How to be a Trusted Adviser in 12.5 seconds

10 December 2018

Pete Jarratt |

Inner dialogue went something like this, “The race starts at 10am sharp. That gives me 15 minutes to breathe, visualise a great first leg and also time for a last checkover of my bike. Strange, the screws on my shocks are a little loose, didn’t see that before. No worries, I have the tools handy. Fit in Allen key, turn clockwise and …… SNAP……Oh S%*T….front shocks broken”.

This was the beginning of my 2018 Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge! 14 minutes and counting to find another bike and get back to the start line. Little did I know that I was about to get schooled in the Art of the ultimate trusted advisor.

In times of panic, adrenaline is released into your bloodstream. This has an array of effects on your body including an increased heartrate and breathing becoming faster. Great, I was already pumped to race and now I was being cursed by an evolutionary response. After a big deep breath I made the decision to find the nearest bike shop. A block away my schooling begun at Central Plateau Cyles.

“Hi there, can you help me, my bike is broken and my race begins in 10 minutes”

“OK, not a problem. We can sort this for you. Choose any of these bikes. I recommend this one based on your build but the choice is yours.”

“That’s absolutely brilliant. Right. How much do I owe you?”

“Ah nothing. Call it customer service. Let me adjust your saddle then get going. We’ll see you in a couple of hours.”  

In 6.5 seconds I had my Trusted Adviser. A trusted adviser has experience, is professional and has plenty of industry knowledge BUT this quick transaction proved there is so much more to be learnt.

I had time after the race to break this down into five steps:

  1. A warm genuine smile
    So important. It was knowing smile that showed that this man was not easily surprised. It was a smile that said he was happy to start a friendly conversation.
  2. Eye Contact
    He held a comfortable gaze in a manner that demonstrated confidence but also showed he was reading the situation.
  3. A friendly opening line
    In a split second and using a large amount of emotional intelligence and experience the situation was read perfectly. The verbal response was clear, concise and instantly deescalated the panic.
  4. Giving Choice
    Being given a choice in a situation that only moments before seemed choiceless triggered a massive dose of oxytocin in my brain. The trust chemical was released and of course I chose the bike that was recommend.
  5. It was not about the money
    No interest in short term gains. He knew that investing some time with people to build a long term relationship is a better and smarter way of doing business.

Reflecting back this experience felt authentic. It was based on kindness to another human being. It was genuine. Why was it a better and smarter way of doing business? Well, after riding the kick ass loan bike I’ve been seriously considering upgrading. When I arrived home friends and family asked how it went in Taupō. I told them about the wonderful people at Central Plateau Cycles. You catch my drift.