Have you ever wondered what a Business Advisor can do for you and why working with a good one can be a game-changer? You are not alone; the professional role of a (Trusted) Business Advisor is not well understood.

In the fourth of five articles, I will talk about the power of earned trust and the potential of a business advisor to fit with you and your organisation.

My thinking comes from my work with business advisory clients since 2005, mentoring other Business Advisors, and my knowledge of how Business Advisors operate and add value. They not only create business value but act as a conduit for the value provided by their networks.


The Power of Earned Trust

A quality business advisor has the character, knowledge and maturity to build trust with their client. There are no shortcuts to this. You will feel in the pit of their stomach whether you trust someone or not. If you meet a business advisor for the first time and get the impression you could not trust them – don’t hire them.

The sole focus of any trusted advisor should be on the business journey of their client. There is no place for personal ego. A high-quality business advisor should have long since converted their personal ego into personal resilience, enabling them to focus wholly and solely on their client. If you sense this focus and are open to building a relationship based on trust, then things are on track.

However, for trust to build, the client plays a key role too. They must first understand the value a business advisor can bring to their business and see the potential for them to become a genuine business asset. Without this understanding, they will not be sufficiently invested in the process to allow their trust to be earned. Before engaging a business advisor, ask yourself if the process is worth it for you?

Trust is key
Any quality outcomes in business come from trust
Firstly earned and then retained
Trust is slowly earned but easily lost
When lost, it is gone forever


Learn more about trusted advisors   

Read The Trusted Advisor by David Maister. Maister’s book is arguably one of the seminal books in the trust space. I had the privilege of attending a series of afternoon sessions with Maister. He was entertaining and knowledgeable with a great sense of humour.


Would this advisor be a good fit?

Factors to consider when assessing the fit of a business advisor to work with you and within your organisation include the following,

Style and temperament

With what style of person do you best work? Temperament is something we are born with – we cannot change it. It is deep within our DNA. Do you want to work with and trust someone who has a similar temperament to your own, or would an opposing temperament be more beneficial, or is there a better balance somewhere in-between?

Evaluate this by asking yourself if working with this person will give you energy or take energy from you. Only you can decide based on your temperament and style preference.

Liking and respect

Do you wish to like your business advisor or respect them? Or both? You may simply need a business advisor for their knowledge, and neither need to like them nor respect them. This can work on a project by project basis.

A longer-term relationship with an advisor is almost always based on mutual respect and sometimes both respect and liking. Only you can decide.

Big picture, detail, or both?

Are you a big picture person who needs a detailed person to support and inform your thinking, or does the reverse apply? You may need both detail and the big picture and simultaneously both perspectives. Again, only you can decide what is needed.

Read my next article in this series: Your investment to find out what kind of return you can expect from working with a business advisor and what the process looks like.

By Murray Fulton