A cautionary tale for marketers: do’s and don’t’s from the perspective of the marketed-to

Andrea Howe
Category : Client relationships, Sales and BD July 20, 2010

Story 1: Don’t do this

I got one of those broadcast email solicitations from a very reputable organization that hosts executive roundtables. Brian (a stranger to me) wanted me to attend an informational meeting. To his credit, he “had me at hello” with the very first lines of his email, which were both personal and complimentary: “Andrea, let me first say I LOVE the name of your company and the genesis of it…the ‘new beat’ story. Outstanding!”

Laughter is the Best Corporate Medicine

Cary Paul
Category : Improvisation July 14, 2010

This month’s improv tip is from Cary Paul, Chief Improv Officer

There’s an unexpected catalyst for transformational change out there that most companies haven’t considered tapping into. It’s not leadership from the top. It’s not buy-in from the bottom. It’s not a compelling vision. It’s not a mission statement that everyone can easily remember and recite. (Although all of these things matter). It’s humor.

Does this make my “S” look big? True customer focus

Andrea Howe
Category : Client relationships May 20, 2010

I’ve led dozens of learning programs on being a Trusted Advisor. One thing I’ve learned: without a doubt, the most popular element of the Trust Equation is Self-Orientation.

By “popular,” I mean it’s the one most people identify as a huge opportunity for improvement. Which makes sense, since it’s deliberately placed in the denominator to highlight its ubiquitousness.

Old faithful and reliability

Andrea Howe
Category : Client relationships April 21, 2010

Old Faithful is a geyser located in Yellowstone National Park, USA. It gets its name because it regularly shoots steam and water to great heights. In fact, with a margin of error of 10 minutes, Old Faithful will erupt either every 65 or every 91 minutes, depending on the length of the previous eruption. It’s been doing this since 1870.

While most of us who endeavor to be Trusted Advisors would probably prefer not to be associated with a “geyser” (myself included), there’s something we can all learn from this phenomenon of nature.

Impeccability vs. perfection: who’s got your back?

Andrea Howe
Category : Client relationships April 14, 2010

At first glance, the difference between Impeccability and Perfection is slight.Taking a closer look, they are very different characters, each with a profoundly different impact when it comes to building trust. Here’s the punch line, delivered by a recovering perfectionist:

Impeccability is your friend; Perfection is not.

Can you train for trust?

Andrea Howe
Category : Trusted advisorship April 5, 2010

Can you train for trust?

The question needs to be broken down; but the quick answer is — yes. Let’s talk about how. And then we want to invite you to experience it yourself.
Disclosure: this blog-post is part advertisement. Trusted Advisor Associates is offering an open enrollment Being a Trusted Advisor program  in New York, New York. Read on to find out more, or just click here to sign up.
Now, back to training for trust; let’s break it down.

When a win-win…is not

Andrea Howe
Category : Client relationships January 27, 2010

Special thanks to Noelle who participated in a Being a Trusted Advisor program Charlie and I led recently. Noelle told a similar story in class that was the inspiration for this post.

I had an experience with US Airways recently that shed light on the difference between what I’ll call a Sears Win-Win* and a Real Win-Win. In short, the difference boils down to incentives.

Three little words

Andrea Howe
Category : Trusted advisorship January 26, 2010

My mother always told me that bad luck comes in threes. At the risk of pushing my luck, I’m going to disagree with her–at least when it comes to trustworthiness. Here are three phrases, each three words long, that are an essential part of any Trusted Advisor toolkit: “That makes sense,” “Tell me more,” and “I don’t know.”

Intimacy 201

Andrea Howe
Category : Client relationships December 15, 2009

At first blush, intimacy is a strange word to use in a business context. “What, I’m supposed to intimate with my clients?” In the sense that being intimate means being familiar, informal, and emotionally connected…yes, indeed.

Intimacy is one of the four components of the Trust Equation and it usually gets the short-shrift. For most, it’s more natural to build trust by increasing credibility and reliability. And yet, without intimacy, business transactions are just that–transactions–and the “safe haven” experience that is the hallmark of Trusted Advisor relationships is a pipe dream.

Why mistakes build trust

Andrea Howe
Category : Trusted advisorship November 17, 2009

My mechanic taught me something the other day about being a Trusted Advisor. He screwed up in a big way. And I ended up trusting him more as a result.

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