Sidney C. Walker
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February 2010

How to be a "Good Guy" and
Sell More than "Harry the Hammer"

by Sidney C. Walker


Most of us have our first contact with sales through the sales culture of a corporation. Corporations don’t care "how" you make sales, they just want you to make sales, lots of them. From the perspective of the corporation, sales are about adding to the "bottom line" profits. It is no wonder that the predominant values of a corporate sales culture are dominance, control, forcefulness, aggression, destroying the competition; then conquering the client with the "one-two" punch of relentless closing techniques and overcoming objections.


This aggressive quality of the traditional corporate sales culture creates major values conflicts for a relationship-oriented advisor or what I like to call a: "relationship-builder." The relationship-builder wants to make friends with the prospective client not conquer them. The relationship-builder doesn’t want to disturb the client and lead them into a corner where the only way out is to write a check. The relationship-builder wants to create a safe environment for the prospective client to open up and discover what they really want to do.


The net result of the values conflicts for relationship-oriented advisors is most noticeable in prospecting and self-promotion. The emotional blocks show up in a variety of ways including discomfort, resistance, fear, and total avoidance of key sales activities like networking, asking for referrals, and telephoning prospects. Many relationship-builder advisors confide in me that they have never felt comfortable prospecting and will often wait until their back is against the wall to take any steps toward finding new clients.


So what’s the way out of this stressful, energy-devouring bind for a relationship-oriented advisor who has learned to resist his own self-promotion, the very life-blood of his or her business?! The answer is relatively simple for a relationship-builder but it takes some courage to try something different.


The answer lies in the conclusion of most every survey you will ever read about what clients want from their advisors. Potential clients want to talk about their interests and concerns and they don’t want to feel any sales pressure. In other words, they want an advisor they can confide in that isn’t trying to trial close them every ten minutes!


As a relationship builder, you need to tell potential clients that the values you bring to the table are different. Say this: "My job is to help you make educated decisions about your finances that feel right to you—which actually includes doing nothing if that is what feels right to you. So you can relax." Then you demonstrate to the client that you really mean it!


Two amazing things happen when you take this approach. You will find that your closing ratio is going to double and even triple from the average 33%. (If your closing ratio is already very high, congratulations you have already figured some of this out for yourself.) For most advisors, your income is going to at least double without having to see any more people than you are seeing now!


The second amazing thing that happens…when you are able to approach the initial part of the sales process in a way that fits your values as a relationship-builder instead of Attila the Hun, prospecting becomes a much easier endeavor. Instead of feeling like you have to try to talk someone into an appointment so you can then attempt to hammer them into a sale, you are looking for people who want your help and appreciate no sales pressure. Here is the general language I recommend to use either in person or on the phone:


"John, what I typically like to do is spend an hour together. We can talk about whatever financial issues are of the greatest concern to you. I don’t charge for this time and there is nothing to buy. I can usually save people thousands of dollars, sometimes 10’s of thousands of dollars just from a single idea. Does that sound like something that could be helpful to you?"


I have spent the last 30 years perfecting this process for relationship-oriented advisors. If you want to master the art of Selling Without Wrestling®, check out my new training and coaching website. It is the most extensive website specifically dedicated to the low-key approach and industry specific for financial services. And that’s not all the good news; the first 7-days are free!


Have a productive month,

Toll-free: 877-985-3297



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