Last weekend, Phil Mickelson won The Open Championship capturing his first Claret Jug. After hoisting the trophy, Mickelson thanked his caddy, Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay for all of his support throughout the years.
For those who don’t golf, a caddy is someone who dresses up in a funny outfit and totes around a 25-pound golf bag over 18 holes. But for those that do play, they are seen as so much more. A caddy is a golfer’s teammate; someone who can offer advice, build confidence, and make a player more comfortable. In a sense, a caddy is similar to a trusted advisor in business. Both serve a similar purpose of improving business, or quality of play as it relates to golf.
So how does one become a trusted advisor? It isn’t simply something that happens over night; rather it is a process that develops over time. Below are a few tips on how to become a trusted advisor or “caddy.”
- Build Trust. Although this is obvious, it’s probably the most time consuming. Trust isn’t instantaneous; rather it is something that takes time to develop. Trust can take years to create but only moments to erase. When building trust with your clients, it is crucial to put the relationship before the transaction. It is most important to show a genuine interest in building a relationship with your client.
- Listen. In order to become a trusted advisor, you should focus on the client’s needs rather than yourself. Ask questions about their business to prove that you are genuinely interested in solving their business problems. Asking questions shows the client that you are paying attention and understand their business.
- Be Honest. Even when you have bad news, it is important to tell the truth. Although the client may not be thrilled with the news, they will appreciate your honesty. It will also prove to them that you have their best interests in mind.
How have you been successful in building a trusted advisor relationship with a client?