Trusted Advisor Status for Professional Services Firms
Seeking trusted advisor status must be any Professional Practice and Advisory Services firm's ultimate goal. We should be partnering with subs, vendors and suppliers that have the same mentality. Sometimes the ‘space’ is different and cultures don’t align. Contractors are not consultants and I’ve been on both sides – plenty of eye rolls at my consultants when I was the guy with the dirty boots and yellow iron behind me. Maybe that’s what makes us different, being able to translate the space in which the different groups live so that we all speak the same language. As business leaders, we fundamentally have the same goals; deliver world-class service at a fair margin, build a place for careers, have some fun doing it, endeavor to make our clients happy and build long-term trust-based relationships with them. We are the clients to our project partners, and our client is the ultimate buyer. The path seems completely congruent. Breaking through the perceived trust barrier is key. Some of our favorite conversations are when our clients ask, ‘what would you advise?’ My favorite question of my project partners is, ‘Here’s how we thought to deliver this complex project. But, what would you do differently?’
We can show you where our spend with project partners is based on trust. The numbers are exponentially different. You can tell which client projects were stellar and which were good but had some challenges. If you’re good at delivery and client relationships, the client may not have ever known of them – the challenges. But, if you’re reading this, you are probably reflecting on the internal conversations [away from the client] that sound like, ‘I think we should have picked a different contractor, sub, supplier, vendor, etc.’ Communication of expectations, sound design aligned with those goals, and having the dream team of project partners deliver them isn’t always achievable. But we can change the dynamic through communication, partnering, sharing the pain, and the high-fives. Turn the outcomes into, ‘WE did it’, and not ‘we could have done it better, but for…’ That takes humility, and willingness to invest time (and money).
Orion Managed Services, LLC.