Given the current Royal Commission into the banks and the financial services industry, it seems a good time to revisit just what being a trusted advisor actually means.
As a professional business advisory firm, we pride ourselves on our integrity when it comes to the advice we give to our clients. We develop close relationships, based on mutual trust and respect.
In the past, we have asked clients what they value about the way we look after them both as individual advisors, and also as a firm. We have received the following responses:
I trust you to look after me
- You know what you are talking about
- You get back to me when you say you will
- You make me feel like I am important to you
- You are approachable and use language I understand
- You add a personal touch to our professional relationship
- I really believe you care about how I am going.
Most of the responses above are about feelings. The client sees value in how he or she feels about the professional relationship which exists between us. Of all the responses, the first is the most important. It is trust that adds the most value to the relationship.
It is not enough to say “trust me”. Trust must be earned, and we take that very seriously. We give our clients reason to trust us and a number of the responses above are some of those reasons.
But trust is not just about feeling good. It must be supported with integrity, accountability, professionalism, and a genuine desire to prioritise the client’s needs. Not self-interest and profits for the advisor.
You often see the term “Trusted Advisor” used in business Mission Statements (including ours). It is something to work towards not simply to be used as a label. Given the current environment, the label has become worthless. The banks and many of their affiliated advisors are now faced with seriously rebuilding the trust between themselves and their customers.
We are committed to giving a positive meaning to the words, and making it relevant to our clients and the professional relationships. As a firm, we believe we are your “Trusted Advisors”