The managers from a consulting firm I work with are sold on the “trusted advisor” idea. This comes from The Trusted Advisor by Charles Green, David Maister and Rob Galford (Free Press, 2000). They bantered this around in my friend’s performance review.
I actually believe that trusted advisor ideas and “techniques” are solid, money-making and morally good. Unfortunately, I’m not sure these guys get the big point, that it’s not about being the most expert person but being the most trusted.
Take a look at Green’s article, “Ten Myths About Selling Intangible Services.” It’s simple, clear and concise.
It comes down to this, more or less: “Buyers look for rational reasons to justify what is finally an emotional decision, built heavily on trust.”