In the latest of our #WESC2017 "Speaker Spotlight" series I would like to introduce Gary Williams, Director at Questas Consulting Ltd, who will advise the international audience of the upcoming World Executive Search Congress on how to Become a Trusted Advisor.

Gary Williams: I have been helping professional people develop relationships with their clients for nearly 20 years. True, honest, valuable relationships stand the test of time (and a few inevitable bumps in the road!) and I thrive on showing people how to develop such relationships without relying on outdated sales behaviours.

Despite it being an old cliché, people do still buy from people, and when you can demonstrate value over and above the contractual obligations you will not only retain that client for many years but will be referred time and again.

Check out the full agenda at

Gary Williams is a Director at Questas Consulting Ltd. He is an experienced business development consultant and executive coach. Having spent the first half of his career as a Sales Director in IT and Telecoms, he has spent the last 12 years working in the professional services sector. 

Gary set up Questas in 2012 to address the real challenges faced by professional services firms in their pursuit of growth. Their ‘Create, Convert, Retain’ model has helped many fee earners and BD support teams establish simple and effective business development action plans that deliver results.

His session at #WESC2017 is called Becoming a Trusted Advisor and will cover the following aspects: 

Merriam-Webster defines trust as "assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something." Trusted Advisor status is something that many professionals will claim they have with their clients, however, when put under the spotlight many of those relationships are probably not considered at the same level as the service provider thinks they are.

In their book, The Trusted Advisor, David H. Maister, Charles H. Green, and Robert M. Galford of Harvard University discuss four different types of client relationships:

Type 1. At the beginning of a relationship, some clients may view you as a 'vendor' or as someone who performs one-off tasks requiring a certain level of ability. This is the stage at which most advisors begin their careers, and it's the easiest type of relationship to master. More important, however, it's where you can introduce and then build upon your expertise.

Type 2. At this level, your clients realize that you possess capabilities beyond the skills related to the original task you were hired to perform. You can focus on rising to more general challenges. In turn, your clients can start to view you as a reliable resource and problem solver for more in-depth issues.

Type 3. Here, you're looked upon in terms of your ability to put issues into context and to provide perspective. You offer advice and identify client issues as part of an organizational process. At this stage, you can more easily transition to the highest level within the relationship—that of a trusted advisor.

Type 4. Once you've reached the level of trusted advisor, virtually all issues—emotional or rational, personal or professional—are on the table for discussion and exploration. You will be the person the client turns to when issues first arise—times of great accomplishments, triumphs, defeats, and crises. This level is often the most time consuming but also the most rewarding.

During the session Gary will explore the steps to becoming and remaining your clients' Trusted Advisor.

Delegates from 3 continents have already signed up to attend the event and the bookings are coming in daily - join them to benefit from the speakers' insights and invaluable networking opportunities. Check out the full agenda at