Are you really your client’s ‘trusted advisor’?

Jul 10, 2023

In the fast-paced world of professional services, the notion of being a "trusted advisor" holds significant weight. Clients seek professionals who can not only provide expertise but also act as a reliable source of guidance and support. However, a recurring question arises: if you claim to be a trusted advisor, should you charge clients for basic communication like phone calls and emails? In this blog post, we will delve into this topic, exploring the true essence of being a trusted advisor and the importance of delivering value beyond traditional services.

The True Meaning of a Trusted Advisor:

A trusted advisor goes beyond the role of a mere service provider. They become a pillar of support for their clients, offering more than just technical expertise. The essence of being a trusted advisor lies in being available and accessible when clients need assistance. It is about fostering a relationship built on trust, open communication, and a deep understanding of clients' needs.

The Problem with Charging for Communication:

Charging clients for every interaction, whether it's picking up the phone or reading an email, can inadvertently erode the trust and accessibility crucial to being a trusted advisor. If clients hesitate to reach out due to fear of accumulating additional charges, it hampers the advisor-client relationship. A trusted advisor should be readily available to lend an ear, offer solutions, and help clients navigate challenges without the constant worry of the meter running in the background.

Value-Centric Pricing:

Rather than selling time, a trusted advisor should focus on selling results, solutions, and outcomes. Clients do not purchase hours from their advisors; they invest in the peace of mind that comes from having a knowledgeable professional by their side. It is essential to recognize that clients value the accessibility and prompt assistance provided by their advisor. The ability to pick up the phone and receive a timely answer or having an expert handle complex matters on their behalf represents genuine value.

Understanding Your Worth:

As a trusted advisor, it is crucial to acknowledge the value you bring beyond the technical aspects of your service. By recognizing the intangible benefits you provide, such as peace of mind, risk reduction, and personalized support, you can accurately price your services. Building a pricing system that accounts for the accessibility and value you deliver on an ongoing basis, rather than just the tangible deliverables, allows you to align your fees with the true worth of your expertise.


Becoming a trusted advisor goes far beyond the conventional role of an accountant or lawyer. It requires being there for clients, offering guidance, and actively contributing to their success and well-being. Charging clients for basic communication can hinder the development of this crucial relationship. Instead, it is vital to focus on delivering value and recognizing the intangible benefits that clients truly value. By pricing your services accordingly and emphasizing accessibility, you can solidify your position as a trusted advisor and build long-lasting client relationships.

Remember, being a trusted advisor is not about simply selling your time; it's about providing exceptional value, solving problems, and helping clients achieve their goals.