Trusted Advisor

Olivier Member Posts: 5 Navigator
Name Dropper First Comment Photogenic

Happy Mid-week: there is this topic trending on Linkedin about earning the title of "Trusted Advisor" by your customer. Every CSM positions himself/herself/themselves as such. But what really makes us Trusted Advisor? For me the ability to engage proactively and "gently regularly" ( without annoying your customer) and through those conversations, gain information that you will take and bat for them. I applied that recently and gain intel that I took internally and worked on, then delivered back to clients. And as result, I renewed them successfully.

What do you do to earn that Trusted Advisor title from your customers?


  • briandavidhoward
    briandavidhoward Member Posts: 1 Newcomer
    First Comment
  • Olivier
    Olivier Member Posts: 5 Navigator
    Name Dropper First Comment Photogenic

    Interesting @briandavidhoward . I guess the topic is brought back to life. Becoming a Trusted Advisor by your client is like receiving an award from them. It is hard to earn as customers always find things that need improvement, but when they receive a great service from a CS, they also let them know as well. Thanks for resharing that link

  • Guy Galon
    Guy Galon Member Posts: 26 Expert
    Third Anniversary 10 Comments Photogenic Name Dropper

    Fascinating topic as we don't get the "trusted advisor" badge from anyone. I feel that customers consider me a a trusted advisor based on two indicators:

    1. They proactively engage when they need additional support/helping hand/advice. For example: asking me about another potential vendor or if I could help them to explore new project or initiative.
    2. They are interested in market trends and best practices and looking at me/my organization to guide them.
  • Abuta
    Abuta Member Posts: 1 Newcomer
    First Comment

    For one to be a trusted advisor, he/ she must have a great background knowledge of product with great communication skills to easily convince the client.

  • Harsh Shah
    Harsh Shah Member Posts: 40 Expert
    5 Comments Name Dropper

    Great topic @Olivier,

    Here are my 2 cents around it, It is all tied to your ability to identify, understand and anticipate clients' needs/expectations/goals.

    As you rightly said, this is not something you can achieve, it is something you need to EARN. When your customer put his complete trust in you.

    I do the following things to make my customers successful by getting involved in more strategic decisions.

    1. Solve problems with long-term solutions
    2. Anticipate needs and create a plan to meet them
    3. Use my experience to suggest better practices and procedures
    4. Make them successful even when they doubt their abilities
    5. Establish credibility with honest and transparent communication
    6. Provide inputs to grow in their industry with use cases
    7. Communicate thoughtfully
    8. Make a personal connection
    9. Deliver value and provide results constantly

    I believe that by doing these things consistently and persistently, you can earn that TRUSTED ADVISOR status.

    One should spend more time knowing them while proving yourself to be valuable and on their side. 

    Best Regards,

    Harsh Shah

    Customer Success Manager, Woliba


    Email: [email protected]

  • andresfrod
    andresfrod Member Posts: 3 Navigator
    Second Anniversary Photogenic First Comment

    Great topic - I do think that the "trusted advisor" title is passed around too frequently and should hold more weight.

    For a client to consider me their "trusted advisor," I need to understand their business but also look beyond what our product solves for. If I am only one step in the process, I need to understand the other steps so that I can provide the best solution vs the most common best practice. I think this comes with time, both with the client and at the company.

  • Olivier
    Olivier Member Posts: 5 Navigator
    Name Dropper First Comment Photogenic

    Thanks for all your great inputs @Guy Galon , @Abuta , @Harsh Shah and @Andres Rodriguez . And Like Andres said, the title is passed around too frequently and should hold more weight. Reason why I wanted to see what you all like-minded professionals think. One great gratification can also be the ability of the POC to elevate you to his executive teams and even vouch for your SaaS product and get more buy-in from them due to that trusted relationship established with the CSM.

  • EdPorter
    EdPorter Member Posts: 7 Navigator
    5 Comments First Anniversary Photogenic

    Trusted advisor is an output and something you can't achieve yourself. As we know, it's earned. There's no definite formula to gain this because people are all different, have different WINs (Wants, Interests, Needs), and values to an individual are all different. What makes you a trusted advisor to one customer, won't work for another.

    Because of that, I try to start any relationship with a few core values of mine and listen to understand their WINs.

    For me, do what you say you'll do is first and foremost. Be dependable and reliable. Then, focus more on their business as opposed to your business. It's easy to get distracted with product adoption, CSAT/NPS, etc. Yes they are important, but they are surface level pulse checks. It's rare that your product solves a problem...hear me out on this lol! It's the customers execution of your product, delivering to their team the reinforcement of usage, continual training, and incorporating your product into their way of life. That's tough. It's easy to buy a product, it's hard to listen to CS teams, take counsel and advice from them, and integrate into their business. Change is hard, really hard! So, look at the bigger picture of what your customer and their teams have done to use this product successfully, understand their teams meeting cadence's and management operating systems, understand their culture and processes. Listen a lot, and listen to understand not to respond. Try to be an extension of their team. Don't overcomplicate it. Start small, build momentum and grow. People love talking about themselves and their teams. Focus on them, be interested rather than interesting, and you'll start to see more changes occur that build the foundation for becoming a trusted advisor.

  • Olivier
    Olivier Member Posts: 5 Navigator
    Name Dropper First Comment Photogenic

    Very interesting, Thanks a lot @EdPorter !