The Trusted Advisor in Inter-Firm Interpersonal Relationships

Wayne Neu, California State University San Marcos
Gabriel R. Gonzalez, Thunderbrid School of Global Management
Michael W. Pass, Sam Houston State University

This study investigates the trusted advisor in the context of relationships that form between salespeople and inter-firm relationship partners. Fieldwork indicates that salespeople who evolve their role to that of a trusted advisor provide inter-firm relationship partners with information that is characterized on seven dimensions, and they form and activate a decision support network that is described on four dimensions. Findings also highlight the reciprocal process-related way that a trusted advisor–partner relationship forms, how a trusted advisor contributes to the process of value creation for the firm and the customer, and the conditions in which the service activities of a trusted advisor are needed.


Neu, Wayne, Gabriel R. Gonzalez, and Michael Pass (2011), “The Trusted Advisor in Interfirm Interpersonal Relationships,” Journal of Relationship Marketing, 10 (4), 238-263.