What is a Trusted Advisor? Think about it… in your life you only have a handful of true trusted advisors. Perhaps your doctor, attorney, accountant and maybe close family members. Now think about the traits of what gives these people this distinction. We believe there are 8 key traits to being a true Trusted Advisor, and this is how we do business consistently.
A true Trusted Advisor listens
When you go to your doctor with an ache or pain, the doc doesn’t run in and tell you all about him/herself, how great of a doctor they are, what degrees they have earned and all about the products and services they offer. They simply ask, “so, what’s going on?” “Where does it hurt?” After lots of listening, they examine you, run tests, etc. Then, and only then do they diagnose your situation and recommend a strategy to get better. The question we ask is why would you settle for anything different from the people who are looking out for your fiscal health instead of your physical health?
A true Trusted Advisor is in it for a long-term relationship, not short term gain
The majority of our client’s stay with us when they start with us, some even going back to when we first started over 25 years ago. There have been many surveys about what people are looking for in a trusted advisor (doctor, attorney, financial advisor, etc.), and what typically ranks the highest is one that is committed to a long-term relationship. This is precisely why we have structured our practice the way we have. We offer fee-based consulting, and we are an independent firm. We get compensated to develop your comprehensive strategies. We then manage and modify as your life circumstances change and evolve. We have never understood the lure of an advisor offering “free” advice. Just imagine how you would feel if your doctor said, “Sure! We’ll do the examinations for free as long as you give us the surgery.” Yikes. Our firm is built for long-term relationships, not one-time transactions.
A true Trusted Advisor puts clients’ interests in front of their own. Always.
There have also been many surveys that have shown client’s don’t believe that their advisor puts their interest above the firm’s. As David Maister puts it in his book The Trusted Advisor, “There is no greater source of distrust than advisors who appear to be more interested in themselves than in trying to be of service to their client”. A true Trusted Advisor understands that always putting the client’s interest first builds trust, which is the single most important element you should look for when choosing an advisor.
A true Trusted Advisor is genuinely interested in their clients and their businesses
Dale Carnegie had it right when he said “You can make more money in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” OK, he actually used the word “friends” instead of “money”, but the philosophy is applicable. Trusted Advisors are genuinely interested in their clients. A good friend once said, “Even though your clients won’t all become your best friends, it would probably be good if they at least all liked you!” We recognize that people do business with those they trust and enjoy being around. That’s why we routinely host client events, seminars and more, all in the name of just getting to know you better, and routinely saying thank you for doing business with us.
A true Trusted Advisor works hard to understand the client’s underlying interests not just surface “wants”
As Steven Covey so succinctly puts it in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, “Seek first to understand and then to be understood”. There is more to being a Trusted Advisor than just jumping whenever a client asks you to. We take the time to dig below the surface, analyze your situation with unique perspective and understand why you are asking what you are asking. What’s motivating you to do that? What underlying interests are causing you to take certain positions on matters? What really are your end goals?
A true Trusted Advisor is reliable and does what they say they will do
Another quote we love around here is Fredrich Nietzche’s, “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” This point is pretty straight forward. Here at Harvest Wealth Advisors, you will find we do what we say we’re going to do, and deliver on commitments… even the small ones.
A true Trusted Advisor is credible (but doesn’t feel the need to try too hard!)
Credibility is important. Experience is important. Continuing education is important. Knowing when to say “No, we’re not the right firm to help you on this” is important. We know you have a level of comfort and trust when your advisor is recognized as a credible expert, and is committed to continuing education in order to stay relevant and bring continually growing value to the relationship.
A true Trusted Advisor Is genuinely passionate
In surveys done by firms from Deloitte to CEO.com, passion consistently ranks as the top attribute for executives and advisors in virtually every industry. If it’s not already abundantly clear, we love what we do. We have been helping our client’s manage their financial worlds for over 25 years. More importantly, we are passionate about what you do. We love digging in and using our experience and perspective to develop unique strategies, that at the end of the day, make a difference in the lives of our clients. We are constantly amazed at the challenges our client’s face, and opportunities they have. There is nothing we care about more (other than our families, of course) than making a difference for our client’s and improving their financial health & wellbeing. THIS is what you can expect when you engage with Harvest Wealth Advisors.