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What it takes to be a trusted advisor

A number of companies claim the trusted advisor space within their respective market. And many do a great job backing it up with demonstrative proof of their claim.

Looking at trusted advisors we interact with — both vendors and clients — here are a few things we note:

  • Trusted advisors aren’t afraid to tell you they made a mistake: They accept responsibility and alert you to problems as soon as they’re discovered, letting you make decisions for your business to respond and recover from possible fallout.
  • Trusted advisors set realistic expectations: They don’t over promise and under-perform. They are honest about what they can and can’t do…and when.
  • Trusted advisors don’t recommend something because it’s personally beneficial to do so: They recommend what’s right for the other party involved, considering their best interest first.
  • Trusted advisors don’t fear competition: They positively talk about others in their market who are good at what they do, realizing successful markets are made of more than one company being great. They don’t look at business as a zero-sum game of winners and losers.
  • Trusted advisors aren’t afraid to fire themselves: They realize when it no longer makes sense to work together or acknowledge another vendor can do a better job than they can in a given opportunity and freely recommend another company or competing business.

Obviously, trust is the common tread through the characteristics of a trusted advisor. It’s why we like working with trusted advisors, they make us feel confident and free to be open about our challenges and opportunities — we don’t have to be guarded in business dealings for fear of being take advantage of.

We believe ourself to be a trusted advisor in the AV and video conferencing space. At times that means we have to make decisions and take actions that don’t favor us. But that’s the point of being a trusted advisor — the other party knowing you’re acting in their favor, not solely yours.  Trust is the cornerstone of win/win business relationships that last.

What is your experience working with or being a trusted advisor?  What would you add or change to the list of trusted advisor characteristics listed above?

AV Solutions is very customer service oriented and a great partner for us in the AV space. ~ Paul Plauche’, Turner Industries Group, L.L.C.