was a result of Rob Nixon asking me to speak for over 500 accounting professionals in that city, my thanks to him, as well. That’s how marketing gravity works!)
How to be perceived as a Trusted Advisor:
• Do pro bono work in the community.
• Publish with third-party endorsement (e.g., business publications).
• Speak at every opportunity when there are influence leaders in the audience.
• Create and maintain an interactive web site.
• Blog, with frequent (e.g. three times+ weekly) provocative issues.
• Conduct breakfast and lunch meetings for networking and discussion.
• Provide free diagnostic products.
• Elicit and publicize testimonials.
• Seek community leadership positions (e.g., planning board).
• Create the proper office environment (privacy, dignity, success).
• Create the proper employee attitudes (courtesy, responsiveness, proaction).
• Create a regular newsletter, hardcopy or electronic.
• Create and promote your brands, and trademark you property.
• Convert intellectual capital (intangible) into intellectual property (tangible).
• Teach locally at a college or university as a guest lecturer.
• Seek professional and trade association leadership positions.
• Create “best practices” from you wealth of experience in your profession.
• Constantly ask happy clients for referrals.
• “Paint others into the picture,” by demonstrating how they can benefit.
If you want to be seen as someone whom important clients can trust and rely on to the degree that fees are not an issue, then you have to walk the talk and talk the walk. How many of these pragmatic actions are you engaged in?
© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved.