The Trusted Advisor: Still a Top Ten Business Book After Ten Years!

Late in the year 2000, The Trusted Advisor was published. It was my first book (Galford’s too), and lead author Maister’s 3rd. We had high hopes for it–but so does every author.

It did well over the years. I think somewhere around senior associate level in accounting firms, 6th year associates in law firms, 5th year managers in consulting firms, some old partner takes the youngsters aside and says, “You should go read a book called ‘The Trusted Advisor.’ You’re ready to need it.”

How else to explain that, 11 years after initial publication, the estimable 1-800-CEO-READ book seller rated The Trusted Advisor number 7 on the March 2011 list of Top 25 Business Books.

And that’s not all. March 2011 was not a fluke. That number 7 ranking was in fact an increase from 2009, where it ranked #12–for the entire year 2009.

Today is typical: it ranks number 4,229 on Amazon’s all-book list as of 9PM. That’s pretty good for any business book, up against Harry Potter and Tina Fey. For a ten-year old business book, it’s quite unusual. Cialdini’s book on influence is of the same vintage, and does even better. And of course Steven Covey’s Seven Habits is a Monster.

But that is nosebleed territory company to be in.

I am humbled and honored to have co-authored The Trusted Advisor. I hope you’ll forgive me a little crowing about it, and I hope the upcoming Trusted Advisor FieldBook can achieve a fraction of its success.

3 replies
  1. Chris Downing
    Chris Downing says:

    I think ‘Trusted Advisor’ is up there still because nobody much seems to write about building relationships, and the how and why. Andrew Sobel and Michael W. McLaughlin come to mind, but the subject seems to get treated like a mystic art nobody must mention. “Oh, relationship building? That’s that soft-end, client stroking stuff isn’t it? We train our guys to go for the jugular and close,” said one Sales Director I spoke to a while ago. Duh?! When it does get addressed, as it would with that sales manager, so often it is in the ‘How to Manipulate Your Client’, chapter. (Just been listening to an audio CD that was lent me that was just like that – it’s cardigan chewing embarrassing that there are sales people out there that just don’t get it – I get the same feeling when a contestant presents a ‘pitch’ on ‘The Apprentice’)

    I predict great sales for The TR Fieldbook. There’s an appetite for books that give practical, how-to advice.

    But I also predict the mission to make Client Relationships a priority will continue well into the next decade. I’m beginning to think that for some people, understanding that client relationship are vital, is as foreign as being honest or having integrity, is vital. I’m sure there’s a correlation.

  2. John Gies
    John Gies says:

    Congratulations Charlie,

    The book stands over time because as Chris says it is one of the clearest Voices, in the market, that talks about Trust and the hows. The biggest take away for me was the idea that self interest is the denominator in the Trust equation. Particularly when so much training on client acquisition is about driving towards your agenda and the close.

    Well Done

  3. Charlie (Green)
    Charlie (Green) says:

    John and Chris,

    Thanks to both of you for so very clearly articulating what that book is about, where it fits in the pantheon of things, and what it did for you. I’m humbled by all three of those points, as I’m sure Maister and Galford are as well.

    Chris, I love your metaphors–The Apprentice and ‘cardigan-chewing’–but of course the reality you describe in those tapes and training sessions is more chilling. It really is amazing, on some level, that people don’t get it. On another level it’s not amazing at all, that’s generally how things are. Which is to say, the correlation with honesty and integrity that you point out is definitely there.

    John, I suspect my epitaph will have “The S Denominator” in it somewhere. As I recall, of the three of us I was the one most responsible for that insight, though I’ve occasionally argued the point with Galford who’d like some credit too. (Yes, I recognize the irony inherent in us arguing the point…)


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