Charlie and I recently recorded a podcast interview with Mike McLaughlin on the subject of trust and professional services. We covered a lot of ground in 16 minutes, including the one piece of advice we’d each give consultants about building trust with clients.
Mike is an accomplished thought leader in the world of professional services. A former partner with Deloitte Consulting, he’s the author of two books (Winning the Professional Services Sale and Guerrilla Marketing for Consultants, in collaboration with Jay Conrad Levinson), the founder of MindShare Consulting LLC, and the publisher of Management Consulting News, a monthly newsletter that delivers practical ideas to thousands of professionals around the world. He also writes another monthly newsletter, The Guerrilla Consultant, which extends the concepts and strategies in his first book.
Mike regularly taps into experts on a variety of relevant topics, and posts his own insightful content on his blog, Consult This. Some examples include:
- Let Them Take Credit. How, by giving up the credit, you actually earn credit (and more business).
- What’s in a Name? How the job titles we use on business cards, email signature lines, and web sites convey a world of meaning to others, some of which isn’t helpful.
- When it All Hits the Fan. Why we should consider ourselves lucky when a client calls us on the carpet for a customer service failure.
We were honored to be among the likes of Peter Block and Peter Bregman, whom Mike has interviewed in the past, among others.
Q & A
Mike asked us some interesting questions. He wanted to know:
- Do buyers trust professional service providers more, less, or about the same as they did when The Trusted Advisor was published?
- If you’re meeting a client for the first time, what are the best steps to take to begin to build trust?
- On the flip side of the coin, what common behaviors do you see that detract from building trust?
- What do you say to the pushy sales manager who wants you to “accelerate” the sale before trust is established?
- If you’ve lost trust with a client, what can you do to regain it?
- If you could give a consultant just one piece of advice about building trust with clients, what would it be? (Charlie and I had different answers for this one.)
Check out his blog post today to find out how we answered.