Trust is crucial in business success. Here's how to build it.

In the investment business, expertise is nice but insufficient on its own. Trust, on the other hand, is more important than ever.

So how do you build something intangible that could take years to develop? Authors David Maister, Charlie Green and Rob Galford, who wrote "The Trusted Advisor," have a theory.

They contend that trust is a complex blend of credibility, plus reliability, plus intimacy, all divided by self-orientation. To obtain trust, they assert, it is necessary to succeed in all areas.

This is no "touchy-feely" book. "The Trusted Advisor" is thorough, solid advice and written exclusively for anyone who works with clients. The book details a five-step process you can use to create trust-based relationships.

"Trust is important because your technical expertise often feels like black magic to the client," the authors write. "The more technical the talk, the more the client feels stupid or unempowered."

If you buy the authors' strategies and put them into practice, you will be busy. But trust doesn't come easy.

"The Trusted Advisor" is published by The Free Press (ISBN 074320414X) and costs $25 at bookstores nationwide and online.